Allen Brothers Merlin Rocket Nationals at Hayling Island Sailing Club
The Championships began quietly this year on Hayling Bay with 59 boats in attendance, fourteen of which were members of our host club HISC. It soon proved controversial to the point of no return off the water, with a surge of excitement mid-event that built up throughout six days of great racing on the choppy Bay. It was the HISC members Geoff Carveth and his crew Graham Williamson who showed off their knowledge of these waters by taking the first two races on Sunday and Monday.
Race one started on a light to moderate wind; Carveth took the more desirable right off the line, taking the advantage over Andy Davis (Taxi) and crew Tom Pygall and holding the lead to the end. John Gorringe with his crew Toby Lewis came third. Race two gave the competing fleet a South Easterly, 10 – 12 knots with boats packing the line for a right handed beat, but the left hand side paid for Carveth who narrowly made the first mark first ahead of David Winder and crew Pippa Taylor, he gained momentum down the reaches, Winder celebrated a second. Chris Downham crewing Tim Fells kept Taxi and Simon Blake at bay to take third place.
Black Tuesday loomed with a dying north easterly and only 10 knots on the start gun, and fading to very little for race number three. Young Blake, light on his feet with crew Alex Jackson took off with a quick start, closely pursued by Taxi, this continued throughout the race. Taxi got a first, Blake came second and Carveth crossed in silence. Tom Stewart and Steve Hall took third. Carveth protested the decision on appeal and was given average points, not the reinstatement he had gone for.
Wednesday, race four, was the first good day with a nice 15-18 knots of breeze from the Southwest with the sun putting in an appearance to try to coax a somewhat deflated fleet out of their dark cloud… of ten black flags the previous race. John Turner in his revolutionary new boat 3729, Shabazzle with his crew Richard Parslow, led at the mark. They were soon overtaken by Fells, Taxi, Carveth and Tom Stewart who all enjoyed an amazing race with never more than a couple of boats length between them. Carveth took first place with Taxi second and Fells third.
Thursday was a windier day for race five with 20 knots blowing from the Southwest. Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe were fast out of the blocks and led the fleet for the whole race taking first place, Stewart second and Harvey Hilary helmed by Richard Peacock took third position.
Race six the final on Friday and the decider in what had been a week of primeval protest and ritual competitiveness, had the sun shining down at the start in 5-10 knots in a south westerly puff of air. Martin and Vicky Jones of HISC built up a big lead at the line, but Fells and Downham chased down to take them on the very last tack. These commendable boats with jubilant crews took first and second places respectively and all the while behind them some commendable action was taking place as Taxi engaged Carveth in a match race to try to sail him outside the top 30 boats, which would give him (Taxi) the win overall.
The decision taken by the race committee in the protest room had Carveth stumped for his win for had he been reinstated he would have kept his third position which would have kept him in the points to win. Despite this he can be quoted as saying, “I certainly enjoyed sailing the Merlin Rocket for the first time at a championships, especially the long traditional style of racing, the winner did what he had to do to win, but it’s not necessarily the way I would’ve done it.” Taxi aka Andy Davis said, “for me it was great sailing against such good sailing talent in a tough week on the water - it was good as I knew things would be close, but not that close.”
N.B. A later appeal saw the results changed again, several months later. See below.
The famous Holt Plate, awarded at the Merlin Rocket Nationals for the personal handicap trophy, was as hotly contested as the main champs, with several leaders through the week, but Martin and Vicky Jones from HISC won, with Guy Browne and Tommi Cluley from TVSC second closely followed by Simon and Jackie Litton from HISC.
Thanks to Tim Fells for the report on racing and to Hayling Island sailing club for a most enjoyable and memorable championships. The sponsors Allen Brothers, Winder Boats, Speeds Sails, Goacher Sails and P&B.
More photos by Chris Bashall can be found here.
