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Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Weymouth Sailing Club

by Helen Middleton-Stewart 23 Oct 2012 08:15 BST 13-14 October 2012
Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event at Weymouth © Helen Middleton-Stewart

Weymouth Sailing Club's Craftinsure Silver Tiller event open meeting was hosted this year on the 13th and 14th of October. Despite an unpromising forecast twenty three Merlin's entered the event of which eight were local Weymouth boats.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, the brisk gusty wind causing several capsizes in the first race, even amongst the lead crews. The race officer - Adrian Patterson - had to use the black flag to ensure a clean get away after wind shifts at the start line contributed to an initial general recall. After a poor start Tom Stewart and Steve Hall (3733) battled their way up the fleet to win the first race. In second place were Simon Potts and Oli Wells (3723), chased hard by Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines (3703) who after rounding the first leeward mark in 22nd position made a magnificent recovery to finish third.

The start of the second race was a challenge for the race committee, with wind shifts of 30 degrees resulting in relaying of the windward mark, and also for competitors, a capsize during the start sequence adding to the excitement! Gusts of up to 30 knots were enjoyed by some of the heavier crews as the boats just flew down the reaches, but the challenging conditions led to several Merlin's retiring to the harbour. There was little place changing with Simon Potts and Oli Wells (3723) having their best race of the weekend and leading the race from start to finish, followed by Tom Stewart and Steve Hall (3733), and in third place David Hayes and Jonny Ratcliffe (3734).

Sunday saw more sunshine and lower wind strength of 8 to 10 knots, though still with huge shifts.

In Race 3 (after the second general recall of the weekend) Tim Fells and Chris Downham (3727) came in first, followed by Mike and Jane Calvert (3691) second, with again Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines (3703) in third.

The start of Race 4 and the well behaved fleet were away on the first gun eliciting a complement from 'Paul at the pin' for the "first class boat handling in the last few seconds". Excellence in reacting to the shifts on the windward legs finally led to the first victory of the weekend for Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines in 3703, closely followed by Mike and Jane Calvert (3691) with Tom Stewart and Steve Hall (3733) coming in third.

The last race of the weekend saw a very keen start with 4 boats over the line on the gun- only three of whom returned to re round. As the fleet powered off up to the windward mark the sun and the gusty conditions continued to tax the competitors throughout. Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines again finished first, making this their second win of the event. Olly Turner and Alex Warren (3656) came in second, having their best result of the weekend. Third were Mike and Jane Calvert (3691) a fine result considering the lead they gave the fleet after being rather too keen at the start!

The clear winners of the weekend were Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines (3703) from Parkstone/Brightlingsea with a fine two first places, capping an excellent weekend of racing enjoyed by all.

Thanks must go to the race team - who had more than a little challenging weekend themselves - and also to everybody else involved working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the meeting was a success.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
13703FaithlessRichard WhitworthSarah BinesParkstone/Brightlingsea3‑53118
23733The DarksideTom StewartSteve HallNorthampton SC1243‑610
33691Quick FixMike CalvertJane CalvertAxe YC‑7622313
43723Revenge Of The SithSimon PottsOli WellsBlithfield SC/Northampton SC21‑84815
53727FragileTim FellsChris DownhamHayling Island SC44110(DNF)19
63734The Black BoatDavid HayesJonny RatcliffeHayling Island SC10356(DNF)24
73658BernardChris JenningsAlly MartinBurghfield9‑1075425
83729ShabazzleJon TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis11867(OCS)32
93656Wild CardOlly TurnerAlex WarrenStarcross Yacht Club‑1512109233
103563LeaderSam PascoeMegan PascoeWSC8‑11118734
113676Hot TottyTim HarrisonFrances GiffordRanelagh SC‑187913938
123634Ministry Of PleasureBen ArcherChris GouldParkstone/Midland12‑131211540
133711SeawolfDavid LeeDan NewmanStarcross Yacht Club69‑16151141
143641Puff The Magic DragonMark WaterhouseClaire LangholtParkstone5‑1614141043
153400DangerbatJames Middleton‑StewartNix Middleton‑StewartWSC16‑1913121354
163467Twice ShyMike FenwickPenny FenwickWSC13(DNF)15181258
173471SavageMark BuglerRima BuglerWSC1717‑18161464
183543Storm CloudAlex Green WSC(DNF)1421171668
193307Arfur DaleyRobin Clifton Dey WSC19(DNF)17191570
203448Custers Last StandTerry CurtisJo CurtisWSC211519DNF(DNC)76
213573Rong NumberSimon BondAnna BondPapercourt Sailing Club1418(DNC)DNCDNC80
223516Ticket To HeavenPhil AshworthAlison AshworthWSC(DNF)DNF20201780
233626Business As UsualAndy HayCelia RushtonStarcross Yacht Club20DNF(DNC)DNCDNC91

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