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Merlin Rocket Open at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Alex Jackson 27 Jul 2010 14:48 BST 24-25 July 2010

As predicted....nay, expected, the Merlin Rocket Shoreham Open was sailed under champagne conditions; again. Fifteen to twenty knots from the SW, chunky waves and more sunshine than you could shake a stick at. The Silver Tiller series is sponsored by Speed Sails.

The Race Committee headed by Peter Bennett and John Sheldon set four immaculate Olympic style courses over the weekend under difficult conditions. First out of the blocks were Simon Blake and Alex Jackson, rounding the windward mark first closely followed by John Gorringe and Richard Whitworth. Richard cut his way through the leading three boats to take the gun, Simon second and John third. As conditions freshened for the second race it was Simon and John again challenging for the first beat with Simon just sneaking ahead at the windward mark. Dalby sisters Andy and Phil rounded second and sailed over the top of Si and Alex with some excellent boat handling. As the race progressed it became clear that John and Richard had the boat speed advantage and battled it out for victory. Richard and Olly won again after an impeccable display of big weather sailing, John second, Si third and the relatively new to the fleet team of Ian Dobson and Andy Tunicliffe fourth.

The club put on a cracking evenings entertainment with a bbq on the grass lawns before competitors were given the choice of a relaxed night under the stars or hitting the Shoreham lights hard, with additional feeding at the Indian Cottage curry house and late night lager beers at the ever delightful (cough cough) Sovereign pub.

Sunday dawned and the weather gods threatened to deliver below par conditions with a measly five knots of breeze. This was quickly remedied as the sea breeze took full effect and normal service was resumed, force three to four, big waves and sunshine, ...standard.

Rich and Olly quickly made their intentions clear and nailed the first race, Ian and Andy chased hard and finished a well earned second, Jon and Pete continued their consistent form to take third and Si and Alex were fourth.

With the event now settled, Rich and Olly pushed the last start a little too hard and were caught black flagged leaving the racing open for the mere mortals. Si, John and Ian rounded within a few boat lengths of each other, local legend Willie Warren fourth and young Duncan Bell helming only his second ever meeting with father John rounded a brilliant fifth. Si and Alex got the shifts right on the first run to put them comfortably ahead while Ian just snuck John in taking second.

Overall we were definitely lucky with the weather, it really doesn’t get much better than that, in addition the race management, rescue boat cover and on shore support made for an excellent weekend’s competition.

The association’s next Silver Tiller event is Lymington (31st July and 1st August), before the Championships at Penzance SC (15th to 19th AUgust).

Overall Results:

PosSailHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st3703Richard WhitworthOlly TurnerHLSC/Starcross111(OCS)3
2nd3707Simon BlakeAlex JacksonShoreham/Cookham32-416
3rd3670Ian DobsonAndy TunnicliffeBurwain4-5228
4th3712Jon GottingPete HornParkstone2-3338
5th3705Matt BiggsBen HollisBlithfield-1147516
6th3685William WarrenSophie MackleyShoreham5-136617
7th370Matt MeePippa TaylorHollingworth Lake(DNF)99422
8th3661Graham ScroggieBen ScroggieParkstone78-13722
9th3690Andy DalbyPloppy ChopsH S C67-101023
10th3693Will RaineyKelly MillerShoreham8-108824
11th3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe9611(DNF)26
12th3610Richard DeeChris GouldMIdland10(DNF)51429
13th3696Alan WarrenWilliam CarrollShoreham1311-16933
14th3611Jen TaylorChris DoddsHollingworth1212-141135
15th3676Pat BlakeJill BlakeCookham Reach14(DNF)121339
16th3539Dan AlsopJennie KingLyme Regis-1714151241
17th3665Ross JacksonJames WarrenShoreham1615-201647
18th3643Alistair GlenMoira GlenShoreham15(DNF)181548
19th3650ToshLizBanbury(DNF)17191753
20th3625Richard BramleyTony ChealShoreham1916-221954
21st3716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield18(DNS)17DNS61
22nd3645Jeremy DeaconGareth JonesCRSC(DNS)DNS211865
23rd3569Duncan BellJohn BellHampton(DNF)DNSDNF2072
24th3442Chris IlesKathy IlesLocks/Portsmouth(DNF)DNS23DNF75
25th3644Steve MitchellPolly NewmanPorthpean(DNF)DNSDNFDNF78

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