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Marblehead Acorn Trophy at Guildford Model Yacht Club

by Roger Stollery on 7 Apr 2012 24 March 2012

The second of the 2012 GAMES Marblehead events was held in brilliant sunshine on Guildford Model Yacht Club's water at Abbey Meads, Chertsey. 15 entries from 6 clubs were challenged by the light and very fickle East North Easterly winds, full of holes of holes and totally unpredictable, 0-5 mph, sometimes from the North East and occasionally from the South East! Race Officer, Hugh McAdoo set a simple 150 metre long windward/leeward course with a spreader mark at the windward end and a gate at the leeward end. As a result there were few incidents at buoy roundings in the 15 races sailed varying from 8 to 18 minutes in duration.

There were 7 different race winners and Roger Stollery with his latest CRAZY TUBE started with wins in the first 2 races. Martin Crysell won Race 3 sailing his ROK that was last year's GAMES champion, from Alan Viney sailing a PRIME NUMBER. Peter Popham, sailing a STARKERS, specially tuned for light airs with a ' shallow ' 550mm draught keel, started well with a second and third and came to the top in Race 4, winning from David Coode and his lightweight American TIRAHNA design and then put in a very consistent series of seconds, so that by lunchtime he was the clear leader. He was beaten by Martin in Race 5 and by motor racing specialist, Paul Tickner sailing a borrowed 20-year-old ROAR EDGE in Race 6. Race 7 was won by David Andrews sailing a PRIME NUMBER, after having had a few problems in the early races. At lunchtime equal second with a score of 29, some 12 behind Peter, were Roger and Martin.

There were more different winners in the afternoon, although Roger came back to take Race 8 from Dave Andrews and Martin won Race 9 from Peter Popham who repeated his second in Race 10, beaten this time by Roy Stevens sailing a PRIME NUMBER. Relatively new Marblehead sailor, Alan Viney won his first race in a ranking event in Race 11 and recorded the fastest time round the course at 8 minutes. Dave Andrews came back in Race 12 to win from Roger and another newcomer, Terry Rensch, who is normally unused to being in a podium position!

In the penultimate race there was a collision at the windward mark after a disputed call for water. Neither skipper could agree and protested the other. The race was won by John Shorrock sailing a swing rigged STARKERS which went exceptionally well on the offwind legs, to finish ahead of Roy and Martin. A three-man protest committee was selected from the competitors and at the hearing Alan Viney was disqualified and John Shorrock's position confirmed. There was just time to start the final race before the racing time ended and this resulted in a win for Peter Popham ahead of Roger and Roy.

At the prize giving Roger was delighted to win the 'Acorn' and thanked the competitors for travelling and creating good competition on the water and the race team for running a good event. After the prizes for the main event there was a prize for the Best Improver compared to the GAMES results so far and this was won by Alan Viney with a 20 point improvement on his previous score. Finally assistant race officer, Keith Parrott from Frensham Pond SC MYG was presented with a bottle of wine for his help at this event.

With the new enthusiasm for Marbleheads this season it was good to see a mix of 6 different designs with several variations on the STARKERS and PRIME NUMBER models. The most successful of the former were those with a shallower draught at 550mm, but the standard model of the latter proved more successful than the exceptionally light swing rigged version which had only a 2.5 kg ballast; whilst this was very quick off the wind, it could not compete when pressed to windward. The 20-year-old ROAR EDGE showed it was still competitive to win a race in this company albeit with relatively new and superb looking BG sails. These also powered the new CRAZY TUBE FREE with a new swing rigged sail plan and has been made lighter yet more powerful than previous models by better construction design.

Overall Results:

1st Roger Stollery (Guildford) CRAZY TUBE FREE 39pts
2nd Peter Popham (3 Rivers) STARKERS 39pts
3rd Martin Crysell (Guildford) ROK 48pts
4th Roy Stevens (Tri-services) PRIME NUMBER 55pts
5th Alan Viney (Guildford) PRIME NUMBER 69pts
6th David Andrews (Hampton Court) PRIME NUMBER 90pts
7th Roger Pearce (Woking) PRIME NUMBER sw 92pts
8th John Shorrock (Reading) STARKERS 98pts
9th Paul Tickner (Guildford) ROAR EDGE 99pts
10th Tony Guerrier (3 Rivers) STARKERS 3 105pts
11th John O'Brien (3 Rivers) STARKERS 3 120pts
12th David Coode (Guildford) TIRAHNA 129pts
13th Peter Crisp (Swanley) STARKERS 129pts
14th Terry Rensch (Guildford) PRIME NUMBER 142pts
15th John Townsend (Guildford) ROK 167pts

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