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Helming to Win by Nick Craig
Helming to Win by Nick Craig

Merlin Rocket Salcombe Week - Day 1

by Tim Fells 10 Jul 2012 08:34 BST 8-13 July 2012
The new Jo Richards design of Merlin Rocket was seen in public for the first time © Richard Battey

After battling through the floods in South Devon on Saturday the Merlin fleet woke on Sunday morning to blue skies and Salcombe at its beautiful best.

Day 1 Morning – Red versus Green flights

The morning race pitched a number of the favourites against each other. After the obligatory general recall, Tom Stewart and Steve Hall timed a perfect start (although there were suggestions from the watching gallery that Stevie Wonder must be the PRO today) to take a lead which, although briefly passed by Matt Biggs/Ben Hollis, they held all the way round the tour of the harbor until the final stages.

Simon Potts/Holly Scott and Rich Adams/Chris Gould who had been pushing in the top 3 for most of the race jumped Tom and Steve on the final run to Crossways mark. However, although there was only a short beat to the finish, the fat lady had not sung. While Simon/Holly ran out of wind on the Portlemouth shore, Tom/Steve found a big lift and breeze past Batson Creek to pip Rich/Chris by a boat length with Simon/Holly a close third. Matt and Ben recovered from a mid-race snake to find a few ladders back to fourth on the line.

There was a lot of spectator interest in the performance of Simon Blake/Alex Jackson in the new Jo Richards design, but after a poor start they struggled to make much of an impression on the leading groups, so nothing conclusive to report yet!

Day 1 Afternoon – Blue versus Black flights

With the sun still shining and a good southwesterly building the afternoon fleet got off at the first attempt despite having a strong ebb underneath them. There was an individual recall which saw one of the pre-event favourites Jon Gorringe / Toby Lewis returning and subsequently unable to break back through. On the first run back from Blackstone the leaders who took the Portlemouth shore lost out to the town side group with Dan Alsop/Jenny King and Willie Warren/Sophie Mackley leading on the planing reach to Gerston.

The long beat back to Gerston saw some of the heavier teams power through with Mike Calvert/Ian Garwood, Tim Fells/Chris Downham and Dave Hayes/Jonny Radcliffe all having a go in the lead over the next two laps until ultimately finishing in that order with Willie/Sophie fourth.

Results so far

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