Merlin Rocket Open at Hampton Sailing Club
by Tim Harridge on 2 Oct 2011
2 October 2011
Merlins at Hampton © Claudia Wheeler
It was a beautiful, if somewhat windless ‘Indian’ summer’s day that greeted 28 competitors to the Hampton Silver Tiller. As a result, the first race was postponed until a reasonable breeze filled in, and racing got underway at 12.30. Due to the good turn out and small start line, the fleet was divided into 4 flights. Chris Simon was a welcome addition to the Race Team and as an ‘on the water judge’; his patrolling of the river reducing infringements of rule 42. Richard Harris was the first victim of the whistle about 10 seconds after his first start – following this, the fleet was generally well behaved.
1761 (Phil Dalby and Ben Harridge, of Hampton) won the first race, with 1079 (Richard and Harry Harris, of Tamesis) coming in second. After a hard fought race, race two went to 3347 (David Vines and Fran Gifford, of Tamesis) followed by 3702 (Duncan and Harriet Salmon, of Wembley).
The wind picked up over lunch making for great sailing and the second session the most enjoyable of the day. Race three was also won by 3347 (David and Fran), this time beating 1097 (Mike Stevens and Nicky Tullet, of Tamesis). And race four was won by 1079 (Richard and Harry) with 1761 (Phil and Ben) coming in second.
Race five had new winners in 3702 (Duncan and Harriet) beating 1201 John Ibbotson and Chris Downham of Ranelagh) who had finally found their form. 3347 (David and Fran) remained a consistent and took their third bullet of the day from a very close battle with 1761 (Phil and Ben) to seal their win.
Overall a great day’s sailing was had by all with varied but generally good conditions. Many thanks to all of the competitors (both home and visiting), the race team, caters and bar staff.
1st 3347, David Vines and Fran Gifford
2nd 3702, Duncan and Harriet Salmon
3rd 1761, Phil Dalby / Ben Harridge / Andrea Ralph
4th 1079, Richard and Harry Harris
5th 1097, Mike Stevens and Nicky Tullet
6th 3707, Simon and Simon (Shoreham Sailing Club)