Results as originally published:
|1st||3684||Andy Davis||Tom Pygall||Blithfield SC||2||4||1||2||5||-38||14|
|2nd||3652||Geoff Carveth||Graham Williamson||HISC||1||1||RDGa||1||4||-37||15.8|
|3rd||3701||Tom Stewart||Steve Hall||Northampton SC||-10||5||3||4||2||6||20|
|4th||3727||Tim Fells||Chris Downham||HISC||8||3||-15||3||8||1||23|
|5th||3712||Jon Gorringe||Toby Lewis||Parkstone YC||3||-10||9||9||7||4||32|
|6th||3703||Richard Whitworth||Ellie Bremmer||Hollingworth Lake SC||7||6||(BFD)||11||6||5||35|
|7th||3670||Ian Dobson||Andy Tunnicliffe||Royal Windermere YC||4||11||14||7||1||-15||37|
|8th||3662||David Winder||Pippa Taylor||Hollingworth Lake SC||11||2||(BFD)||14||12||3||42|
|1st||3684||Andy Davis||Tom Pygall||Blithfield SC||2||4||1||2||5||‑38||14|
|2nd||3701||Tom Stewart||Steve Hall||Northampton SC||‑10||5||3||4||2||6||20|
|3rd||3727||Tim Fells||Chris Downham||HISC||8||3||‑15||3||8||1||23|
|4th||3712||Jon Gorringe||Toby Lewis||Parkstone YC||3||‑10||9||9||7||4||32|
|5th||3703||Richard Whitworth||Ellie Bremmer||Hollingworth Lake SC||7||6||(BFD)||11||6||5||35|
|6th||3670||Ian Dobson||Andy Tunnicliffe||Royal Windermere YC||4||11||14||7||1||‑15||37|
|7th||3662||David Winder||Pippa Taylor||Hollingworth Lake SC||11||2||(BFD)||14||12||3||42|
|8th||3652||Geoff Carveth||Graham Williamson||HISC||1||1||(BFD)||1||4||37||44|
|9th||3728||Judith Massey||Olly Turner||HISC||‑20||9||5||18||10||12||54|
|10th||3691||Mike Calvert||Ian Garwood||Axe SC||5||‑22||6||17||13||14||55|
|11th||3722||David Hayes||Jonny Ratcliffe||HISC||6||7||7||23||(DNC)||13||56|
|12th||3698||Rick Peacock||Harvey Hillary||Bartley Green, Itchenor||‑29||16||16||13||3||11||59|
|13th||3656||Simon Lytton||Jackie Lytton||HISC||9||19||8||‑24||15||9||60|
|14th||3724||Martin Jones||Vicky Jones||HISC||‑32||17||10||15||20||2||64|
|15th||3610||Richard Dee||Chris Gould||Midland SC||15||12||11||‑19||14||17||69|
|16th||3729||Jon Turner||Richard Parslow||Beer SC||13||18||20||8||‑25||25||84|
|17th||3693||Will Rainey||Kelly Miller||Shoreham SC||17||23||4||‑26||22||21||87|
|18th||3718||David Sayce||Fiona Sayce||HISC||12||14||18||37||(DNF)||7||88|
|19th||3676||Patrick Blake||Jilly Blake||Cookham Reach SC||30||28||12||12||(DNC)||8||90|
|20th||3690||Andy Dalby||P Dalby||Hampton SC||23||24||(BFD)||10||11||29||97|
|21st||3539||Dan Alsop||Sophie Mackley||Lyme Regis||16||13||(BFD)||34||18||16||97|
|22nd||3707||Simon Blake||Alex Jackson||Shoreham SC||18||(DSQ)||2||5||16||BFD||101|
|23rd||3716||Steve Leney||Gill Leney||Blithfield SC||24||20||13||22||‑28||26||105|
|24th||3685||William Warren||Chris Robinson||Shoreham SC||(OCS)||8||BFD||6||9||27||110|
|25th||3660||David Lee||Tim Laws||Starcross SC||26||‑31||25||21||21||20||113|
|26th||3700||Phil Emery||Karen Emery||Whitstable YC||22||26||19||‑32||24||23||114|
