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Allen Brothers Merlin Rocket Nationals at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Louisa Archer 8 Sep 2011 09:56 BST 21-26 August 2011

The Championships began quietly this year on Hayling Bay with 59 boats in attendance, fourteen of which were members of our host club HISC. It soon proved controversial to the point of no return off the water, with a surge of excitement mid-event that built up throughout six days of great racing on the choppy Bay. It was the HISC members Geoff Carveth and his crew Graham Williamson who showed off their knowledge of these waters by taking the first two races on Sunday and Monday.

Race one started on a light to moderate wind; Carveth took the more desirable right off the line, taking the advantage over Andy Davis (Taxi) and crew Tom Pygall and holding the lead to the end. John Gorringe with his crew Toby Lewis came third. Race two gave the competing fleet a South Easterly, 10 – 12 knots with boats packing the line for a right handed beat, but the left hand side paid for Carveth who narrowly made the first mark first ahead of David Winder and crew Pippa Taylor, he gained momentum down the reaches, Winder celebrated a second. Chris Downham crewing Tim Fells kept Taxi and Simon Blake at bay to take third place.

Black Tuesday loomed with a dying north easterly and only 10 knots on the start gun, and fading to very little for race number three. Young Blake, light on his feet with crew Alex Jackson took off with a quick start, closely pursued by Taxi, this continued throughout the race. Taxi got a first, Blake came second and Carveth crossed in silence. Tom Stewart and Steve Hall took third. Carveth protested the decision on appeal and was given average points, not the reinstatement he had gone for.

Wednesday, race four, was the first good day with a nice 15-18 knots of breeze from the Southwest with the sun putting in an appearance to try to coax a somewhat deflated fleet out of their dark cloud… of ten black flags the previous race. John Turner in his revolutionary new boat 3729, Shabazzle with his crew Richard Parslow, led at the mark. They were soon overtaken by Fells, Taxi, Carveth and Tom Stewart who all enjoyed an amazing race with never more than a couple of boats length between them. Carveth took first place with Taxi second and Fells third.

Thursday was a windier day for race five with 20 knots blowing from the Southwest. Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe were fast out of the blocks and led the fleet for the whole race taking first place, Stewart second and Harvey Hilary helmed by Richard Peacock took third position.

Race six the final on Friday and the decider in what had been a week of primeval protest and ritual competitiveness, had the sun shining down at the start in 5-10 knots in a south westerly puff of air. Martin and Vicky Jones of HISC built up a big lead at the line, but Fells and Downham chased down to take them on the very last tack. These commendable boats with jubilant crews took first and second places respectively and all the while behind them some commendable action was taking place as Taxi engaged Carveth in a match race to try to sail him outside the top 30 boats, which would give him (Taxi) the win overall.

The decision taken by the race committee in the protest room had Carveth stumped for his win for had he been reinstated he would have kept his third position which would have kept him in the points to win. Despite this he can be quoted as saying, “I certainly enjoyed sailing the Merlin Rocket for the first time at a championships, especially the long traditional style of racing, the winner did what he had to do to win, but it’s not necessarily the way I would’ve done it.” Taxi aka Andy Davis said, “for me it was great sailing against such good sailing talent in a tough week on the water - it was good as I knew things would be close, but not that close.”
N.B. A later appeal saw the results changed again, several months later. See below.

The famous Holt Plate, awarded at the Merlin Rocket Nationals for the personal handicap trophy, was as hotly contested as the main champs, with several leaders through the week, but Martin and Vicky Jones from HISC won, with Guy Browne and Tommi Cluley from TVSC second closely followed by Simon and Jackie Litton from HISC.

Thanks to Tim Fells for the report on racing and to Hayling Island sailing club for a most enjoyable and memorable championships. The sponsors Allen Brothers, Winder Boats, Speeds Sails, Goacher Sails and P&B.

More photos by Chris Bashall can be found here.

Results as originally published:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st3684Andy DavisTom PygallBlithfield SC24125-3814
2nd3652Geoff CarvethGraham WilliamsonHISC11RDGa14-3715.8
3rd3701Tom StewartSteve HallNorthampton SC-105342620
4th3727Tim FellsChris DownhamHISC83-1538123
5th3712Jon GorringeToby LewisParkstone YC3-10997432
6th3703Richard WhitworthEllie BremmerHollingworth Lake SC76(BFD)116535
7th3670Ian DobsonAndy TunnicliffeRoyal Windermere YC4111471-1537
8th3662David WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake SC112(BFD)1412342

