Please select your home edition
Edition
Craftinsure 2012

Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Whitstable Yacht Club

by John Cooper & Andy Dalby 26 Jun 2012 14:28 BST 23-24 June 2012

With 45 knots of breeze blowing across Whitstable Bay on the Friday and with more to come forecast, it wasn’t surprising there was a reduced entry of 24 boats for Whitstable Yacht Club’s annual Silver Tiller meeting.

Despite having to run the racing from a RIB, following the sad loss of the club committee boat in a storm, Jon Silk and his race team were determined to get two races in on Saturday. A rather nervous fleet launched into a solid Force 5, gusting 6. With Salcombe Week only two weeks away boat and body damage was to be avoided and several crews elected to stay ashore.

Andy Dalby takes up the story and tells it from his point of view...

RACE 1:
  • Dave Hayes forgot his mainsail so went back to get it! Some people will go to amazing lengths for a 3DL (new technology sail)
  • Tough to work out which way the wind was going to veer. The fleet were initially driven left which didn’t pay. Unusually at Whitstable, those that went right gained but playing the shifts seemed to be the key. Andy “Taxi” Davis rounded first followed by Tom Stewart and then us. Judith Massey was in the mix with Will Rainey and Dave Winder. The first reach was tight with the tide – not all could hold kites.
  • There was significant carnage at the first and subsequently every gybe mark - the chop made gybing difficult as the main was powered up through the gybe!
  • On the second reach Taxi had spinnaker problems and dropped places. Tom Stewart lost it and spun out for a big swim but we (Andy & Phil Dalby) managed to keep it together to the end of the race to take the win. Sailing deep on the runs with the tide was advantageous.
In between races:
  • Dave Hayes arrived with mainsail.
  • I fell out of the boat – long swim trying to get back in within the 5 minutes.
RACE 2:
  • Off the start it paid off for those who went left out of the tide – but the wind was still shifting.
  • Tom Stewart rounded first – can’t remember the rest just concentrating on the blast down the reach and then…
  • Carnage at the gybe mark again – Casualties included Dave Hayes, Dave Winder and us.
  • Taxi’s main halyard failed on second beat.
  • Tom Stewart pulled out a comfortable lead with William Warren, Will Rainey and Judith Massey in pursuit.
  • Dave Winder and the Dalby’s recover to pull back into the race crossing each other up the final beat. Dave Winder does very well to get up into 3rd with a snapped and trailing spinnaker pole.
  • On final run Will Rainey has spinnaker issues which allow the Dalby's through to fourth.

One competitor summed up conditions succinctly – “chuffing windy”. Most people had at least one swim and the relatively light damage (one spreader bracket, one spinnaker pole, a deck sheave and lots of burgees) speaks volumes for the robust construction of the modern Merlin and its rig.

Sunday morning dawned with more of the same and a postponement was signaled. However with over 30 knots being recorded on the harbour wall racing was called off for the day. So the winners of the Holden Cup for the Craftinsure Whitstable open meeting were Andy and Phil Dalby, their first ever Silver Tiller win. Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor were second overall with William Warren and Chris Robinson third.

The “Man of the Match” award must go to Joe Tosh, aged just 13 years and a day. Crewing for his dad in “Cool Cookie”, he completed both races. Well done Joe!

The Silver Tiller series results so far are updated after each event on the MROA website. After 12 events, the leaders are Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis in MR3712.

