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Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller event at Weymouth Sailing Club

by Mike Fenwick 3 Sep 2013 22:38 BST 31 August - 1 September 2013

26 Merlins arrived at Weymouth Sailing Club for what turned out to be a splendid event in the Craftinsure Silver Tiller series, over a weekend that started the club's week-long centenary celebrations.

Saturday's two races were sailed in a gusty Force 4 North Westerly blowing off the land giving large shifts and differences in pressure.

In Race 1 Jon Turner/Richard Parslow established a lead from Dave Hayes/Jonny Ratcliffe and Richard 'sailing with the stars' Whitworth/Sophie Weguelin. After a poor first beat Ben Sexton/Chris Grube showed incredible speed to storm through to second by the end of the 4 lap race.

The shifting wind conspired to make a very port bias line for Race 2. Most of the fleet tacked immediately on to port at the gun much to the surprise of a cruising yacht which suddenly had the whole fleet heading its way. The main tactical decision on the first beat was which side of the TS Pelican square rigger to go as it made its way across the course. Turner/Parslow, Chris Jennings/Ally Martin and Dave Winder/Pippa Taylor led the 'take it to starboard' option and rounded the windward mark in that order.

Once again, the Sexton/Grube Speed Machine carved their way through the fleet to produce a real ding dong battle with Turner/Parslow. Slightly heartening for the older sailors in the fleet was that experience triumphed over youth with the great Shabazzle taking the win with Winder/Taylor third.

On coming ashore, the fleet were rather chuffed to be given tea and cakes by the beachmaster at the top of the slipway.

Several boats joined the fleet for the Sunday to contest for the Silver Tiller event. A windless start caused a postponement before a 10-14 knots Westerly arrived but with large shifts and erratic strength.

Race 3 saw the left side of the course pay handsomely with Whitworth/Weguelin in Faithless and Hayes/Ratcliffe in The Black Boat rounding the windward mark with a comfortable margin over the rest of the fleet which they extended to the finish. Matt Biggs/John Hackett secured third ahead of a battling pack, taking advantage of the reaches set to make heavy crews happy and to weaken the resolve of the lighter ones.

Race 4 is a bit of a mystery to your correspondent who forgot to get his head out of the boat and subsequently missed every opportunity presented his way. However, Hayes/Ratcliffe triumphed ahead of Whitworth/Weguelin and Jennings/Martin.

Nobody was watching the time too closely for the final race, the fleet being keen to get the final race in. Under a black flag the fleet got away cleanly. By playing the shifts on the left, Chris Jennings/Ally Martin in Bernard had a comfortable lead at the windward mark which they maintained to the finish. Steve and Sarah Cockerill, who were getting more in to their stride, battled with Whitworth/Weguelin to the finish, but finally had to settle for third.

And so the event concluded with race officer Adrian Patterson having successfully run all five races in excellent conditions. The top three in the weekend's overall results and the Sunday-only Silver Tiller were the same.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
13703FaithlessRichard WhitworthSophie Weguelin4‑101229
23734The Black BoatDavid HayesJonny Ratcliffe3‑621410
33658BernardChris JenningsAlly Martin‑8463114
43729ShabazzleJon TurnerRichard Panslow11‑106715
53745Where's WoosterSteve CockerillSarah Cockerill657‑8321
63743Pokin' The TurtleMatt BiggsJohn Hackett573‑9823
73684The Clone WarsDavid WinderPippa Taylor7385‑1023
83563LeaderSam PascoeSam Barker109‑114932
93539Gangsta ParadiseDan AlsopJane Calvert914‑1710639
103756RobertWilliam WarrowSophie Mackley1281213‑1445
113688Who Dares WinsBen HollisCaroline Croft(DNC)DNC511548
123675White SaucererMike FenwickPenny Fenwick‑17114171749
133656Wild CardOlly TurnerAlex Warren14‑191471550
143744Mylo XylotoChris MartinNick Copsky111218‑191657
153696Tiger TigerAlan WarrenBill Carroll1313‑19121957
163742Speed MachineBen SextonChris Grube22(DNC)DNCDNC58
173645Blue VelvetPaul JenkinsPeter Jenners151515‑181358
183752The Empire Strikes BackWill RaineyAndy Douglas(DNC)DNC9141262
193641Puff The Magic DragonMark WaterhouseClaire Langholt(DNC)DNC13151166
203594Summit FeverRobin Clifton DeyMichael Clifton Dey161722‑232176
213634Ministry Of PleasureBen ArcherChris Gould181823‑241877
223676Hot TottyFrances GiffordTim Harrison(DNC)DNC16162079
233626Business As UsualAndy HayNix Middleton Stewart(RET)1621212280
243516Ticket To HeavenPhil AshworthAlison Ashworth1920‑25252488
253569Time ZuluDuncan BellAlice Markham(DNC)DNC2020RET93
263448BarbaraSam ThompsonClare Thompson(DNC)DNC24222396

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