Please select your home edition
Craftinsure 2012

Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Lou Johnson 2 Nov 2017 12:11 GMT 28 October 2017
Taxi and Alex win the 2017 Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series © Lou Johnson

Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club hosted the final Craftinsure Silver Tiller event 2017 on Saturday 28 October followed by a three-course meal, prize-giving for the year, dancing and of course the obligatory going through the port hole - for those who have never been to the club and those who well... like going through!

Before the evening festivities there was work to be done on the water, although it looked as though Andy ‘Taxi’ Davis crewed by Alex Warren had it in the bag, there was one boat of the Chris and Chris (Gould and Kilsby) that could stop the celebrations. Going into the final event, Taxi and Alex were yet to score a restricted result, failing to get a decent one here would mean victory could be snapped away. So, what was going to happen, in 3 races time all would be clear.

On waking at 6am on the south coast, the news came on and amongst other heighten topics one stood out for our reporter and that was the weather… gales in the north. Oh goodie, as we hitch the boat on the back of the car and set off for the 250-mile journey north!

The further north we travelled, the greyer the skies got, and the more the trees appeared to move. On arrival at HLSC, the story was unchanged from this point, outside it was grey and wet, while inside the clubhouse you got the wonderful friendly welcome of the galley team making breakfast and plenty of hot and cold drinks to go around.

Now it was down to business, RO Nick Brook, got the fleet started on time at the bottom end of the lake, with low cloud cover and strong shifty squalls coming through it was a good job we had a lead rib to guide the way as this was round the cans racing.

Race one was a tight fought battle, with eventually local hero Richard Whitworth crewed by Sam Mottershead taking the gun, closely followed by Taxi and Alex in second and, Caroline Croft and Matt Lulham-Robinson in third.

In for the HLSC famous lunch spread with open sandwiches and cakes for all the helms and crews. There was no time to waste as the wind was building and there were still two races to do. Out the fleet went for back to back races. This time the bullet went to Taxi and Alex, second to Chris and Chris, and third to Richard and Sam. The final race of the day, and it all got a bit wetter and a bit windier. From the 24 boats that entered in the morning just 13 would make the finish line of this race. Shifting gusts, lovely long broad reaches in some big puffs saw lots of fast and furious, if not frightening at times, action for those spectating in the clubhouse. The course was shortened to three laps, perhaps this something to do with the car headlights on vehicles as they drove past, who knows? First place went to Sam Pascoe crewed by Rachel Rhodes, getting her first merlin race win, second to Dave and Oliver Winder showing a wide load on flat water in the breeze works well, and third to the Chris and Chris.

Once a shore the party began, as the prize-winners and guests were welcomed in black tie dress to a transformed sailing club, of beautifully laid tables and a glass of prosecco.

There was plenty of evening cheer as Chairman Chris Martin presented the overall series prizes, with Taxi and Alex being awarded the Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2017, along the Grand Slam, the highest place boat over the Silver Tiller, Salcombe Week, the National Championships, and the Inland Championships.

There were a few announcements before the dancing could begin...

Rod Daniel from Craftinsure joined the class for the evening, and was delighted to announce that they would be continuing their support into 2018. Thank you Craftinsure.

Chris Martin announced that the committee intend to award Guy Winder an Honorary Membership to be ratified at the AGM given his services to the class over many years.

Taxi along with thanking the Craftinsure, HLSC for hosting the final event and the fleet for yet another great year thanked Winder Boats, for building him such a great boat 10 years ago that he is still completive today. He did like to highlight that this might not be great for new business, however it should be good for the second-hand boat market.

On Sunday, a few more took to the water, with sunshine and a gentle breeze, from the opposite direction. Taxi and Alex mastered the conditions best to round off a successful weekend (and year) by also winning the Felucca Trophy for both days racing.

Thank you, Hollingworth Lake, it may be a long way from the south coast, but it is always worth the journey.

This concludes the Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series 2017.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoatHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3684Keyser SozeAndy DavisAlex WarrenBartley SC212‑516
2nd3703FaithlessRichard WhitworthSam MotisheadHLSC/Parkstone YC1341‑79
3rd3778Peer PressureChris GouldChris KilsbyMidland/Thames523‑8212
4th3678NoraSteve CrookJane ClaytonHLSC‑124113321
5th3673The OldieCaroline CroftMatt Lulham‑RobinsonBartley SC3‑876521
6th3781The Force AwakensDavid WinderOliver WinderHLSC97(DNF)2422
7th3743Pokin the TurtleMatthew BiggsMary HendersonBlithfield45(DNF)9624
8th3690General LeeTim HarridgeLucy BurnLymington Town SC/Hampton1165‑161234
9th3735The Clone WarsChris DoddsPippa TaylorNottingham/HLSC1011(DNF)41136
10th3615EdgarStuart BatesAndrew HiltonHLSC710‑1311836
11th3679Dads BoatNick HeginbothamLucy HeginbothamHLSC‑1913810940
12th3685The Black PearlWilliam WarrenMaddie AndersonShoreham SC13‑19971342
13th3759Red MistressSam PascoeRacheal RhodesCastle Cove691(DNC)DNC44
14th3791Adley SquatJon GorringeSophieParkstone YC8(DNF)BFD131052
15th3784Strung AlongMark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town Sailing Club1616618(DNC)56
16th3596FreebirdMartin WattsOliver WhiteheadHLSC1514(DNC)121556
17th3539Gangsta ParadiseDan AlsopBen AlsopLyme Regis SC(DNC)1210171958
18th3339Flaming FastTim MaleRebecca MaleBlithfield1717(DNC)141462
19th3603LaidbackLes BithellRosie RichardsHLSC14(DNF)DNF151767
20th3730Blood Sweat & BeersPaul HollisPaula MasonBlithfield201512(DNC)DNC75
21st3695Shiny Happy PeoplePete SlackLydia BarberBlithfield21DNF(DNC)191682
22nd3755Tickled PinkPeter JacksonTom DanielsBlackpool & Fleetwood‑2320DNF212082
23rd3567Fat Boy SlimMartin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield2221(DNC)221883
24th3676Hot TottyFrances GiffordRebecca JonesRanelagh SC1818DNF(DNC)DNC85
25th3792Seas the DayAlistair McDonaldLiz KingBerwick SCDNF(DNF)DNF23DNF93
26th3557Out of the Blue 2Guy WinderJoseph WinderHLSC(DNC)DNSDNC202195
27th2213Crystal BallsIan LaingLynneHLSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNF22103