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Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Chichester Yacht Club

by Louise Johnson 7 Apr 2011 16:52 BST 2 April 2011
The third Craftinsure Silver Tiller event of the season is held at Chichester © John Crawley

Thirty Merlin Rockets arrived at Chichester Yacht Club for the third Craftinsure Silver Tiller of this season. Three races, three different race winners and we lost count on how many times the black flag was flown!

Race 1 - Start the day as you mean to go on
First general recall of the day, but fortunately with the tide against the fleet they managed to get away without the black flag coming out. 2010 Grand Slam Winners Simon Blake and Alex Jackson showed the fleet they meant serious business by flying off the start line, leading round the windward mark never to be seen again. Second place went to William Warren and Sophie Mackley, who were clear ahead of the pack, which consisted of Matt Biggs crewed by Ben Hollis, Steve and Gill Leney, and Jon Gorringe crewed by Francois Fung.

Race 2 - Be consistent
Yep you got it, another general recall, followed by another but this time the black flag was out and caught some of the fleet out with four boats being sent home. A couple of these were looking for victory at the event, yet all they could do was go ashore sit in the naughty corner with a cup of tea whilst race 2 got underway. It was time for some more familiar faces to show the fleet around the course. Judith Massey and Graham Williamson sailed a very consistent race to take the victory gun holding off a chasing pack with a well deserved second place going to the Leneys, followed by Biggs/Hollis then Blake/Jackson.

Race 3 – Why change the habits of the day?
So the tide by now was really starting to ebb. All this meant was the fleet of 30 Merlins had to make sure that they had enough momentum to be up on the line or over it in this case. Yep you got it…..another general recall! Unlike the other 2 races of the day where the leader had got away it wasn’t the case here. Andy and Phil Dalby lead for lap 1, Gorringe/Fung lead lap 2 and Biggs/Hollis who had been nibbling their way back from 4th finally got to the finish line first to take the bullet. Gorringe/Fung took second, Warren/Mackley who were now back out on the water having had a breather in race 2 took third, with the Dalby sisters taking fourth.

Congratulations to Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis who took home the Nick’s Boat Trophy, with Simon Blake and Alex Jackson in second, and William Warren and Sophie Mackley in third. Thanks must go to Chichester Yacht Club for doing their best to tame the fleet, keeping them back behind the line, for their super efficient race team with time between races kept to a minimum and for the great food they put on for all competitors at the end of the day.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSailHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st2 Pints Of Lager3705Matt BiggsBen HollisBlithfield SC-3314
2ndMoney Business3707Simon BlakeAlex JacksonCookham Reach SC14(DNF)5
3rdThe Black Pearl3685William WarrenSophie MackleyShoreham SC2(BFD)35
4thCarbon footprint3716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield SC42-66
5thArtemus3653Judith MasseyGraham WilliamsonHayling Island SC-131910
6thGeneral Lee3702Andy DalbyPhil DalbyHSC-87411
7thOkey Dokey3712Jon GorringeFrancois FungParkstone YC56(DNC)11
8thMiss Aigletinger3718David SayceFiona SayceHayling Island SC14(BFD)216
9thStealth3722David HayesJonny RatcliffeHayling Island SC610(DNC)16
10thMinistry of Pleasure3634Ben ArcherA. BrewerParkstone YC9-12716
11thWild Card3656Simon LyttonJackie LyttonHayling Island SC79-1116
12thGangsta Paradue3539Dan AlsopJennie KingLyme Regis-128816
13thHot Totty3676Pat BlakeAnna BlakeCookham Reach SC-2251318
14thSnarlier3627Dan WillettPete NichalsonBrightlingsea SC16(BFD)521
15thStill Not Over3665Ross JacksonFran GiffordShoreham SC-17131023
16thBack to the Future3583Chris MartinMatt Metcuff-SmithBlithfield SC10-171525
17thTime Zulu3569Duncan BellJon BellHampton SC1114-1825
18thLiguid Dreams3647Hywel PorkinsRachels BosniaHampton SC-20161228
19thSlippery When Wet3693Will RaineyKelly MillerShoreham SC15(BFD)1429
20thParidigm Shift3710Andrew RalphJohn ReesHayling Island SC-23111930
21stPuff the Magic Dragon3641Mark WaterhouseHelen TaylorParkstone YC-18181634
22ndTicket to Ride3689Morgan Bowen-PerkinsHywel Bowen-PerkinsHampton SC-21152136
23rdLight Fantastic3555Tim HarridgeMaria GrayHampton SC19-212039
24thBlue Velvet3645Jeremy DeaconJoanne DeaconCRSC-24202444
25thBluebird3683Mark BanvellLouise JohnsonLymington Town-25222244
26thLivestrong3704Rod PorteousMaureen PorteousHayling Island SC28(DNC)1745
27thBad Wolf3711Richard BiatesChris PowlesHayling Island SC-26232346
28thHeaven Sent3511Andrew MillsLiz WoodsHampton SC-29242549
29thTerrabyte3478Mike PartridgeClaire DavisHayling Island SC(DNC)19DNF50
30thPoint Break3625Richard BramleyTony ChealShoreham SC-27252651

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