Please select your home edition
Edition
Craftinsure 2012

Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Event at Hampton Sailing Club

by B Archer 1 Oct 2013 22:10 BST 22 September 2013

Sunday the 22nd September was the second day of the ever entertaining Hampton Merlin weekender. Saturday was the turn of the vintage Merlins racing for the De May series and Sunday was for the Thames Series and was this year part of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller circuit.

For many of those who had enjoyed the legendary Hampton hospitality on the Saturday night, Sunday morning looked even bleaker than it did for those who hadn't. A fine drizzle with only an occasional wind flurry to disturb the otherwise smooth river was what met us as we rigged. Fortunately tea and bacon butties were on hand to help with the hangover as we sat out the half hour postponement implemented by the RO.

To the surprise of many a race was attempted after this time. Racing was to be in flights, with the 22 boats split into 4 groups. International judge, Chris Simon had manfully agreed to umpire the event, with special emphasis on rule 42 infringement and we expected him to have a busy day.

The first flight to start were so surprised to be racing that only one boat got to the line, which saw that start pushed back to after the second flight. Several boats were caught over the line. Duncan Bell and Alice Markham followed closely by Ben Hollis and Caroline Croft pulled away from the rest of the bunch. Ben and Caroline managed to slip past to take the win after completing only 2 laps.

The first flight which started second got away cleanly, only to sit waiting for the wind for several minutes. Phil Dalby and Alex Jackson managed to pick up a faint zephyr on the Surrey side and edged away from the stationary crowd to a commanding lead. However, Rob and Hattie Cage in their beautifully restored Adur 7 were not going to give up, it took them a lap and a half, but they reeled in and passed the leaders to take the win.

After lunch, a reduced fleet took to the water, to enjoy the best breeze of the day, however it was still very light. In the first flight, Phil/Alex made a good start and led at the windward mark, Ben/Caroline chased hard for the first part of the race but fell back, leaving Phil/Alex to win the race. Olly Turner and Alex Warren squeezed past Ben/Caroline to take second place.

The second flight saw a contest between Rob/Hattie and Stuart and Imogen Jenkins, the battle of the father/ daughter teams. Stuart/Imogen were never able to get ahead of Rob/Hattie, meaning that they now had two wins under their belt, which put them in a strong position going into the final race.

By race three more competitors were watching from the club balcony than out sailing. The first flight saw Rob/Hattie in a close race with Ben/Caroline, who were neck a neck on the final short beat to the line, but it was Rob/Hattie who got their bow ahead for the win.

Stuart/Imogen picked up some good pressure on the right hand end of the second start, they soon were too far ahead for anyone to catch. Three boats raced for second Andy Dalby and Andrea Ralph, Duncan and Harriet Salmon and Phil/Alex. Duncan/Harriet snuck through on the run to clinch second and Alex bribed Phil with beer to retire.

Not everyone's idea of a great sail, but the race team did amazingly well to get three races in and Rob and Hattie Cage left happy. We all enjoyed the Hampton hospitality, laid on by a team of willing Hampton members. Special mention also goes to Olly Turner, who towed his boat all the way from Exeter to be there.

Prize winners:

1. 1692, Rob Cage/Hattie Cage
2. 3560, Stuart Jenkins/Imogen Jenkins
3. 3688, Ben Hollis/Caroline Croft
4. 1761, Phil Dalby/Alex Jackson

Related Articles

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
Merlin Rocket eSailing Spring Series Championships
The first (and hopefully the last) eSailing event of the Merlin season The Merlin Rocket Class eSailing Spring Championships saw 46 people enter in what would be our first eSailing event of the season (or in fact ever). Posted on 1 Jun
Merlin Rocket 'Rockatross' Walk-Throughs
By Vangin' On! and Andy Rice at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 Charlotte Fildes takes us through the various features found on the Rockatross Merlin Rocket, with a full and comprehensive fit-out by Allen Brothers, spars from Selden and a shiny suit of North Sails. Posted on 4 May
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 3
From Gerston to the finish line This third and final article about fast track sailing in the Salcombe Estuary follows a part of the Salcombe Yacht Club race track that can be very challenging for certain sets of conditions. Posted on 1 May
The latest ideas in the Merlin Rocket fleet
One member looks at how to bring his older boat up to the latest spec I bought a very tired Winder Mk 4 in 2017. I spent two years racing after I had restored her to a race worthy condition, all the time discussing with my crew what we would like to do to improve her when the time was right. Posted on 21 Apr
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 2
Getting into and out of the 'Bag' For many sailors the Salcombe estuary "Bag" is casino lottery sailing, shrouded in mystery and chance, however the regular top sailors seem always to do well here. This is not luck, it is that they have learnt the fast track. Posted on 15 Apr
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 1
Upwind from the start line to Blackstone Having now watched the Salcombe Estuary sailing experts for some time, it has become apparent that for a given set of tidal and wind conditions there are only a limited number of ways to "fast track" around the race course. Posted on 11 Apr
Olympians and UK dinghy champions clash
Bashes and banter in eSailing Demonstration Event We're all stuck at home, we're all itching to go sailing, yet our boats are out of bounds. There was only one thing for it - virtual sailing! Posted on 2 Apr
Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 2
17 visitors to Wembley despite the troubling world situation The second Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event took place on Sunday 15th March 2019. 17 visitors were welcomed, despite the troubling world situation. Posted on 18 Mar
Itchenor Winter Warmer Series round 3
A breezy affair at the end of a weather-hit series The final instalment of the weather-hit Itchenor Winter Warmer series took place on the 7/8 March and was a breezy affair. Posted on 15 Mar