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Merlin Rocket Open at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Ally Martin 8 Aug 2016 12:38 BST 6-7 August 2016

From the outset, even midweek, Shoreham was looking like it was going to deliver exactly what the fleet needed the weekend before the Nationals. At the request of the class association, Alan Chaplin PRO put on six short, sharp races full of close racing, thrills and spills!

Both days gave the fleet fantastic sailing conditions, 15+ knots, beautiful waves, perfect reaches and (mostly) glamorous sunshine.

Saturday saw both of the fleets boat builders showing off their ships, with Jon Turner and Richard Parslow and Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor both leading multiple races. The days line honours were eventually shared by Simon Potts and Ally Martin and Nick Craig and Tobytastic Lewis, proving the design of the boat doesn't matter quite as much as what you do with it in the shorter races!

The dick of the day award goes to the group of six boats who got themselves disqualified on the last run of the day by sailing through the finish line. This was discussed in the detail as not acceptable by the PRO at the briefing. Nice work Winder, Turner, Warren, Gould, Greenfield and Stockbridge! Who would think Richard Parslow was capable of such a thing?!

In addition to the traditionally excellent sailing provided, the just as traditionally lovely evening of BBQ, egg throwing and beer followed the racing. Birthday girl Lou Johnson 'smashed' the egg throwing, and was rewarded with a lovely bottle of Rose for the pleasure! Thanks to the Shoreham locals for manning the bar and keeping us well hydrated.

Sunday arrived with slightly less glorious sunshine and with a forecast of up to 25mph there was a little less excitement for the day. Thankfully Alan set perfect courses which made for another day of great racing. Simon and Ally enjoyed themselves a little too much on Saturday evening so called it a day after race five, giving Nick and Tobytasitc the opportunity to win the weekend if they could pull off a win in race 6. Unfortunately for them, they appeared to be tied to Ben and Roz McGrane at a distance of seven boat lengths behind, so it was not to be. The other races were won by Ben and Roz and Dave Hayes and Jonny Ratcliffe. We haven't seen much of these two boats this year, but unfortunately for everyone else, that doesn't seem to have affected their speed much!

In the hunt for illustrious title of first Shoreham boat, Sophie Mackley and James Warren reverted to sabotage. After a good first beat on Sunday morning Will Warren and Mark Oakey pulled off a great gybe at mark 2, to find that there was no longer anything holding up their mast, as the port shroud gave way. Thankfully, ninja quick reactions from Mark in getting the kite down meant the mast stayed in the sky, but they were heading home for early showers. This left only two more Warrens for Sophie and James to beat. Alan and Bill put up the best fight, by finishing all the races, with quote of the week coming from Salcombe winning crew Alex Warren, who was helming his first open meeting. The phrase 'it's not as easy as it looks' described his weekend! So the honours went to Sophie and James who put in a solid series to finish 9th overall.

Thank you very much to all of the members of Shoreham Sailing Club for putting on such a great weekend.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stMockingjay3777Simon PottsAlly MartinBurghfield14152(DNS)13
2ndMessy Monty3776Nick CraigTobytastic LewisFrensham Greenfield‑51343213
3rdDory3739Ben McGraneRoz McGraneNetley9‑11221115
4thShiny3770David HayesJonny RatcliffeHayling Island‑62515316
5thWild Card3656Olly TurnerGraham SextonStarcross‑77734526
6thBlue Velvet3645Steve HallSimon HaightonBurnham‑105476426
7th 3758Tim SaxtonJodie GreenBurghfield/Itchenor121361211(DNC)54
8thBernard3658Chris JenningsPete HurnBurghfield48(RET)1010DNC59
9thBlack Pearl3685Sophie MackleyJames WarrenShoreham14‑16131313659
10thFragile3727Mark StockbridgeNeil DaviesRanelagh1318(DSQ)147759
11th 3773Alan WarrenBill CarrollShoreham15159‑1712859
12thThe Phanton Menace3611Jenny DoddsChris DoddsNottingham19128169(DNC)64
13thThe Force Awakens3781David WinderPippa TaylorHollingworth Lake26(DSQ)6RETDNC68
14thPanther3774Jon TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis33(DSQ)8DNCDNC68
15thMellow Yellow3687Matt GreenfieldBeka JonesChew Valley119(DSQ)1116DNC74
16thPeer Preasure3778Chris GouldCaroline CroftBlithefield(DNF)14DSQ98DNC85
17thTiger Tiger378XAlex WarrenAlex JacksonShoreham1817(DNF)1514DNC91
18thMoist3643Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town16221018(DNC)DNC93
19thRobert3756William WarrenMark OakeyShoreham810(DSQ)RETDNCDNC99
20thMinistry of Pleasure3634Richard CoulterChris HillFishers Green25(DNF)141915DNS100
21stRed Wizard3682Jon StewardAnnabel StewardFishers Green212012(DNC)DNCDNC107
22ndBang Tidy3648Antonia WrightJamie WrightShoreham222111(DNC)DNCDNC108
23rdWhy Ask3740Pat BlakeJill BlakeCookham Reach1719(RET)DNCDNCDNC117
24thPoint Break3625Richard BramleyTony ChealShoreham2323(DNS)DNCDNCDNC127
25thWild at Heart3709Tom LonsdaleAlice MarkhamUTSC20(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNC128
26thBluebird3683Ben JonesHelen HilditchShoreham24(DNS)DNCDNCDNCDNC132

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