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Rowsell Sails Merlin Rocket Travellers at Tamesis Club - Week 4

by Chris Balmbro 30 Jan 2012 20:13 GMT 29 January 2012

With the forecast promising a distinct comedown from the previous week's mighty conditions, it was perhaps predictable that only 4 teams braved the chilly Thames for the first race of the fourth week of the Rowsell Sails Tammy Travellers Series. However, the longer format race was contested by 15 boats – particularly impressive as 2 teams of Travellers stalwarts were on race and launch duties.

Race 7

As the teams lined up for the start of the shorter format race, the north-easterly wind was looking promising and the Merlins made good progress downstream to the first mark, set within sight of the clubhouse before heading back up to the Canbury mark set downstream of Stephens Eyot. Wisely, Race Officer David Baker had set a short course and the wind shut down during the second lap to slow proceedings to a crawl. Despite the odd puff, it was pretty painful stuff and the longer format race had to be postponed to allow the competitors in the first race to finish.

Mike Stephens and Sel Shah, sailing Mike's vintage Merlin took the lead on the first lap and never looked in danger of relinquishing it once the wind died.

Race 7 Results:

1st Mike Stephens and Sel Shah – Flinkidink (1097)
2nd Ken Duffell and Brian Corking – Harry (3599)
3rd Rupert Fletcher and James Berry – Omega (1605)
4th Chris and Suzy Balmbro – Bad Company (3062)

Race 8

The longer race saw a slight extension of the course but racing was still within sight of the clubhouse throughout. Occasionally the wind filled but still it was very much a day for the light wind experts. Richard Harris and son Harry were the cream of the crop and were comfortably in front of Mike Stephens at the gun.

Special mention goes to Club Harbourmaster and recent Merlin convert Richard Howells and his crew James Malseed who completed their first race of the winter.

At the half-way point of the series Mike Stephens is in prime position but there are a number of competitors who, if they set the alarm clock early enough to race the first race each Sunday, could challenge Mike for the Travellers crown.

Race 8 Results:

1st Richard Harris and Harry Harris – Passing Cloud (1079)
2nd Mike Stephens and Sel Shah – Flinkidink (1097)
3rd David Vines and Sophie Vines – Elusive (3347)
4th Andy Harris and Katie Cruickshank - Shenandoah (3088)
5th Peter Mason and Richard Mason – Bambusa (847)

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