Please select your home edition
Edition
Ovington Boats - VX One

Merlin Rocket Week at Salcombe Yacht Club

by Will Rainey on 22 Jul 2002

106 Merlins at Salcombe

13–19 July 2001

Photo © D Mitchell
The Merlins enjoyed another excellent week’s sailing at Salcombe in an event that continues to go from strength to strength. The fleet enjoyed brilliant sunshine all week, with the winds, which varied from very light to Force 4 as the predominantly northwesterly wind battled with the sea breeze, giving plenty of opportunity for the fleet to play snakes and ladders.

To accommodate the huge fleet, the week’s racing takes place in flights, with the boats being split into Gold and Silver fleets after the first three days’ racing.

By Friday morning, any one of three boats could have won the Gold fleet. Phil King and Kevin Driver, and John Bell and Graham Williamson had both secured four wins out of five races, and rising stars Simon Blake and Linton Jenkins with three wins could still have come out on top if either of the leaders slipped up on the last day. Ultimately, the result went down to the final beat of the last race as Bell struggled unsuccessfully to catch Blake, in a bid to match King’s win in the morning race. King and Driver were therefore worthy winners of one of the closest fought weeks for many years. To demonstrate the fine line between success and failure, King and Blake each won a race as a result of the race leader sailing the wrong course.

In the Silver fleet, James Middleton-Stewart kept his nerve on the final day to cement his overnight lead with a fine win, to lead by three points from Dave Townend, who once again somehow managed to just scrape into the Silver fleet when the cut was made.

Other highlights included Merlin legend and previous winner of Salcombe week, Harry Haynes presenting a new trophy in memory of his wife Beryl, for the crew of the winning boat, and the recognition of another previous winner, John Harris, attending his 40th Salcombe Merlin Week without a break.

Photo © D Mitchell

On the gear front, the new boats from Full Wrecked’em Force continue to make their mark with three in the first six. Sails for the top six came from Rowsell, Pinnell and Bax, Alverbank and Batt, whilst five of the top six used masts from Chipstow.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClub
Gold Fleet:
1st3606Phil KingKevin DriverBowmoor SC
2nd3612Simon BlakeLinton JenkinsCookham Reach SC
3rd3609John BellGraham WilliamsonHampton SC
4th3549Mike CalvertJane CalvertWeymouth SC
5th3591Tom StewartChris BishopRoyal Harwich YC
6th3601Will RaineyJennie KingCookham Reach SC
Silver fleet:
1st3400James Middleton-StewartZoe DonaldWeymouth SC
2nd3530David TownendFrancesca LoftsSalcombe YC
3rd3535Richard CookeSam Waddoups 
Old Boat Prize3266Rawson PilonRachel HoweUpper Thames SC

Related Articles

Merlin Rockets at Pwllheli
Craftinsure Silver Tiller at National venue In readiness for the National Championship in August, a select fleet of Merlins made the trip to Pwllheli for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller event to get a preview of what was to come. Posted on 14 May
Merlin Rockets at Ranelagh
For Craftinsure Silver Tiller series event 16 Merlins gathered on Putney Embankment for the first Thames Series event of the year, which was also counting for Silver Tiller points. Free bacon baguettes and tea and coffee had everyone primed ready for a briefing that required some concentration. Posted on 9 May
Next spots for the ilovesailing calendar
Tony Ketley's & Will Heritage's photos chosen Tony Ketley from Marlow, Bucks and Will Heritage from Cowes, Isle of Wight have secured the next two spots on the 2018 ilovesailing calendar. Posted on 8 May
Merlin Rocket Owners' Association seeks sponsors
For NSSA Youth Sailing Initiative The Merlin Rocket Owners' Association and the National School Sailing Association are delighted to announce a new initiative to introduce younger sailors to the Merlin Rocket fleet. Posted on 4 May
One month to go until Carnac 2017
Early entry deadline fast approaching... There is now just over 1 month left until 5 UK fleets reconvene in sunny France for a long weekend of sailing and holidaying. Posted on 26 Apr
Paignton Sailing Club's PODD preview
Event for doublehanded dinghies to be held on 20-21 May 2017 will be the 6th year of Paignton Sailing Club's iconic flagship event for double-handed dinghies: PODD. This is the only BIG double hander event in the south-west for all double-handed mono-hull single handers with a PY of 1200 or lower. Posted on 21 Apr
Merlin Rockets at Salcombe
For Craftinsure Silver Tiller series event The weekend of 8th and 9th April saw a magnificent 51 Merlin Rocket dinghies attend the Salcombe Yacht Club Silver Tiller event over what was to prove to be a glorious weekend of champagne sailing despite low spring tides and forecast easterly winds. Posted on 11 Apr
Is the F In Fun going to be lacking in the future?
David Henshall discusses what's gone wrong Thanks to the amazing golden efforts in the 470 of Hannah Mills crewed by Saskia Clark and Giles Scott in the Finn, the UK, via the RYA, could once again claim to be the 'most successful nation' at the Rio Olympics. Posted on 10 Apr
Merlin Rockets at Chichester
Top three tied on points Chichester YC Meeting held on Saturday 1 April was blessed with magnificent Spring sunshine and winds ranging from Force 3-4. 27 Merlins came to the line for a three race series run by Race Officer Peter Harrison. Posted on 6 Apr
Interview with Team Allen's Megan Pascoe
Reigning 2.4mR World and European Champion We recently spoke with Team Allen's Megan Pascoe, the reigning 2.4mR World and European Champion, about the diverse 2017 season she has lined up, having the support of Allen Brothers, Paralympic sailing, and steps to increase participation in the sport. Posted on 3 Apr