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Helming to Win by Nick Craig
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Selden Merlin Rocket Nationals at Lyme Regis Sailing Club - Day 6

by Tim Fells 31 Aug 2012 18:59 BST 25-31 August 2012

So to the final day and a much anticipated show down between the defending Champions Taxi and Tom Pygall and the 2010 Champions and Olympic Silver Medalist Stu Bithell and Christian Birrell. Both were tied on 8 points but Stu and Christian had no discard having retired from race 5. This set the scene for Taxi to do a job on them in the same way as he did so devastatingly in 2011 when Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson were his victims.

After the breezy week the fleet has enjoyed / endured, conditions for the final day were benign with a crystal clear morning showing the full arc of Lyme Bay in all its glory. What wind there was came and went in patches and for a while it was questionable if the race would get away. However, as if on cue, the much maligned Lyme sea breeze made a welcome appearance and the fleet lined up in a Southwesterly Force 2.

Taxi and Tom had no problem finding Stu and Christian hiding in fleet due to the leaders wearing bright yellow jerseys which were probably visible in Portland. Stu managed to wriggle free of Taxi's trap but the start was recalled so the game was played out again, this time under black flag. Stu managed to avoid being pushed over but there were some prominent names on the naughty board.

Third placed John Gorringe and Toby Lewis pulled the trigger a little early by the committee boat to pick up their second BFD of the week and ruin what was a very promising series. Also picking up their second BFD were Ben and Roz McGrane, winners of race 5. Geoff and Graham also were BFD but could afford a discard.

The final start was committee boat favoured and Taxi pushed Stu / Christian away down the line. Ultimately this was to Stu's favour as the breeze went hard left half way up the beat and he was able to round in 4th with Taxi / Tom about 10th. From this point on there was little Taxi could do. Stu set off in pursuit of his uncle Richard Whitworth crewed by Sarah Bines who had a commanding lead. Ultimately they just came up short and despite Taxi / Tom blasting the last run in the building breeze they could only make it up to third behind Stu / Christian.

Overall, the level of performance shown by the leading two teams in dominating such a star studded fleet was something special. Stu / Christian regained the title they held in 2010 with a score line of 1,1,1,2,5 to narrowly beat the 2011 champions Taxi / Tom who scored 2,2,2,2,3. Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson rounded out a high quality top three overall.

Lyme Regis Sailing Club have put on a fantastic week for the Merlin Rockets. Despite challenging conditions the racing has been superb and Jerry Rook and his race and rescue teams deserve the highest praise. For a small club an event of this size was a real challenge but they have delivered a week that will live long in the class's memory. Thanks!!!