Post-appeal results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st3684Andy DavisTom PygallBlithfield SC24125‑3814
2nd3701Tom StewartSteve HallNorthampton SC‑105342620
3rd3727Tim FellsChris DownhamHISC83‑1538123
4th3712Jon GorringeToby LewisParkstone YC3‑10997432
5th3703Richard WhitworthEllie BremmerHollingworth Lake SC76(BFD)116535
6th3670Ian DobsonAndy TunnicliffeRoyal Windermere YC4111471‑1537
7th3662David WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake SC112(BFD)1412342
8th3652Geoff CarvethGraham WilliamsonHISC11(BFD)143744
9th3728Judith MasseyOlly TurnerHISC‑209518101254
10th3691Mike CalvertIan GarwoodAxe SC5‑22617131455
11th3722David HayesJonny RatcliffeHISC67723(DNC)1356
12th3698Rick PeacockHarvey HillaryBartley Green, Itchenor‑2916161331159
13th3656Simon LyttonJackie LyttonHISC9198‑2415960
14th3724Martin JonesVicky JonesHISC‑3217101520264
15th3610Richard DeeChris GouldMidland SC151211‑19141769
16th3729Jon TurnerRichard ParslowBeer SC1318208‑252584
17th3693Will RaineyKelly MillerShoreham SC17234‑26222187
18th3718David SayceFiona SayceHISC12141837(DNF)788
19th3676Patrick BlakeJilly BlakeCookham Reach SC30281212(DNC)890
20th3690Andy DalbyP DalbyHampton SC2324(BFD)10112997
21st3539Dan AlsopSophie MackleyLyme Regis1613(BFD)34181697
22nd3707Simon BlakeAlex JacksonShoreham SC18(DSQ)2516BFD101
23rd3716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield SC24201322‑2826105
24th3685William WarrenChris RobinsonShoreham SC(OCS)8BFD6927110
25th3660David LeeTim LawsStarcross SC26‑3125212120113
26th3700Phil EmeryKaren EmeryWhitstable YC222619‑322423114
27th3731Andy JonesMaddie JonesParkstone YC211530‑333119116
28th3730Ben HollisJohn HockettBlithfield SC‑392522201934120
29th3635Mike StephensMatthew Perrigrine‑JonesTamesis Club343617‑492918134
30th3710Andrea RalphJohn ReesHISC143234‑383231143
31st3661Graham ScroggieBen ScroggieParkstone YC3133372517‑44143
32nd3651Colin BrockbankHarriet BrandtWembley SC273536‑393022150
33rd3665Ross JacksonJames WarrenShoreham SC38‑4426362328151
34th3569John BellDuncan BellHampton SC4134272726(DNC)155
35th3726David HitchcockChris Hitchcock/Jill HItchcockHISC33392140(DNS)24157
36th3719Mike PartridgeClaire DavisHISC25432835(DNF)30161
37th3704Rod PorteousMaureen PorteousHISC3637353027‑43165
38th3696Alan WarrenWilliam CarrollShoreham SC(OCS)21BFD28DNF10179
39th3573Simon BondAnna CarrRYA‑484724413533180
40th3626Andy HayJoanna MarlowStarcross SC424233‑453632185
41st3634Ben ArcherChris WhitehouseParkstone YC3738(BFD)293747188
42nd3673Chris PowlesGiles BroughtonHISC35452348(DNC)39190
43rd3653David McGregorFreddie McGregorHISC4430(BFD)423442192
44th3647Hywel PerkinsRachel DobrijevicHampton SC43‑4838433335192
45th3725Ossie StewartChris AllenHISC2829(BFD)16DNCDNC193
46th3692Marinus ZilvoldJulie NuttallWhitstable YC40402944(DNF)40193
47th3708Laurie SmartKeith CallaghanFelixstowe Ferry SC1927(BFD)31DNFDNC197
48th3711Richard BatesJeremy WilliamsonHISC45493150(DNC)36211
49th3619Guy BrowneTommi CluleyTrent Valley SC475039‑514041217
50th3697Richard PageLizzy DalbyHampton SC465146(DNC)4145229
51st3683Nigel BrookeSuzie BrookeRoyal Southern YC51413246(DNF)DNC230
52nd3632Marcus RobbGraham WebbCookham Reach SC50‑5341533950233
53rd3706Kevin AndersonSadie AndersonHampton SC495243(DNC)4249235
54th3577Derek DaviesLiz WoodsExe SC53464047(DNC)DNC246
55th3625Richard BramleyAlex WarrenShoreham SC52544552(DNF)46249
56th3529Jonathan EdwardsJustin EdwardsShotwick Lake SC56‑5848563853251
57th3442Chris IlesKathy IlesLocks SC54564254(DNS)48254
58th3555Stuart JenkinsSuzy BellHampton SC(DNS)554455DNF51265
59th3491Stephen StoreyEllie LyttonHISC55574757(BFD)52268

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