Please select your home edition
Edition
Craftinsure 2012

Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Whitstable Yacht Club

by John Cooper & Andy Dalby on 26 Jun 2012 23-24 June 2012

With 45 knots of breeze blowing across Whitstable Bay on the Friday and with more to come forecast, it wasn’t surprising there was a reduced entry of 24 boats for Whitstable Yacht Club’s annual Silver Tiller meeting.

Despite having to run the racing from a RIB, following the sad loss of the club committee boat in a storm, Jon Silk and his race team were determined to get two races in on Saturday. A rather nervous fleet launched into a solid Force 5, gusting 6. With Salcombe Week only two weeks away boat and body damage was to be avoided and several crews elected to stay ashore.

Andy Dalby takes up the story and tells it from his point of view...

RACE 1:
  • Dave Hayes forgot his mainsail so went back to get it! Some people will go to amazing lengths for a 3DL (new technology sail)
  • Tough to work out which way the wind was going to veer. The fleet were initially driven left which didn’t pay. Unusually at Whitstable, those that went right gained but playing the shifts seemed to be the key. Andy “Taxi” Davis rounded first followed by Tom Stewart and then us. Judith Massey was in the mix with Will Rainey and Dave Winder. The first reach was tight with the tide – not all could hold kites.
  • There was significant carnage at the first and subsequently every gybe mark - the chop made gybing difficult as the main was powered up through the gybe!
  • On the second reach Taxi had spinnaker problems and dropped places. Tom Stewart lost it and spun out for a big swim but we (Andy & Phil Dalby) managed to keep it together to the end of the race to take the win. Sailing deep on the runs with the tide was advantageous.
In between races:
  • Dave Hayes arrived with mainsail.
  • I fell out of the boat – long swim trying to get back in within the 5 minutes.
RACE 2:
  • Off the start it paid off for those who went left out of the tide – but the wind was still shifting.
  • Tom Stewart rounded first – can’t remember the rest just concentrating on the blast down the reach and then…
  • Carnage at the gybe mark again – Casualties included Dave Hayes, Dave Winder and us.
  • Taxi’s main halyard failed on second beat.
  • Tom Stewart pulled out a comfortable lead with William Warren, Will Rainey and Judith Massey in pursuit.
  • Dave Winder and the Dalby’s recover to pull back into the race crossing each other up the final beat. Dave Winder does very well to get up into 3rd with a snapped and trailing spinnaker pole.
  • On final run Will Rainey has spinnaker issues which allow the Dalby's through to fourth.

One competitor summed up conditions succinctly – “chuffing windy”. Most people had at least one swim and the relatively light damage (one spreader bracket, one spinnaker pole, a deck sheave and lots of burgees) speaks volumes for the robust construction of the modern Merlin and its rig.

Sunday morning dawned with more of the same and a postponement was signaled. However with over 30 knots being recorded on the harbour wall racing was called off for the day. So the winners of the Holden Cup for the Craftinsure Whitstable open meeting were Andy and Phil Dalby, their first ever Silver Tiller win. Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor were second overall with William Warren and Chris Robinson third.

The “Man of the Match” award must go to Joe Tosh, aged just 13 years and a day. Crewing for his dad in “Cool Cookie”, he completed both races. Well done Joe!

The Silver Tiller series results so far are updated after each event on the MROA website. After 12 events, the leaders are Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis in MR3712.

Overall Results for Whitstable:

