Please select your home edition
Edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90
Product Feature
Rooster SuperTherm Longjohn
Rooster SuperTherm Longjohn

Merlin Rockets at the Peelports Cumbraes Regatta Weekend

by Steve Watson & Andy Johnston 1 Sep 2013 08:15 BST 24-25 August 2013
Peelports Cumbraes Regatta Weekend © Marc Turner / www.pfmpictures.co.uk

We ventured Forth to the Firth of Clyde, reforming Team Green, Steve Watson and ToBi Watson, for the event of the Peelports Cumbraes Regatta weekend. With a diverse mixture of dinghies, cats and yachts, the venue was the lovely Largs Yacht Haven opposite the island of Great Cumbrae. Four races were planned on the Saturday and around the Island race was on the menu for Sunday.

The Scottish Merlin fraternity were using the regatta as a Merlin event, with 5 boats present and a range of designs from an old Smokers Satisfaction through an NSM 4, wooden Canterbury Tales, Let it Ride and a Winder Tales mkIV. There were some boats now living in Scotland that I recognised. "Maid of Ply", no longer brown but a turquoise hue, had been modified by renowned local sailor John Reekie. The mainsheet hoop was out; replaced by centre main and aft traveller arrangement. Also "Gilt Complex" renamed "La Belle Electra", and "Shadowfax" still looking a rock solid Rowsell. MR handicaps were self reported for each boat - interesting!

Competing in the fast handicap fleet, consisting of Merlins, Albacore, Int 14, massive 18 foot skiff with a sale area bigger than Asda, and an assortment of other boats we took our turn in the start sequence. Force 1 to 3 winds, Team Green squeezed in at the committee boat end looking good, strategy well formed, wind shifts registered and frequency noted. The massive skiff cautiously held back, I guess confident that they might catch up! We went right. It was clear that local knowledge was important as John Reekie showed clear supremacy by rounding as first Merlin having gone left, well ahead of the rest of us trailing.

Interesting situation with the skiff at the top mark, hmm! What to do. ToBi, who had actually sailed this craft with helm Craig Hepplewhite suggested prudence about calling for room! Positions were not challenged in the Merlins in the sausage course and it was Reekie, Team Green and Brian Kelly setting the pace. The skiff took first place on the water!

The second race started in much the same way, Reekie and Kelly left side of the beat, both rounding ahead of Team Green. Hectic and close coverage over three laps saw Kelly take the lead down the last run on the windward outside causing Reekie to pull out the stops at the congested mark. Team Green failed to secure an inside overlap at the mark over Kelly but attempted maximum sneakiness down the last leg to the finish. Kelly maintained sufficient speed to take second place, but Reekie prevailed to win.

The third race saw a change in Team Green strategy and the race was Team Green snapping at the heels of Reekie throughout but no breakthrough. Strangely the tide seemed to be flowing the wrong way. Three wins to Reekie.

The fourth race was abandoned and we returned to shore to meet an Optimist full of free beer!

The Sunday race around the Cumbrae islands was not looking good with the early starting yachts looking very slow in virtually no wind. Correction: no wind. Strange for this part of the UK, when the east side was suffering from torrential rain. Sensibly, the Race Committee drew the weekend to close at lunchtime with a regretted abandonment. Team Green went back to the golf course; Tee green.

The Scottish Merlins return to battle at the Marineblast Regatta next weekend, with 6 boats confirmed and another 3 threatening to turn up. 2 new owners have boats for next year, and another 2 are waiting in the wings. The dinghy park was certainly a colourful and interesting place, with plenty of boat chat and admiration from other sailors. For more information visit the Scottish pages of the MR website.

Overall Fast Handicap Results:

1) MR 3525, John Reekie & Andrew Hooton
2) MR 3680, Steve Watson & ToBi Watson
3) Albacore, Richard Downie & Allan Downie
4) MR 3546, Brian Kelly & Lorna Drysburgh
5) 18ft skiff, Craig Hepplewhite, John & Catriona Annan

Related Articles

Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 17
Lymington famously delivers whatever the weather The Craftinsure Merlin Rocket non-flying Silver Tiller circus landed at Lymington Town Sailing Club over the weekend of the 7th-8th September. Posted on 10 Sep
Minima Yacht Club Annual Regatta 2019
A good turnout of 24 boats enjoy some classic river sailing A good turnout of 24 boats, including half a dozen visitors from nearby clubs enjoyed some classic river sailing at Kingston over a weekend with conditions varying from warm sunshine and light airs to lashing rain squalls. Posted on 3 Sep
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 5
Another glamorous day on the water The penultimate day of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships saw another two races and was again a glamorous day on the water. Winds from the SW around 8-12 knots with five degree shifts under mainly sunny skies was the order of the day. Posted on 22 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 4
Proving to be one the best events for many a year The Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships at Looe is proving to be one the best events your correspondent has attended for many a year. Posted on 21 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 3
Can there be advantageous spinnaker rips? It was another sunny morning in Looe with the forecast for a force 3-4 from the South South West. Another glamorous day was in store and so it proved with the first race for the West Country Trophy followed by the main event of the week, the crew's race. Posted on 20 Aug
9th Classic Boat Revival preview
5 races over the 7-8 September in Chichester Harbour This year's Bosham Classic Boat Revival which will be held 7-8 September and hosted by Bosham SC. Last year, the CBR celebrated legendary boat designer Ian Proctor's centenary with over 90 boats participating, across 34 classes from 22 clubs. Posted on 20 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 2
A superb day with sunshine and waves Looe turned on the style for the second day of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships. A force 3-5 from 240 deg with sunshine and waves meant that everyone in the fleet could enjoy a superb day on the water. Posted on 19 Aug
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 1
Great sea sailing with a full social programme at a picturesque venue For their 2019 National Championships the Merlin Rocket's have returned to one of their most popular venues, picturesque Looe on the south Cornwall coast. Posted on 18 Aug
Fantastic diversity in 2019
At the Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals Nearly there. Prize glassware received and checked. Sponsors awards safely received and sorted. Social programme printed and published. Dinghy park pristine and ready for our 65 entrants. Race Management primped and preened ready for the fray. Posted on 14 Aug
Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 16
'Real Sea Sailing' at Shoreham for the fleet The amazing circus that is the Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Series turned up at Shoreham for some 'Real Sea Sailing' on the weekend of August 3rd and 4th. Posted on 6 Aug