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Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Open at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Sophie Mackeley 5 Aug 2013 22:29 BST 3-4 August 2013

The Shoreham Merlin open, traditionally the warm up event for the Merlin Rocket National championships, always a 'proper' sail, always a closely fought regatta, this year's Craftinsure Silver Tiller open meeting did not disappoint in any way.

After a string of truly memorable Merlin events this year Wembley, Salcombe, South Canaervonshire, Hayling Island, Salcombe Merlin week, it's difficult to see how the sailing can just keep getting better and better, and the competition can keep getting stronger and stronger, but it did when 32 Merlin Rockets arrived to glorious sunshine and lifting flags for their annual open meeting over the weekend of 3-4 August.

A strong force 6-7 from the south west kept the competitors ashore for an hour on Saturday, however the wind moderated slightly enabling the excellent race team, headed up by PRO Peter Bennett to bring down the postponement flag.

Huge waves greeted the intrepid teams as they left the sheltered harbour, but the race got under way promptly with Taxi Davies and Tom Pygall leading round the windward mark before they succumbed to the wind and waves downwind. Ben and Roz McGrane took up the mantle showing the fleet some superb boat handling to take the win, closely followed by Jon Turner and Richard Parslow with Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis in third.

With only a few breakages the rest of the fleet enjoyed some spectacular sailing (and swimming) in the extreme conditions, and with the weather due to moderate for Sunday the Race Officer opted for discretion over valour and brought the fleet home after one race. And the fleet had the chance to enjoy the hospitality of this lovely, friendly, Sailing Club

Sunday dawned to another glorious sunny day and a force 3-4 south westerly. Hangovers after a superb curry and late drinking session were soon washed away on the first reach, and again Ben and Roz lead from start to finish, but were pushed hard by Dave Hayes and Jonny Ratcliffe in second and Roger Gilbert and James Stewart in third..

After a slick, quick turn-around race three got underway with William Warren and Chris in their new ship leading at the windward mark, closely followed by Ben and Roz who duly took the lead and the win. Dave and Jonny were second followed by Jon and Toby.

Race 4 and out came the black flag on the second start, well, this is a champs warm up! Ben and Roz nailed the pin end and were off for their fourth victory of the weekend. Second was Jon and Toby and in third Taxi and Tom.

Overall Ben and Roz won all three trophies, for Saturday, Sunday and overall and are looking hot favourites for the Rooster Merlin Rocket National Championships in Tenby starting next weekend. Jon Gorringe and Toby Lewis were second with Dave Heyes and Jonny Ratcliffe third. First Shoreham boat was William Warren and Chris Robinson.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
13739Ben McGraneRoz McGraneNetley Sailing Club‑11113
23754Jon GorringeToby LewisParkstone Sailing Club3‑4328
33734David HayesJonny RatcliffeHayling Island Sailing Club‑102259
43722Roger GilbertJames StewartHayling Island Sailing Club435‑1612
53729Jon TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis Sailing Club2‑77716
63684Andy DavisTom PygallBlithfield Sailing Club‑969318
73703Richard WhitworthSarah BinesParkstone Sailing Club558‑1018
83756William WarrenChris RobinsonShoreham Sailing Club7‑144920
93656Olly TurnerAlex WarrenStarcross Yacht Club‑1886620
103712Ian SharpsEllie MartinBurghfield Sailing Club11‑2010425
113745Steve CockerillSarah CockerillHayling Island Sailing Club6‑15111128
123741Simon LyttonJackie LyttonHayling Island Sailing Club812‑17828
133611Jen TaylorChris DoddsNottingham Sailing Club‑169161540
143752Will RaineyAlly MartinShoreham Sailing Club15‑18151242
153676Tim HarrisonFran GiffordRanelagh Sailing Club1416‑181343
163665Ross JacksonJames WarrenShoreham Sailing Club1313‑221844
173696Alan WarrenBill CarrollShoreham Sailing Club12‑19191445
183690Andy DaloyBen HollisHampton Sailing Club172512(DNF)54
193710Jon IbbotsonSophie MackleyRanelagh Sailing Club‑2017201754
203735David WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake Sailing Club(DSQ)1013DNC56
213658Chrs JenningsOli WellsBurghfield Sailing Club(DNF)1114DNC58
223645Paul JenkinsPeter JenkinsWeir Wood Sailing Club‑2121211961
233627Alex JonesJack DeingCookham Reach Sailing Club(DNC)23242067
243719Jeremy DeaconAndy DouglasCookham Reach Sailing Club(DNC)22272271
253634B. ArcherBecca JonesParkstone Sailing Club22‑26262371
263559ToshJoe ToshUT Sailing Club1929‑302573
273569Duncan BellCaroline CroftHampton Sailing Club(DNF)28232475
283442Mark StockbridgeMatt GreenfiieldRanelagh Sailing Club2327‑282676
293683Ben JonesHelen HilditchTenby Sailing Club(DNS)24252776
303648Antonia BullJamie WrightShoreham Sailing Club(DNS)DNC292183
313625Richard BramleyTony ChealShoreham Sailing Club(DNS)30312889
323652John BellOlivia BellHampton Sailing Club(DNF)DNCDNCDNC99

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