Please select your home edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

Merlin Rocket Open at Chelmarsh Sailing Club

by Paul Jones 29 Oct 2012 13:54 GMT 27 October 2012
Merlins at Chelmarsh © Jennie Orton

Chelmarsh SC holds its first Merlin Open... ever!

Chelmarsh welcomed the Merlin fleet to their debut event in the Merlin Rocket Midland Series to their picturesque reservoir set in rolling Shropshire countryside a few miles from Bridgnorth.

The welcome was warm but the weather was FREEZING and that coupled with a gusty wind reaching 27 knots at times meant for sailors to dig out the thermals and tune the rig for the "stay upright" setting.

After a slight delay Race Officer Tim Davies set a start line just off the dam wall into the building North Easterly making for a "no capsize or get swept on to the wall" start strategy from the sailors, very wise particularly as some of the fleet looked like they had just rolled out of Winders yard!

Matt Biggs and John Hackett [3743]battled it out with Chris Martin and Rob Kennaugh [3744] for the first few laps until a mistake from Martin allowed Biggs to pull away and increase his lead over the 6 laps eventually taking the gun from Rich Adams and Katie Wright [3650]. Paul Hollis and James Dawes [3730] finished third. A few competitors decided, after taking an early ice bath at the gybe mark, to head for the gourmet lunch on offer in the clubhouse.... another wise decision !

After a thorough warming and the partaking of Chelmarshs' finest offerings the fleet launched again for race 2. A change in course brought the fleet into the relative shelter of the clubhouse shore for the gybe mark which was gratefully appreciated by both competitors and spectators alike. By now Matt and John were getting to grips with both the conditions and Chelmarshs' "little foibles" and took the gun once more. Chris and Rob made no mistake this time to take second with the consistent duo of Paul and James again third.

After taking on more ballast [sorry, cake and hot tea] for race 3 the now weary competitors headed out for the last race, with the wind slightly reduced in strength [so the spectators said, the competitors did not agree!] Matt and John made it a clean sweep, followed in once more by Chris and Rob from Midland. Paul and James again came in third.

So the first ever Chelmarsh Merlin event concluded in what was very testing conditions for the competitors, spectators and race officers alike. A big thank you to all the teams who travelled, the race, galley and rescue team and of course Mike and Karen Whitehouse for suggesting it in the first place!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
13743Matt BiggsJohn HackettBlithfield1112
23744Chris MartinRob KennaughBlithfield4224
33650Rich AdamsKatie WrightMidland2446
43730Paul HollisJames DawesBlithfield3336
53583Colin AndersonSean AndersonRedditch56711
63688Ben HollisPhil "Supercrew" ScottBlithfield651411
73662Mike WhitehouseKaren WhitehouseChelmarsh107512
83612Andy BeardshawCharlie NoakesRedditch98614
93680Steve WatsonPhil HarrisonMidland714815
103567Martin SmithKaren BestonMidland89917
113610Richard DeeChris GouldMidland14141428
113548Kieron MasonBelinda MasonBlithfield14141428
113581Mark ReddingtonColin StaiteBartley14141428

Related Articles

Tamesis Club Merlin Open
Sondown Cup, Southcott Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup up for grabs Saturday 19th September was a busy day for the Merlin fleet with the Sondown Cup, Southcott Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup up for grabs. Posted on 21 Sep
Merlin Rockets at Upper Thames
Including the Spade Oak Bowl trophy race Upper Thames Sailing Club was pleased to host a single day Merlin Rocket De May and Thames Series event on Saturday 12th September 2020. Posted on 16 Sep
Merlin Rockets at Bartley
Wind, sun, great courses and some great sailors Well when it was suggested to me that we ought to run a Merlin Rocket Open and the club were all for it, my first thoughts were what about the Covid situation? Then I thought ok we can put in place safeguards and we had a plan. Posted on 14 Sep
Merlin Rocket Downriver Race at Ranelagh
Putney Embankment to Chelsea Bridge Ranelagh Sailing Club was delighted to welcome 31 Merlin Rockets to Putney Embankment for a glorious race downriver to Chelsea Bridge and back on 6th September. The wind was light on arrival, but the sun shone. Posted on 8 Sep
Minima Annual Regatta
First club in this neck of the Thames to hold a regatta during COVID The turnout for Minima's 2020 Regatta was good with 22 sails, bearing in mind that many double-handers are off the water due to social distancing. Minima is the first club in this neck of the Thames to actually hold a regatta in the year of Covid-19. Posted on 7 Sep
Merlin Rockets at Lymington
The spirit of the Merlin Rocket Sailor - what the pandemic hasn't changed Back in January the Merlin Rocket class announced their Silver Tiller dates for 2020, Lymington Town Sailing Club, was set to host the class on 29th and 30th August, and they did just that. Posted on 2 Sep
Merlin Rocket Inaugural Itchenor Intergalactics
A four-day extravaganza for the class! On 8-11 August, Itchenor SC ran the inaugural Itchenor Intergalactics. The aim was to merge the best of Salcombe Merlin Week and the Nationals in one four-day extravaganza! Posted on 16 Aug
Merlin Rocket Inlands Cancelled
It's all about 2021 (says hoping!) Following the cancellation of the Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships and the Craftinsure Silver Tiller, the Merlin Rocket Owners Association Committee today announces the cancellation of the only remaining Class organised event of 2020. Posted on 14 Aug
Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller 2020 announcement
Craftinsure Silver Tiller not to be awarded this year for the first time The Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller was first awarded in 1950, and for the first time in the history of the class, it's with great reluctance that the M.R.O.A. Committee has decided not to award the Craftinsure Silver Tiller in 2020. Posted on 3 Aug
Gregory's Ghost
David Henshall's search for a rare 1960s dinghy has a happy ending Hailing from the early 1960's, the Ghost was a stretched out development of designer Greg Gregory's race winning Cherubs that carried more than a touch of the southern hemisphere in the rig. Posted on 3 Jun