Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden

Selden Merlin Rocket National Championship at Penzance - Day 1

by Tim Fells 14 Aug 2016 21:11 BST 14-19 August 2016

The first day of the Selden Merlin Rocket championships at Penzance dawned to wall to wall sunshine and a nice Easterly breeze. As the morning heated up, the breeze started to die and a pale imitation of a sea breeze started to emerge from the South.

The PRO, keen to get his first races under his belt, summoned the fleet to the bay. With the lightest of breezes established from 230 degrees, a practice race started at the fourth attempt and Pat and Jilly Blake rolled back the years to lead from start to finish.

The first championship race started at the first attempt with the fleet much better behaved under the U flag. The breeze had pulled 15 deg left, meaning those who started near the pin and managed to get onto port early were immediately in the driving seat. Stu Bithell and Tom Pygall made it to mark one in the lead from Caroline Croft and Bekka Jones.

The next three laps were pretty tortuous with reaches that were so tight as to be marginal three-sailers, beats that were full of holes, and a run which had to be sailed as two tight reaches to keep the boat moving.

Stu and Tom continued to stretch away, while Andy 'Taxi' Davis and Alex Warren climbed steadily towards the front. However, the race team still had some cards to play and determined, contrary to the sailing instructions, that the windward mark needed to be rounded to port on the final beat to the line. This resulted in a number of the leaders being advised, contrary to the rules of sailing, to turn around and go back down the course.

The finishing order, absent of outside assistance, was Stu and Tom, Taxi and Alex followed by Caroline and Bekka getting their first ever podium. Solo star Mike Simms with Richard Brown secured a strong fourth ahead of Jon Gorringe with Tobytastic Lewis and Nick Craig with Alan Roberts. 1st, 5th and 6th were all told to go back!

So, the clubhouse is currently seeing protest forms flying around like confetti and the protest team look like they will have a long and challenging night resolving what results, if any, should stand.

Update: Following a difficult day at the office, the race committee has abandoned race one which will now be scheduled to be re-sailed later in the week. Conditions for race two today look perfect with a building ESE and clear skies. Good enough to put a smile back on everyone's faces.

Related Articles

Merlin Rockets at Brightlingsea
30 boats for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller series event Thirty Merlins made the journey to Brightlingsea for the Crafitinsure Silver Tiller on the weekend of the 9/10 June. Posted on 12 Jun
'The Rockets' take on keelboat racing
At the Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship On Saturday 2nd June, six female Merlin Rocket sailors assembled on the pontoon outside the Royal Southern Yacht Club, having entered themselves in the Dubarry Womens Open Keelboat Championships. Posted on 12 Jun
Merlin Rocket River Championship
A long association with Bourne End Week The Merlin Rocket Class has a long association with Bourne End Week but it was only in 1995 that the Merlin Association and Upper Thames Sailing Club incorporated the Week as the River Championship. Posted on 4 Jun
Merlin Rockets at Midland
Wind gods obey orders eventually Midland Sailing Club welcomed fifteen visiting boats from as far as Axe and Wembley to join their home fleet at Edgbaston reservoir on Sunday 20th May for the Midland Craftinsure Silver Tiller. Posted on 24 May
Merlin Rockets at Plas Heli
Wall to wall sunshine in Wales Another fantastic weekend sailing at the Plas Heli Welsh National Sailing Academy for the visiting Merlin Rockets who were making their third visit to the site in 12 months. Posted on 17 May
PODD 2018 Preview
7th year of Paignton Sailing Club's flagship event for double-handed dinghies 2018 will be the 7th year of Paignton Sailing Club's flagship event for double-handed dinghies: PODD. This is the only BIG event in the south-west for all double-handed monohull dinghies with a PY of 1200 or lower. Posted on 16 May
Merlin Thames Series at Ranelagh
Bright and sunny day in Putney graced by Kate The flurry of activity of the arrival of visiting Merlins for the second Thames Series event of the year, amongst multiple rowers genuinely embracing the lightness and brightness of the day could have been construed as disorderly chaos. Posted on 14 May
May Bank Holiday Sun Fest at Salcombe
Open Meeting for Yawls, RS400s and National Twelves and more! Sun-drenched Salcombe celebrated a truly amazing three days over the May Bank Holiday with Club racing, an Open Meeting for Yawls, RS400s and National Twelves together with a Merlin Rocket sailors wedding and a Town Crab Fest. Posted on 8 May
Merlin Rockets at Aldeburgh
Bracing Siberian breeze fails to put off 24 travelling boats for Craftinsure Silver Tiller event There is literally nothing more refreshing than a weekend on the East Coast in a Northerly breeze and rain that varies between not very heavy, heavy and very occasionally not raining at all. Posted on 1 May
Merlin Rockets at Starcross
Fog like a scene out of Pirates of the Caribbean Starcross Yacht Club welcomed 26 teams early on 21 April. For those who haven't been fortunate enough to visit, you will find this little gem of a club in a stunning setting on the Exe estuary accessing it by a small tunnel! Posted on 26 Apr