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Selden Merlin Rocket Nationals at Lyme Regis Sailing Club - Day 3

by Tim Fells 28 Aug 2012 19:10 BST 25-31 August 2012

After the wet and windy weather that assaulted the Jurassic Coast on Monday, Tuesday brought the complete opposite with the view from the dinghy park reminiscent of the best Mediterranean venues. Wall to wall blue sky, an azure spangly sea and a few white caps greeted the fleet for what was a big day. With the postponed race 2 to be followed by race 3 and with a forecast for South-Westerly F3-4 building to F5, the fleet were prepared for a long and tiring day on the water.

First excitement of the day was to see who was on the naughty board after the obligatory black flagged general recall of race 2. Of the big names on the board, Nick Craig and James Stewart were the most prominent and after their gear failure in the first race are now out of the running.

On the restart, John Gorringe and Toby Lewis led to the first mark followed by Taxi and Tom Pygall. Both had started well near the favoured pin end and led the fleet in from the port side of the beat. At the first gybe John and Toby had a major wobble and giving Taxi and Tom the advantage followed by Stu Bithell and Christian Birrell. The race looked settled with Taxi and Tom building a commanding lead only to bin it at the last gybe mark. Stu and Christian took advantage to take their second bullet with Taxi and Tom recovering to second. John and Toby crossed to silence having jumped the gun so Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson took third.

For race 3 the wind had built along with the sea state to provide wonderful conditions. Again fast out of the pin end were Taxi and Tom who tacked to cross the fleet and led to the windward mark. The first offwind was a run and this kept the fleet very tightly bunched at the leeward mark. Taxi and Tom still led but were hunted down by John and Toby who have excellent upwind speed in these conditions. On the final run Taxi and Tom gybed early and this proved to be a mistake as David Hayes and Jonny Radcliffe took advantage to grab second behind John and Toby. Unfortunately for David and Jonny they have a RTD and BFD in their scoreline so will not be able to convert their speed into a top result.

Also featuring at the front end were Simon Blake and Alex Jackson who achieved the best result to date for the Jo Richards designed 'Superfluous Jellyfish' with fourth place.

Overall Taxi and Stu are drawing a bit clear but there is plenty to play for and a few teams waiting for the discard. The forecast for Wednesday is a fresh SSW which may cause the pitch to be unplayable.

Full results to follow

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