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 Aspire 2017 Nationals
To be held at Plas Heli in August We are delighted to announce that the Merlin Rocket Aspire 2017 Championship website is now OPEN. Entry Forms and NoR can be viewed at http://merlinrocketchamps.com/ plus much more. Posted on 22 Mar
Merlin Rockets at Wembley
For Craftinsure Silver Tiller series round 2 Wembley Sailing Club hosted the second open meeting of the 2017 Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller series on 19th March. The 'windy' forecast did not disappoint and for once no-one was complaining about the well-known wind websites under reading the wind. Posted on 21 Mar
55th Annual Warming Pan
50 shades of grey in Hamble The Merlin Rockets went first on a windy, grey Saturday morning in Hamble. It was perhaps fitting therefore that "50 shades of Grey" Stuart Bithell and his girlfriend led the fleet down the Hamble to Southampton Water. Posted on 20 Mar
We speak to Mark Lee of Craftinsure
The story of 'boat insurance at the touch of a button' We spoke to Mark Lee about his own sailing and the story of starting Craftinsure, the marine insurance company which pioneered 'boat insurance at the touch of a button', when the internet was still in its infancy compared to what it is today. Posted on 16 Mar
55th Annual Warming Pan preview
Dust off your boat covers and dig out your wetsuits This year's Warming Pan will take place on the 18th & 19th March, run as always by the Hamble River SC. Looking at the forecasts there will be wind, so dust off your boat covers, dig out your wetsuits and dry suits and head to Hamble on Saturday morning. Posted on 14 Mar
Merlin Rockets at Midland
For Craftinsure Silver Tiller series round 1 Twenty-two Merlin Rockets arrived at Midland Sailing Club (MSC) on this very calm and literally no wind morning to contest the first round of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2017. Posted on 14 Mar
David Henshall talks Merlin Rockets
At Island Harbour Yacht Club on 11th March Island Harbour Yacht Club, situated on the middle reaches of the river Medina, Isle of Wight, are pleased to announce the formation of a classic Merlin Rocket dinghy section. We currently have seven craft. Posted on 3 Mar
Five boats, sails, masts, chandlery and clothing
A busy time for P&B ahead of the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show The week before the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show is always a busy one for the team at P&B, but for 2017 they have pulled out all the stops, with no less than five boats showcased, and sails on a range of boats throughout the show. Posted on 1 Mar
Steve Nicholson Memorial win
For McGrane's Merlin powered by Hyde We spoke to Ben McGrane after his win in the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy at Northampton SC on Saturday, sailing a Merlin Rocket with his wife Roz. Ben has been working with Hyde Sails developing the Merlin sails and had a new set for the event. Posted on 31 Jan
Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy
Merlin Rocket and Phantom take the trophies It was a day to remember for the Merlin Rockets, taking all three top places in the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy at Northampton Sailing Club on Saturday. Posted on 30 Jan