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Craftinsure 2012

Merlin Rocket Nautilus Inland Championship at Burton Sailing Club

by Rachel Rhodes 28 Sep 16:47 BST 23-24 September 2017

Burton Sailing Club welcomed the Merlin Rocket fleet for the Nautilus Inland Championship on 23rd and 24th September 2017. With 12 knots and sunshine the 40 boats took to the water for the six fast and furious short course races that were scheduled for the Saturday.

Race 1 got underway on a windward leeward course after a general recall the race officer got out the black flag and the fleet got underway. Simon Potts and Holly Scott with Mike and Jane Calvert close behind, showed the fleet the way but they should have gone to Specsavers as they failed to see the shortened course flag and went to the right hand leeward gate. This allowed Andy "Taxi" Davis sailing with Pete Gray to take the bullet followed by Dave Wade and Rach Rhodes. It was then a race back to the line for Potts and Calvert under spinnaker.

The short windward leeward course was providing interesting racing with the leeward gate splitting the fleet at the bottom of the run. Due to the wind direction, the courses we compact with a short first beat, so to save further confusion the PRO kept the remainder of the days races to 2 laps. Taxi and Pete managed another win in race 2 followed by Chris and Chris in second, with race 3 going to Mike and Jane Calvert who were enjoying the shifty conditions followed by Pottsy and Holly. Race 4 went to top lady helm Caroline Croft crewed by Matt Lullham Robinson. Race 4 also saw the first casualties to the black flag, some making the most of the situation and taking the time to have an ice cream on the beach and still making it back for the next race. In the dying patchy breeze Dave and Oliver Winder showed the fleet the way from start to finish with Pottsy and Holly getting their second runner up result of the day. Taxi and Pete took another bullet in the final race of the day, following by Matt Biggs and Beka Jones.

The fleet came ashore, some perhaps a little dizzy, pitched tents (for those people not put off camping in Pwllheli) and retired to the bar ready for dinner and daily prize giving, followed by music and dancing to Newton Park until the early hours of the morning. The top glamping prize has to go to Chris and Caroline in their fold up palace which could have slept the whole fleet!

The race format for Sunday was for the more traditional two one-hour races on a sausage-triangle-sausage course. Ian and Ellie Sharps had a great first beat but missed out the spreader mark and had to drop their kite and go back for it. This let Matt Biggs and Beka Jones into the lead which they held to the finish. Dave Wade and Rach Rhodes were looking good for second until a bad gybe let Taxi and Pete sneak through on the last reach.

Completing the sausage first kept the fleet tightly packed. Race 2 of the day was almost a re-run of Saturday's race 1 with Pottsy and Holly making the most of the run and sailing into the lead closely chased by Mike and Jane Calvert but this time they spotted the shortened course flag taking 1st and 2nd with Taxi and Pete taking third and the title of Nautilus Inland Champions 2017.

Thanks to Burton Cailing Club for hosting an interesting format of racing over the weekend, and to the competitors for trying being prepared to try something different. Next year's Inland championships will be on the coast at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club.

Photos by Kevan Bloor can be found on flickr here.

Full results can be found here.