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Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Starcross Yacht Club

by Carly Turner 9 Oct 2010 12:49 BST 2-3 October 2010

With the horrible weather forecasts for the weekend it was a pleasant surprise that 17 boats entered the Starcross Silver tiller event, sponsored by Speed Sails. In fact, Saturday provided us with perfect conditions, a steady force 3 in a southerly direction with lots of sunshine!

Consistent conditions and a P course meant that boat speed was of paramount importance.

Three races were sailed back to back on the Saturday and in true Merlin style, it took more than one start to get going! The black flag was put to use after the first recall. First around the windward mark was Mike Calvert, followed by Matt Biggs and then Richard Whitworth. Unfortunately for Calvert he went round the wrong mark on the second beat. Biggs took first and Whitworth second. With some excellent maneuvers Calvert clawed his way back up to third for the finish.

Race two was a bit of procession, with most of the fleet going up the right hand side of the beat. Whitworth led with Calvert second followed closely by Biggs. The finish between the three leaders was incredibly close with everything still to play for on the following day.

Saturday evening was spent in the club house relaxing with a few drinks and a band which all the Starcross widows enjoyed dancing to. The wind and rain had set in, and everyone was getting worried about the likelihood of sailing the next day…

By Sunday morning the wind had blown out, leaving a fickle westerly force 2. This lead to a lot of horrible shifts inshore at the windward mark. For most it seemed to be purely a game of snakes and ladders, but Dan Alsop managed to show us that there was definitely a quick way around the course, winning both races with a fantastic lead. Richard Dee was also very consistent in these conditions with two seconds. Whitworth scored a third and a fourth, perhaps Olly Turner’s inside knowledge of the shifty river Exe playing a part. Biggs got more of a handle of the shifts for the final race, gaining a third. Sadly Calvert was unable to sail on the Sunday due to loosing his crew to a very good party on the Saturday night...

Overall Results:

PosSailNoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3703Richard WhitworthOlly TurnerStarcross YC2113-47
2nd3705Matt BiggsBen HollisBlithfield SC132-539
3rd3539Dan AlsopJennie KingLyme Regis4-541110
4th3610Richard DeeChris GouldMidland-5452213
5th3716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield6-764521
6th3691Mike CalvertChris DownhamCastaways323(DNS)DNS26
7th3660Dave LeeLewis TurnerStarcross YC767-8727
8th3471Mike MackieMatt BuckleRoyal Dart YC-11886628
9th3719Nick BarnesScott HamptonBrightlingsea SC8910-131037
10th3626Andy HayJo MarlowStarcross YC911-1271239
11th3628Robin CharlesIan SmithStarcross YC-15101110940
12th3644Steve MitchellPolly NewmanPorthpean10-151312843
13th3721Nick TurnerCarly TurnerStarcross YC13149-161147
14th3544David DownsRos DownsCorus1212-15111550
15th3576Colin LeeDave ParryStarcross YC1416(DNS)91453
16th3713Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross YC-161314141354
17th3622Justin EddyDan NewmanStarcross YC(DNF)DNFDNS151667

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