Please select your home edition
Edition
Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Parkstone Yacht Club

by Ben Archer 19 Oct 2011 09:30 BST 16 October 2011

The 26 boats that travelled to the penultimate open meeting in this iconic race series, which, incidentally Britain’s top dinghy sailors have fought over since 1950, were greeted with the beautiful sight of Poole harbour on a sunlit, misty morning. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t a breath of wind. After an hours postponement was all it took, however, and the slick PYC race team headed up by PRO Barry Rolfe got the fleet away with only one general recall, when a fitful force 1-2 filled in from the west-north-west.

A tight three lap triangle-sausage-triangle course meant that the fleet remained bunched in the first race, not even the leading group really got clear. Despite this Jon Gorringe with crew Toby Lewis stamped their authority on the fleet with a win, but even they were tested by conditions and very tough competition; both Matt Biggs/Ben Hollis and William Warren/Sophie Mackley pressed him to the finish. Andy Jones (with Ceilidh Higgs) confirmed he has put the wilderness years behind him. Showing his true form, he put in an excellent start and first beat to round the windward mark in pole position. Sailing well, he finished fourth despite continued pressure, but unfortunately he failed to capitalise on this result in the next two races.

Race two was sailed in similar conditions, but a shifty breeze with large holes in it meant for a real Salcombe-style snakes and ladders racing. Only ‘Mr Consistency’ Jon Gorringe made it to the podium from the original top three, with Andy Davis/Ellie Bremmer romping into first despite a disappointing start. Local hero Richard Whitworth, crewed by class chairman Louise Johnson banked a third; leaving it all to do in the last race…

The course for the third race was a classic Parkstone YC harbour tour, and a port biased line created a snarl up at the pin end, with a smart few getting away up at the committee boat. Despite giving away lots of distance, they stayed in clean air up the first beat then the wind stopped after the leading bunch rounded the second mark, with a lucky 10 boats managing to round the mark and get away whilst the rest of the fleet sat waiting for the wind.

The long run from Piccadilly down to Drakes was very one sided, and those who took the Island side lost out to those soaking low and staying out into the harbour. William Warren who led from the start won this race and achieved a second overall position. He was followed in by a newcomer to the fleet, I14 hero, Sam Pascoe, storming along and proving at once his own ability and the durability of the modern Merlin to finish 11th overall at his first Silver Tiller open Meeting, in his 12 year old boat.

Andy Davis scraped a third, hotly pursued by a pack that was lifted all the way up to the finish when the tide created an apparent wind bend. But it was not enough to stop Jon Gorringe taking his first Parkstone Merlin open.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoatHelmCrewClubR1R2R3TotalPts
1st3712OAKEY DOKEYJON GORRINGETOBY LEWISPARKSTONE YC12‑14173
2nd3685BLACK PEARLWILLIAM WARRENSOPHIE MACKLEYSHOREHAN SC3‑61104
3rd3684KEYSER SOZEANDY DAVISELLIE BREMMERBLITHFIELD SC‑1513194
4th3703FAITHLESSRICHARD WHITWORTHLOU JOHNSONPARKSTONE YC‑834157
5th3718MISS AIGLETINGERDAVID SAYCEFIONA SAYCEHAYLING ISLAND SC54‑6159
6th3702SALMON EN CROUTEDUNCAN SALMONJACK SALMONWEMBLEY‑12552210
7th3722STEALTHMATT BIGGSBEN HOLLISBITHFIELD2‑15133015
8th3729SHABAZZLEJON TURNERRICHARD PARSLOWPARKSTONE YC6‑11102716
9th3693SLIPPERY WHEN WETWILL RAINEYKELLY MILLERSHOREHAM SC9‑1372916
10th3539GANGSTA PARADISEDAN ALSOPJENNIE KINGLYME REGIS79‑213716
11th372LEADERSAM PASCOETIM RUSHWEYMOUTH SC‑211623918
12th3610NEEDLEMAKERSRICHARD DEECHRIS GOULDMIDLAND‑117112918
13th3731MAYHEMANDY JONESCEILIDH HIGGSPARKSTONE YC417‑204121
14th3634MINISTRY OF PLEASUREBEN ARCHERA BREWERPARKSTONE YC‑171483922
15th3694THE SOUP DRAGONSTEVE TYLERALLY TYLERPARKSTONE YC148‑163822
16th3730BLOOD SWEAT N BEERSPAUL HOLLISJAMES DAWESBLITHFIELD SC13‑2294422
17th3661SHMOOZEY BLUEGRAHAM SCROGGIEBEN SCROGGIEPARKSTONE YC1012‑153722
18th3583BACK TO THE FUTURECHRIS MARTINDAN MORGANBLITHFIELD SC1610(DNC)5226
19th3573RONG NUMBERSIMON BONDANNA CARRHAYLING ISLAND‑1918124930
20th3664BACK IN BLACKANT HACKFORTHHELEN TAYLORPARKSTONE YC18‑20185636
21st3633CHILL OUTDAVID BURSEYFRANCES LOVELLPARKSTONE YC‑2221176038
22nd3641PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGONMARK WATERHOUSECLAIRE LANGHOLZPARKSTONE YC‑2019195838
23rd3655LOOSED CANNONDAVID WILKINSJOSH DACKSPARKSTONE YC‑2323226845
24th3654 STEPHEN BAILEYCATHERINE MILESPARKSTONE YC‑2424237147
25th3681MIDNIGHT FLIGHTDOUGLAS MAXWELLFRAN HEWLETTWEMBLEY SC‑2525247449

