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GJW Direct 2020
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Harken 16mm Block - 404
Harken 16mm Block - 404

Merlin Rocket Open at Blithfield Sailing Club

by Ben Archer / Richard Whitworth 16 Oct 2009 15:40 BST 11 October 2009

The penultimate open meeting of the Silver Tiller Series, sponsored by Speed Sails, was sailed at Blithfield on Sunday 11th of October.

In direct contrast to the day before competitors were greeted by a cold breeze and light autumn drizzle as they rigged their boats, both of which died away for the start of the first race, which was sailed in a fitful force 1-2, a big windshift tightened the first reach to a close fetch-a difficult start saw many top boats buried deep in the pack, but Matt Biggs managed to sniggle past Tom Stewart as did Andy Davies, who was second, with William Warren getting past Richard Whitworth to take third place.

After Lunch the wind freshened (as forecast) for the second race, and Andy Davies sailed away clear from the start, closely followed by Mike Calvert and Tom Stewart, who all finished in that order.

As per the forecast, the wind continued to build to force 4-5 for the third race with heavy gusts sweeping across the racetrack. There were several contenders for the third race, with the lead changing hands many times, Dave Winder showed his face at the front, until a capsize under spinnaker put him out of the running. The race officer having set a long beat to the top of the reservoir with a five lap course the race was as much endurance test.

The Jackson brothers had a good race, but were never able to challenge Matt Biggs or Andy Davies for the lead, Mike Calvert was in with a shout until his jib halliard came un-talurited and ended his meeting, and the race finished with Matt Biggs winning, closely followed by Andy Davies and then Ross Jackson.

With Matt Biggs winning the Blithfield open overall it means an exciting end to this year's Silver Tiller with the top five boats all able to win the series, with one meeting to go, it all rests on the Parkstone open.

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