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Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Ranelagh Sailing Club

by Nick Price 17 Nov 2011 07:38 GMT 13 November 2011
18 boats take to the Thames at Putney © Nick Price

On a beautiful November day 18 boats took to the Thames at Putney for the 61st RTYC Merlin Open. 9 home boats were joined by 9 visitors from 7 other Clubs, for the final race of the 2011 Thames series which had started at Ranelagh back in April.

With a F2 ESE wind, the start was the usual Ranelagh running start towards Hammersmith to a mark on the Surrey bank opposite Crabtree. With some congestion and a light wind at the leeward mark, there was an opportunity for places to be gained but the first 4 boats were round and clear before the rabble arrived.

With 2 loops of the course to complete on that stretch of the river and then a return to the Putney, changes were occurring throughout the fleet, as first one boat would get some wind then another. At the front, Elusive, Birthday Suit and General Lee were fighting hard, these 3 pulling out a gap from Flying Wild, Tiersel and Flinkydink. In the fleet places were also changing constantly, hitting a mark and re-rounding could cost you 6 or 7 places, if the wind dropped at the wrong time.

After nearly 90 minutes of sailing, last year’s winners, David Vines and Fran Gifford, took the bell to be followed home 3 minutes later by Ranelagh Rear Commodore Christopher Edwards and Una Hodgkins. Andy Dalby and M Gray were less than a minute behind while Mike Stephens and Nicky Erskine Tulloch took 4th from Michael Gifford and Rebecca Johnson, who held off a charging Pat & Jilly Blake by just 19 seconds.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoatHelm / CrewClubTime
13347ElusiveDavid Vines / Fran GiffordTamesis15.13.55
23073Birthday SuitChris Edwards / Una HodgkinsRanelagh SC15.17.32
33690General LeeAndy Dalby / M GrayHampton SC15.18.8
41097FlinkydinkMike Stephens / NickyTamesis15.24.23
51944Flying WildMJ Gifford / Rebecca JohnsonRanelagh SC15.26.39
6901TiercelPat & Jilly BlakeCookham Reach SC15.26.58
73702Salmon en CrouteDuncan Salmon / Harriet SalmonWembley SC15.28.34
82744Phantom SpinnerTim Harrison / Anna MarriottRanelagh SC15.31.2
92406Merlins MoonJon Ibbotson / Nikki BanksRanelagh SC15.35.30
103637DeliriumAlan Broadbent / Russell HallWembley SC15.41.3
112997Cream CrackerJon Steward/ Nick YannakoyorgosFishers Green SC15.42.27
123422Just PractisingMartin Wollny & NatalijaRanelagh SC15.45.26
131993JokerChris Whitehouse / Dennis LongRanelagh SC15.50.33
14214DiaboloNick Price / Paolo WollnyRanelagh SC15.53.2
151189PoohBen Marshall / Sel ShahThames SC15.58.6
163106EurekaBrian Clarke / James HaywardRanelagh SC16.1.29
rtd3316Hurricane BettyAllan Munroe Faure / Calum MFSouth Bank SCrtd
rtd2848AnarchyChris Gould / Sophie PickfordRanelagh SCrtd

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