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Merlin Rocket nationals then fill in your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubFounders raceBeechers CupClye QuaichWest Country TrophyRanelagh TrophySilent World TrophyPts
1st3742 Stuart BithellChristian BirrellHollingworth Lake SC/Leigh and Lowton SC1151(DNF)210
2nd3684Keyser SozeAndy DavisTom PygallBlithfield SC/WhistableYC22-322311
3rd3736MetachrosisGeoff CarvethGraham WilliamsonHayling Island SC43765(BFD)25
4th3703FaithlessRichard WhitworthSarah BinesParkstone YC/Brightlingsea SC71199-13137
5th3732 Dave WadeBen RaynerNorthampton SC/Yorkshire Dales108-2839838
6th3738Super Fast JellyfishSimon BlakeAlex JacksonShoreham SC9104417-2144
7th3733The Dark SideTom StewartSteve HallNorthampton SC656-16161649
8th3685The Black PearlWilliam WarrenChris RobinsonShoreham SC247-3078551
9th3670Filthy/GorgeousAndy TunnicliffeBruce DeppeRoyal Windermere YC11413-22101452
10th3722StealthMatt BiggsBen HollisBlithfied SC15131187(BFD)54
11th3691Quick FIxMike CalvertIan GarwoodAxe YC161416(DNF)6456
12th3650HeadcaseRichard AdamsChris GouldMidland SC126-1810111857
13th3729ShabazzleJohn TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis SC13-301211121765
14th3727FragileTim FellsChris DownhamHayling Island SC/Salcome YC51817-24141266
15th3735The Clone WarsDavid WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake SC171214-2720770
16th3723Revenge of the SithSimon PottsHolly ScottBlithfied SC199-2115182081
17th3724SublimeMartin JonesVicky JonesHayling Island SC23(BFD)2019221195
18th3656Wild CardOlly TurnerRichard CainStarcross YC22231517-291996
19th3712Oakey DokeyJohn GorringeToby LewisParkstone YC3(BFD)1134BFD102
20th3739DoryBen McGraneRoz McGraneNetley SC8(BFD)851BFD103
21st3627SnorterDan WilletPete NicholsonBrightlingsea SC-252024202522111
22nd3693Slippery when WetWill RaineySophie MackleyShoreham SC21162714(DSQ)35113
23rd3690General LeeAndy DalbyPhil DalbyHampton SC-382225231528113
24th368Still Not OverJohn PinkEd ClaysonHill Head SC4015(DNF)37196117
25th3675 Nick CraigJames C StewartFrencham Pond SC(DNF)BFD1012313119
26th3563LeaderSam PascoeMegan PascoeWeymouth SC2621-39183323121
27th3676Hot TottyTim HarrisonFrancis GiffordRanelagh SC27273232-369127
28th3661Shmoozie BlueGraham ScroggieBen ScroggieParkstone YC-322923212432129
29th3740Why AskPatrick BlakeJilly BlakeCookham Reach SC3017293421(BFD)131
30th3658BernardChris JenningsLiese ScottBurghfield SC2925-35312324132
31st3728Volsci QueenJudith MasseyOliver WellsHayling Island SC18(BFD)63283410153
32nd3539Gangsta ParadiseDan AlsopJenny King-M RookLyme Regis SC3124482530(BFD)158
33rd3641Puff the Magic DragonMark WaterhouseClaire LangholzParkstone YC3332312935(BFD)160
34th3696Tiger TigerAlan WarrenWilliam CarrollShoreham SC28(BFD)33352838162
35th3730Blood Sweat & BeersPaul HollisAlex WarrenBlithfield SC39-4140332730169
36th3731MayhemAndy JonesMaddy JonesParkstone YC34313430-4140169
37th3741Bear NecessitiesSimon LyttonJackie LyttonHayling Island SC201926(DNF)DNF27173
38th3651JupiterColin BrockbankMartin HughesWembley SC(DNF)3338493126177
39th3711SeawolfDave LeeDan NewmanStarcross YC-413641403233182
40th3633Chill OutDave BurseyFrances LovellParkstone YC43344538(DNF)25185
41st3672Bola BolaJohn CooperBen JonesWhitstable YC36533626(DNF)42193
42nd3617Nearly All OverTom ChadfieldAndy ChadfieldBlithfield SC37-5042443734194
43rd3716Carbon FootprintSteve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield SC443537(DNF)DNS15212
44th3697Too Dark 'N' StormyRichard PageLizzie DalbyHampton SC4539444743-52218
45th3657RevolutionAnthony LoftsFrancesca LoftsRNSA/SYC-564443434246218
46th3707Monkey BusinessJon IbbotsonM.J.GiffordRanelagh SC14(BFD)19DNFDNF29224
47th3557Out Of The Blue 2Callum MackenzieRory MackenzieOgsten SC48(BFD)53364641224
48th3700BrazilianPhil EmeryKaren EmeryWhitstable YC352649(DNF)DNF36227
49th3721HighlanderNick TurnerCarly GurrStarcross YC49-5858463948240
50th3710Paradigm ShiftAndrea RalphJohn ReesHayling Island SC(DNF)40DNF414039241
51st3547Moondance AssasinTim MaleRebecca MaleBlithfield SC60375048(DNF)49244
52nd3643MoistTim HarridgeBen HarridgeHampton SC47(BFD)DNF502647251
53rd3577NostradormouseDerek DaviesAnnabelle Ransom-WilliamsExe SC54475445(DNF)51251
54th3559Smart CookieL.ToshJoe ToshUpper Thames SC53(BFD)47563858252
55th3634Ministry of PleasureBen ArcherHugo PullenParkstone YC5243595545(BFD)254
56th3645Blue VelvetIan SharpsEllie MartinBurghfield SC(DNF)BFD2242DNS31257
57th3626Business As UsualAndy HayCaroline HayStarcross YC-645661544444259
58th3619Dark 'N' StormyGuy BrowneTommi CluleyTrent Valley SC6254465149(RAF)262
59th3668Urban WarriorMark SmythJemma HorwoodWembley SC61465759(DNF)45268
60th3713Duck and DiveSteve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross YC574555(DNF)DNS37275
61st3683BluebirdMark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town SC514852(DNS)DNS43275
62nd3511Heaven SentAndrew MillsEllie MillsHampton SC(DNF)6364584853286
63rd3681Midnight FlightDouglas MaxwellBeate PohlerWembley SC-666056605062288
64th3628Trigger HappyRobin CharlesWilliam WinterStarcross YC55515153(DNS)DNF291
65th3569Time ZuluJames WarrenDuncan BellHampton SC(DNF)526252DNF55302
66th3583Back to the FutureChris MartinTom DunneBlithfield SC4228(DNF)DNFDNSDNS313
67th3371Encore FumeePaul DeanNicki Della PortaWembley SC6959(DNF)5747BFD313
68th3632Wild KnightMarcus RobGraham WebbCookham Reach SC635760(DNF)DNS57318
69th3734The Black BoatDavid HayesJonny RatcliffeHayling Island SC(DNF)BFD2DNFDNFDNS326
70th3692NemoRien ZilvoldJulie NuttallWhitstable YC4638(DNF)DNFDNFBFD327
71st3613Two Red HerringsTim LawsScott HamptonStarcross YC50(BFD)DNF39DNSDNS332
72nd3402Hot GoblinRobert KennaughAbi SpurrMidland/Blithfield SC(DNF)42DNFDNSDNS50335
73rd3625Point BreakRichard BramleyGeorge WarrenShoreham6855(DNF)DNFDNS57342
74th3510Crazy DiamondMike RaineJaney HillRudyard Lake SC5849(DNF)DNFDNSBFD350
75th3629Zero GravityPeter BrowneDave CTrent Valley SC6761(DNF)DNFDNS60350
76th3604Aunt FannyStuart GurneyPhillipa DanielsLyme Regis SC59(BFD)DNFDNFDNS54356
77th3529Pass The ParrotJohnathan EdwardsJustin EdwardsShotwick Lake6562(DNF)DNSDNSDNS370
78th3587 Chris IlesKathy IlesLocks SC(DNF)DNFDNFDNFDNS59383
79th3574Holy GrailJohn DonoghueMichael AireyLlandegfedd(DNF)DNFDNFDNFDNF61385
80th1074DoodahRichard StevensAnya DaviesRNSA(DNF)DNFDNFDNSDNS63387

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