Related Articles

Merlin Rockets at Whitstable
23 boats enjoy sunshine for Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 1 The weekend of the 5th and 6th June saw 23 Merlin Rockets descend on Whitstable Yacht Club for a glorious weekend in the sunshine for the first Craftinsure Silver Tiller of 2021. Posted on 8 Jun
Merlin Rockets at Medley
First Race to the Trout Inn The Merlin Rocket De May Vintage & Thames Series made its first visit to the picturesque Medley Sailing Club, perched on the banks of the River Thames above Oxford. Posted on 18 May
Merlins at Parkstone
A fresh to frightening south-westerly forecast Parkstone Yacht Club welcomed the Merlin Rocket Class for an open meeting on Sunday 16th May 2021. The forecast was a fresh to frightening south-westerly with frequent rain showers to wash the salt out of our eyes. Posted on 18 May
Bartley Merlin Rocket Open
First event in the Midland Circuit 2021 A heavy wind was forecast for the Bartley SC Open meeting on Sunday 9th May, the first event in the Midland Circuit 2021. The duty officer Steve Ward and Fleet Captain Mark Reddington stood strong and ran back-to-back races before and after lunch. Posted on 13 May
Getting set for Poole Week 2021
Having had to take a year out, Poole Week is back this August! Sponsored by Bournemouth Digital, Poole Week is one of the country's most popular sailing weeks for dinghies and small keelboats, offering friendly yet competitive racing, great social events and much more. Posted on 6 May
Merlins at Ranelagh
The first event in the 2021 Thames Series Far outweighing the joy of the long awaited ending of lockdown, and the re-opening of pubs was the thrill and anticipation of the first Ranelagh Sailing Club Merlin Rocket open meeting of the year. Posted on 30 Apr
Merlins renew sponsorship deal with Craftinsure
Long-standing support as Silver Tiller series title sponsor The Merlin Rocket Owners' Association is delighted to announce the continued support from Cratinsure, as it prepares for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2021. Posted on 25 Apr
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Open
A very healthy fleet of 32 teams on an insanely beautiful spring day Salcombe Yacht Club, despite the privations of the recent past, has been lucky to host the Merlin Fleet as one of the last official events of 2020 and for SYC, the first permitted in 2021. Posted on 20 Apr
Vintage Merlin Rockets at Fishers Green
13 boats of 7 different designs take part After some deliberation whether to hold the De May vintage Merlin open, the decision was to go for it, offering the use of an outside toilet (no clubhouse access permitted) plus a very pretty venue. Posted on 13 Apr
The Missing Foils?
Development continues on 1967 Chippendale Merlin Rocket I've been thinking about fitting foils to my 1967 Chippendale Merlin Rocket for some time since the class changed the rules in a bold initiative last year called "Levelling Up - Let the Development Continue!". Posted on 1 Apr