|27th||3731||Andy Jones||Maddie Jones||Parkstone YC||21||15||30||‑33||31||19||116|
|28th||3730||Ben Hollis||John Hockett||Blithfield SC||‑39||25||22||20||19||34||120|
|29th||3635||Mike Stephens||Matthew Perrigrine‑Jones||Tamesis Club||34||36||17||‑49||29||18||134|
|30th||3710||Andrea Ralph||John Rees||HISC||14||32||34||‑38||32||31||143|
|31st||3661||Graham Scroggie||Ben Scroggie||Parkstone YC||31||33||37||25||17||‑44||143|
|32nd||3651||Colin Brockbank||Harriet Brandt||Wembley SC||27||35||36||‑39||30||22||150|
|33rd||3665||Ross Jackson||James Warren||Shoreham SC||38||‑44||26||36||23||28||151|
|34th||3569||John Bell||Duncan Bell||Hampton SC||41||34||27||27||26||(DNC)||155|
|35th||3726||David Hitchcock||Chris Hitchcock/Jill HItchcock||HISC||33||39||21||40||(DNS)||24||157|
|36th||3719||Mike Partridge||Claire Davis||HISC||25||43||28||35||(DNF)||30||161|
|37th||3704||Rod Porteous||Maureen Porteous||HISC||36||37||35||30||27||‑43||165|
|38th||3696||Alan Warren||William Carroll||Shoreham SC||(OCS)||21||BFD||28||DNF||10||179|
|39th||3573||Simon Bond||Anna Carr||RYA||‑48||47||24||41||35||33||180|
|40th||3626||Andy Hay||Joanna Marlow||Starcross SC||42||42||33||‑45||36||32||185|
|41st||3634||Ben Archer||Chris Whitehouse||Parkstone YC||37||38||(BFD)||29||37||47||188|
|42nd||3673||Chris Powles||Giles Broughton||HISC||35||45||23||48||(DNC)||39||190|
|43rd||3653||David McGregor||Freddie McGregor||HISC||44||30||(BFD)||42||34||42||192|
|44th||3647||Hywel Perkins||Rachel Dobrijevic||Hampton SC||43||‑48||38||43||33||35||192|
|45th||3725||Ossie Stewart||Chris Allen||HISC||28||29||(BFD)||16||DNC||DNC||193|
|46th||3692||Marinus Zilvold||Julie Nuttall||Whitstable YC||40||40||29||44||(DNF)||40||193|
|47th||3708||Laurie Smart||Keith Callaghan||Felixstowe Ferry SC||19||27||(BFD)||31||DNF||DNC||197|
|48th||3711||Richard Bates||Jeremy Williamson||HISC||45||49||31||50||(DNC)||36||211|
|49th||3619||Guy Browne||Tommi Cluley||Trent Valley SC||47||50||39||‑51||40||41||217|
|50th||3697||Richard Page||Lizzy Dalby||Hampton SC||46||51||46||(DNC)||41||45||229|
|51st||3683||Nigel Brooke||Suzie Brooke||Royal Southern YC||51||41||32||46||(DNF)||DNC||230|
|52nd||3632||Marcus Robb||Graham Webb||Cookham Reach SC||50||‑53||41||53||39||50||233|
|53rd||3706||Kevin Anderson||Sadie Anderson||Hampton SC||49||52||43||(DNC)||42||49||235|
|54th||3577||Derek Davies||Liz Woods||Exe SC||53||46||40||47||(DNC)||DNC||246|
|55th||3625||Richard Bramley||Alex Warren||Shoreham SC||52||54||45||52||(DNF)||46||249|
|56th||3529||Jonathan Edwards||Justin Edwards||Shotwick Lake SC||56||‑58||48||56||38||53||251|
|57th||3442||Chris Iles||Kathy Iles||Locks SC||54||56||42||54||(DNS)||48||254|
|58th||3555||Stuart Jenkins||Suzy Bell||Hampton SC||(DNS)||55||44||55||DNF||51||265|
|59th||3491||Stephen Storey||Ellie Lytton||HISC||55||57||47||57||(BFD)||52||268|