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Merlin Rocket Open at Redditch Sailing Club

by Martin Smith 2 Nov 2010 13:03 GMT 30 October 2010
A bright but chilly autumn day at Arrow Valley Lake © Heidi Smith

A bright but chilly autumn day greeted the four local boats and 7 visiting Merlin Rockets for the final event in the Midland Circuit competition at Redditch Sailing Club's Arrow Valley Lake venue.

The first race got away to a clean start with last year’s victor Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis from Blithfield sailing club leading the way from the Midland sailing club pair of Richard Dee and Chris Gould. Third place was being closely fought between Redditch’s own James Dawes with visitor from Blithfield and Valley, two more Redditch boats and another previous winner Steve Watson battled it out for sixth place. Whilst the leading two boats sailed away from the rest of the fleet there were regular changes of places going on behind.

Race one finished; Biggs, Dee, Dawes.

Race two was started soon after race one with the starboard end of the line being the preferred option, this start was a somewhat more closely contested one with an individual recall being the result for Matt & Ben who found themselves over the line at the start. However by the end of the first beat Matt & Ben were back at the front and came out eventual winners of the second race and thus the event, Richard Dee was once again second and after another mid fleet tussle James Dawes emerged in third place.

Race two finished; Biggs, Dee, Dawes.

Lunch followed and with the result in the bag Matt & Ben elected to stay in the club house as the breeze dropped away.

A clean start ensured the threatened black flag remained furled and an interesting race for third place ensued this time involving the Redditch boat of Martin Smith & Karen Lewis in a nip and tuck duel with Guy Browne & Tom Cluley from Trent Valley and Blithfield's Tim Male & Rebecca Aldred. With Smith & Male doing battle Browne was able to slip away to take third place with Tim Male finally ghosting past Smith & Lewis under spinnaker to take fourth place.

Race three finished; Dee, Dawes, Brown.

Overall Results:

1st 3705 Matt Biggs & Ben Hollis (Blithfield S.C.)
2nd 3610 Richard Dee & Chris Could (Midland S.C.)
3rd 3403 James Dawes & Charlie Noakes (Redditch S.C.)
4th 3619 Guy Browne & Tom Cluley (Trent Valley S.C)
5th 3339 Tim Male & Rebecca Aldred (Blithfield S.C.)
6th 3496 Martin Smith & Karen Lewis (Redditch S.C.)
7th 3543 Andy Beardshaw & Paul Fuller (Redditch S.C.)
8th 3680 Steve Watson & Crew (Midland S.C.)
9th 3530 Mike Colles & Steph (Midland S.C.)
10th 3412 Andy Raftry & Nina Raftry (Redditch S.C.)
11th 3548 Kieron Mason & Son (Banbury S.C.)

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