PosSail NoNameHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
13690General LeeAndy DalbyPhil DalbyHSC145
23735The Clone WarsDavid WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake SC235
33685The Black PearlWilliam WarrenChris RobinsonShoreham SC628
43733The Dark SideTom StewartSteve HallNorthampton SC819
53693Slippery When WetWill RaineySophie MackleyShoreham SC5510
63728Volski QueenJudith MasseyOli WellsHayling Island SC4913
73658BattoChris JenningsLiese ScottBurchfield7815
83732 Dave WadeBen RaynerNorthampton SC11718
93555Light FantasticTim HarridgeJames WarrenHampton SC91120
103559Smart CookieLawrence ToshJoe ToshUpper Thames SC121426
113484Lounge LizardNeal GibsonKeith MaleyRedoubt SC131326
123684Keyser SozeAndy DavisTom PygallBlighfield SC/WYC3DNF28
133734 Dave HayesJonny RadcliffeHayling IslandDNC631
143736 Geoff CarvethGraham WilliamsonHISCOCS1035
153676Hot TottySimon BlakeAlex JacksonShoreham SC10DNF35
163692NemoRien ZivoldSteve GreyWYCDNF1237
17=3645Blue VelvetJeremy DeaconJoanne DeaconCookham Reach SCDNFDNC50
17=3672Bola BolaJohn CooperHilary BradshawWYCDNCDNC50
17=3740Why AskPat BlakeJill BlakeCookham Reach SCDNCDNC50
17=3687 Allan JacksonAlice Brotchie DNCDNC50
17=3700BrazilianPhil EmeryKaren EmeryWYCDNFDNC50
17=3618Easy RiderAndy KerrGareth HallBewl Valley SCDNCDNC50
17=3604Aunt FannyStuart GurneyPhilippa DanielsBognor Yacht ClubDNCDNC50
17=3731MayhemAndy JonesMadie JonesParkstone SCDNFDNC50

Related Articles

Merlin Rocket Downriver Race at Ranelagh
Racing from Putney to Battersea Saturday 11th November saw 17 merlin rockets arrive on Putney Embankment for the final Merlin Rocket event of the year, being the culmination of the Thames Series, held as a downriver race, from Putney to Battersea, hosted by Ranelagh Sailing Club. Posted on 13 Nov
Merlin Rockets at Hollingworth Lake
Going through the port hole in the final Craftinsure Silver Tiller event Hollingworth Lake SC hosted the final Craftinsure Silver Tiller event 2017 on Saturday followed by a three-course meal, prize-giving for the year, dancing and of course the obligatory going through the port hole. Posted on 2 Nov
Merlin Rockets at Blithfield
High winds for penultimate Craftinsure Silver Tiller event Storm Brian had already flexed its considerable might at other events, but a forecast weather window saw Blithfield SC seek to carry on and penultimate round of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller was set to be on, on Sunday 22nd October. Posted on 24 Oct
Aspire renew Merlin Nationals sponsorship
For 2018 event at Lyme Regis The Merlin Rocket Owners' Association are delighted to be able to announce that their 2017 Championship sponsors, Aspire Financial Advisors, enjoyed themselves so much that they have already signed up to support us in 2018. Posted on 20 Oct
Merlin Rockets at Burghfield
For Craftinsure Silver Tiller series event 23 teams travelled from as far as Devon, somewhere north of Birmingham, and some bumper bashers from Essex to support the first Craftisure Burghfield Merlin Silver Tiller event. A warm welcome awaited us, along with a coffee and a bacon buttie. Posted on 15 Oct
Merlin Rockets at Parkstone
Taxi and Alex smashed it! Parkstone Yacht Club was host for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller on Saturday 30 September to Sunday 1 October, and Taxi and Alex smashed it! Posted on 5 Oct
Superb season for the team at P&B
Championship wins across a range of classes It has been a superb summer for the team at P&B, with top results in a variety of classes, culminating in a win at the 505 World Championship in Annapolis. We caught up with Dave Wade to find out more... Posted on 2 Oct
Merlin Rocket Inlands at Burton
Fast and furious for the fleet Burton Sailing Club welcomed the Merlin Rocket fleet for the Nautilus Inlands on 23rd-24th September. With 12 knots and sunshine the 40 boats took to the water for the 6 fast and furious short course races that were scheduled for the Saturday. Posted on 28 Sep
Merlin Rockets at Lymington
Silver Tiller Series continues Arriving at Lymington on the Saturday morning, the Merlin and Scorpion sailors were blessed with superb sailing conditions once the sea breeze kicked in. Posted on 6 Sep
Minima Regatta 2017
Full range of sailing conditions at Kingston Crews at the Minima regatta, which is sponsored by TWM solicitors, faced pretty well the full range of sailing conditions at Kingston at the weekend. Posted on 5 Sep