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Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Bolton Sailing Club

by Jerry Cahill 2 Aug 2012 17:48 BST 28 July 2012
Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Open at Bolton ©

With a fresh north-westerly (a good wind direction for Belmont reservoir’s complicated geometry) and in bright sunshine Bolton sailing clubs restricted water Craftinsure Silver Tiller event was contested primarily by three visitor boats.

With an unfortunately low turnout of only eight Merlins, the lead position amongst the top three teams changed consistently until the last race, effectively splitting the races in half and leaving the remaining five helms and crews contesting minor places, the Blackpool & Fleetwood boats proving the “best of the rest”.

The courses were set in what for the Bolton contingent were standard offerings, but which for the visitors seemed a trifle confusing with the 'knitting pattern' layout of the marks , so course boats were employed throughout the day to show the way around. In the first race the reaches were rather tight despite the OOD’s best efforts with at least one crew getting a ducking on the first gybe, a leg of the course which proved to be a crucial point of the race in the final outcome! Chris Martin crewed by Rob Kennaugh sailed superbly to take the chocolates for race one.

In the second race the OOD made some alterations to the marks in order to free up the reaches, although unfortunately this brave attempt was to the detriment of the beats which resulted in a somewhat processional fleet as crews fought their way up to the windward mark. Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis stayed upright and afloat to come in winners of race two, leaving the final race of the day to be the decider between the top three.

Race three - and to improve the beats the OOD reverted back with a similar course to Race 1, but it was the first gybe mark that proved the decisive factor in the race with the Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis team taking a ducking! Fighting back manfully tooth and nail they managed to regain a fine third place leaving them on equal points with the Hollingworth pair of David Winder and Pippa Taylor, who sailed excellently to win the event overall by virtue of a last race win.

Of both the Bolton Boats a mention should be made for the young crew of Ruth & Lewis Shevelan who finished all three races in the prevailing conditions sailing Geoff Minns boat 3648. (Geoff unfortunately is semi-retired from sailing). With the wind on the day being just too strong for Ruth and Lewis - who in lighter winds have shown that they can more than hold their own in club events - Ruth was nevertheless awarded a prize for first female helm.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelm NameCrew NameR1R2R3Pts
1st3735Hollingworth Lake SCDavid WinderPippa Taylor‑3213
2nd3722Blithfield SCMatt BiggsBen Hollis‑2123
3rd3583Blithfield SCChris MartinRob Kennaugh1‑334
4th3663BFYCChris HaworthJo Harvey‑4448
5th3579BFYCPeter JacksonAndy Airnes‑55510
6th3593Bolton SCJerry CahillIan Beebe‑66612
7th3648Bolton SCRuth ShevelanLewis Shevelan‑77714
8th3574LlandegfeddJohn DonoghuePeter Mackin(DNF)DNC817

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