Overall Results for Whitstable:

PosSail NoNameHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
13690General LeeAndy DalbyPhil DalbyHSC145
23735The Clone WarsDavid WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake SC235
33685The Black PearlWilliam WarrenChris RobinsonShoreham SC628
43733The Dark SideTom StewartSteve HallNorthampton SC819
53693Slippery When WetWill RaineySophie MackleyShoreham SC5510
63728Volski QueenJudith MasseyOli WellsHayling Island SC4913
73658BattoChris JenningsLiese ScottBurchfield7815
83732 Dave WadeBen RaynerNorthampton SC11718
93555Light FantasticTim HarridgeJames WarrenHampton SC91120
103559Smart CookieLawrence ToshJoe ToshUpper Thames SC121426
113484Lounge LizardNeal GibsonKeith MaleyRedoubt SC131326
123684Keyser SozeAndy DavisTom PygallBlighfield SC/WYC3DNF28
133734 Dave HayesJonny RadcliffeHayling IslandDNC631
143736 Geoff CarvethGraham WilliamsonHISCOCS1035
153676Hot TottySimon BlakeAlex JacksonShoreham SC10DNF35
163692NemoRien ZivoldSteve GreyWYCDNF1237
17=3645Blue VelvetJeremy DeaconJoanne DeaconCookham Reach SCDNFDNC50
17=3672Bola BolaJohn CooperHilary BradshawWYCDNCDNC50
17=3740Why AskPat BlakeJill BlakeCookham Reach SCDNCDNC50
17=3687 Allan JacksonAlice Brotchie DNCDNC50
17=3700BrazilianPhil EmeryKaren EmeryWYCDNFDNC50
17=3618Easy RiderAndy KerrGareth HallBewl Valley SCDNCDNC50
17=3604Aunt FannyStuart GurneyPhilippa DanielsBognor Yacht ClubDNCDNC50
17=3731MayhemAndy JonesMadie JonesParkstone SCDNFDNC50

Related Articles

Gregory's Ghost
David Henshall's search for a rare 1960s dinghy has a happy ending Hailing from the early 1960's, the Ghost was a stretched out development of designer Greg Gregory's race winning Cherubs that carried more than a touch of the southern hemisphere in the rig. Posted on 3 Jun
Merlin Rocket eSailing Spring Series Championships
The first (and hopefully the last) eSailing event of the Merlin season The Merlin Rocket Class eSailing Spring Championships saw 46 people enter in what would be our first eSailing event of the season (or in fact ever). Posted on 1 Jun
Merlin Rocket 'Rockatross' Walk-Throughs
By Vangin' On! and Andy Rice at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 Charlotte Fildes takes us through the various features found on the Rockatross Merlin Rocket, with a full and comprehensive fit-out by Allen Brothers, spars from Selden and a shiny suit of North Sails. Posted on 4 May
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 3
From Gerston to the finish line This third and final article about fast track sailing in the Salcombe Estuary follows a part of the Salcombe Yacht Club race track that can be very challenging for certain sets of conditions. Posted on 1 May
The latest ideas in the Merlin Rocket fleet
One member looks at how to bring his older boat up to the latest spec I bought a very tired Winder Mk 4 in 2017. I spent two years racing after I had restored her to a race worthy condition, all the time discussing with my crew what we would like to do to improve her when the time was right. Posted on 21 Apr
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 2
Getting into and out of the 'Bag' For many sailors the Salcombe estuary "Bag" is casino lottery sailing, shrouded in mystery and chance, however the regular top sailors seem always to do well here. This is not luck, it is that they have learnt the fast track. Posted on 15 Apr
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 1
Upwind from the start line to Blackstone Having now watched the Salcombe Estuary sailing experts for some time, it has become apparent that for a given set of tidal and wind conditions there are only a limited number of ways to "fast track" around the race course. Posted on 11 Apr
Olympians and UK dinghy champions clash
Bashes and banter in eSailing Demonstration Event We're all stuck at home, we're all itching to go sailing, yet our boats are out of bounds. There was only one thing for it - virtual sailing! Posted on 2 Apr
Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 2
17 visitors to Wembley despite the troubling world situation The second Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event took place on Sunday 15th March 2019. 17 visitors were welcomed, despite the troubling world situation. Posted on 18 Mar
Itchenor Winter Warmer Series round 3
A breezy affair at the end of a weather-hit series The final instalment of the weather-hit Itchenor Winter Warmer series took place on the 7/8 March and was a breezy affair. Posted on 15 Mar