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Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Rutland Sailing Club

by Ben Archer 8 May 2014 18:51 BST 5 May 2014

Rutland Sailing club played host to the biggest Craftinsure Silver Tiller open meeting of the year, with 37 boats attending. Managing the fleet was no problem for the excellent RSC race team who, despite the shifty conditions and the keenness of the competitors, got the fleet away promptly for the first start without resorting to the black flag.

Race 1 started in the upper range of a force 3 S/SSE breeze, with stronger gusts making an occasional appearance. Given the shifty nature of the wind, the start line was a perplexing place to be but clearly the excellent Merlin Rocket class training event (run at RSC immediately prior to this open meeting) had paid off for Ben Hollis/Caroline Croft who nailed the start and first beat, leading to the windward mark and holding off the pressing pack headed up by Dave Wade/Tim Huntley and Ben's former helmsman Matt Biggs/John Hackett and the classes training supremo, Richard Whitworth/Alex Warren who arrived in fourth place.

The breeze piped up immediately prior to the second race and teams added more rake and reached for their thinking caps as the shift variance grew alongside velocity. After a general recall the fleet got away clean, not so Hollis/Croft who got buried at the committee boat end when left was the way to go and could do no better than 23rd. Instead, it was Andy Davies/Tom Pygall's chance to shine, popping out from the left to round the windward mark first, by the third leg they had established a 150m lead over their closest challengers Whitworth/Warren, who were pressed hard by 3rd the third place boat of Wade/Huntley, who were sailing a very consistent regatta.

Race 3 came and the wind mellowed slightly, but the snakes and ladders shifts stayed in full effect, and this is when Hollis/Croft got their mojo back to finish in Fourth place, but would it be enough to get them in the chocolates? It was Whitworth/Warren who got the best out of the start this time, but their lead was under pressure until the very end of the race, with Davis/Pygall constantly hunting them down and Wade/Huntley maintaining the position they settled into in the first two races, and ultimately being squeezed off the podium by Hollis/Croft in third overall, Davis/Pygall in second and Whitworth/Warren winning on countback; an exciting end to an excellent days racing at this ever popular venue, there really was no better way to spend this bank holiday.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st3703Richard WhitworthAlex WarrenParkstoneSC‑4213
2nd3684Andy DavisTom PygallBlithfield SC/Whitstable Y.C‑7123
3rd6Ben HollisCaroline CroftRYA1‑2345
4th3761Dave WadeTim HuntleyNorthampton‑3336
5th3735David WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake SC‑10459
6th3743Matt BiggsJohn HacketBlithfield SC2‑10810
7th3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe YC66‑1012
8th3564Rob KennaughRich AdamsMidlandSC58(DNC)13
9th3738Simon BlakeChris KilsbyCookham/Thames95‑1214
10th3610Richard DeeChris GouldMidlandSC8‑12614
11th3759Sam PascoeMegan PascoeWeymouth SC‑1471118
12th3752Will RaineyAndy DouglasShoreham SC‑1313720
13th3744Chris MartinJoe ToshBlithfield SC/Midland/Upper Thames‑2314923
14th3760Mark ReddingtonColin StaiteBartley SC11‑151324
15th3675Mike FenwickPenny FenwickWeymouth SC‑2291625
16th3645Paul JenkinsPeter JenkinsWeirwood SC‑20111526
17th3711David LeeJuliet PealingStarcross YC15‑161429
18th3674Mike AnslowChris WintersMidlandSC1220‑2232
19th3583Colin AndersonSean AndersonReddich SC1618‑2134
20th3716Steven LeneyGillian LeneyBlithfield SC1817(DNC)35
21st3640Pat BlakeJill Blake 1719(DNC)36
22nd3442Mark StockbridgeAlyson RumballRaneleigh SC/R.I.Y.C19‑221837
23rd3682John StewardHarry StewardWembley Sailing Club‑26212041
24th3648Antonia WrightJamie WrightShoreham SC‑31261743
25th3653Andy ChapmanMelissa ChapmanNetley SC24‑251943
26th3518Julian HarmesTimothy HarmesMidlandSC21‑242344
27th3607Mark BuglerRima BuglerWeymouth SC25‑272449
28th358Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield SC27‑322552
29th3713Steve HarlingE ThomasStarcross YC Exeter29‑302655
30th3634Ben ArcherPhillippa DanielsParkstone/Thames SC‑28282755
31st2997Richard CoulterChristian HillFishergreen SC30‑312858
32nd3680Steve WatsonAndrew ProsserMidlandSC‑32292958
33rd3327Peter WainwrightTracy SmithBlithfield SC‑36353065
34th3586K MasonG MasonBlithfield SC3333(DNC)66
35th3476Henry MasonBelinda MasonBlithfield SC3434(DNC)68
36th3441Rob MonberoJessica PankoGrafham SC35(DNC)DNC73
37th3578Brendan O'ConnellJane O'ConnellBlithfield SC(DNF)DNCDNC76

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