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Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller open meeting at Starcross Yacht Club

by Dave Lee 22 May 2013 22:51 BST 18-19 May 2013

A fleet of 25 Merlins made the journey to Starcross YC despite the weekend forecast jumping between gale force winds, flat calm and pouring rain in the preceding week. In the end it was 'alright on the night' (or day) with a calm Saturday morning and brief postponement giving way to a perfect if shifty northerly breeze and plenty of sunshine.

Race 1 got away cleanly on a windward/leeward, with the early leaders appearing to come out of the right. Those on the left suffering from the recurring issue of finding the bottom due to the relatively small tide for this year's event. At the finish Matt Biggs / John Hackett pipped Nick Craig / Alan Roberts, with Starcross YC sailor Olly Turner crewed by Alex Warren rounding off the podium.

The breeze perked up further for the second race, and with a change of course to triangle/sausage some great - if short - reaches were to be had. Again the early leaders appeared from the right, though each beat appeared an extreme game of snakes and ladders that reshuffled the fleet. Nick & Alan took the gun, followed by Jon Gorringe / Toby Lewis with Olly & Alex showing great consistency with another third.

Sunday dawned overcast, with a much steadier northerly that started to fade as start time approached. A couple of recalls and a black flag were needed to curb the enthusiasm of the fleet. When the start eventually got away it was a port tack drag race with those on the left getting a little more pressure. Unfortunately as the next run progressed the breeze faded completely, and then returned from the south west, causing the race to be abandoned.

Having reset the course to the new breeze the committee got another race away in the gentle south-westerly flow. Matt & John manage to pick their way back through the fleet after an indifferent first beat to take another gun, followed by Alex Jackson / Fran Gifford and Mike & Jane Calvert. Nick / Alan & Olly / Alex both struggled to escape the midfleet in the light conditions and recorded a 10th & 12th respectively.

With the cut-off time approaching some had taken the opportunity to head in, but the committee was keen to give the fleet another race if possible. In the end a race was started but abandoned on the first run when a protest was lodged that the committee had exceeded the cut-off by a minute or two (depending on whose watch you were using). Thus the results from the three races stood giving Matt & John a well deserved win, followed by Nick & Alan and with Alex & Fran pipping Olly & Alex on countback.

Many thanks to the sponsors of the Silver Tiller series, Craftinsure.

Overall Results:

PosSail noClubHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1st3743Blithfield SCMatt BiggsJohn Hackett1‑412
2nd3749Frensham HaylingNick CraigAlan Roberts21‑103
3rd3707Shoreham SCAlex JacksonFran Gifford4‑626
4th3656Starcross YCOlly TurnerAlex Warren33‑126
5th3712Parkstone YCJon GorringeToby Lewis52‑67
6th3691Axe YCMike CalvertJane Calvert7(DNF)310
7th3745Hayling Island SCSteve CockerillSarah Cockerill6‑7410
8th3610Midland SCRichard DeeChris Gould‑125510
9th3716BlithfieldSteven LeneyGillian Leney‑168715
10th3641Parkstone YCMark WaterhouseNicola Bass‑119817
11th3580Starcross YCMike MackieTina Mackie8‑12917
12th3688Hampton SCBen HollisLivvy Bell910‑1119
13th3645Weir Wood SCPaul JenkinsPeter Jenkins1014‑1524
14th3711Starcross YCDavid LeeJuliet Pealing‑21111425
15th3626RYAAndy HayNix Middleton‑Stewart‑20151328
16th3613Starcross YCTim LawsDan Newman1513‑1628
17th3721Starcross YCNick TurnerCarly Gurr1416‑1730
18th3713Starcross YCSteve HarlingEleanor Thomas‑18171835
19th3634Parkstone YCBen Archerjosh Bolton1719(DSQ)36
20th3628Starcross YCRobin CharlesClare Boston‑19181937
21st3729Lyme RegisJon TurnerRichard Parslow13(DNS)DNS40
22nd3693Starcross YCColin LeeDavid Parry2320(DSQ)43
23rd3576Starcross YCVyv GameMike Tucket2221(DSQ)43
24th3660Starcross YCJohn BuckleyBen Buckley2422(DSQ)46
25th3585Hayling Island SCMike PartridgeClaire Davis(DNS)DNSDNS54
25th3624Starcross YCJohn Woolnough (DNS)DNSDSQ54

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