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Merlin Rocket Vintage and Open Meetings at Upper Thames Sailing Club

by Chris Rathbone 5 Oct 2018 11:12 BST 15-16 September 2018
Merlin Rocket September open meeting at Upper Thames © Debbie Kite

Upper Thames Sailing Club held its annual Merlin Rocket Open Meeting on the 15th and 16th September.

This year the event was blessed by both sun and a decent breeze from the South West, shifty without being horrible. The sunny weather brought out a large number of other river users, both motorised and oar propelled and the fleet (with varying degrees of success) navigated around them.

On the Saturday, the event was for the De May Vintage series and ten boats turned out for the first two races, both of which were won by Martin Hunter and Margaretha van Dam on the water and on handicap in their Martine design, Quiver. Pat and Jilly Blake were second in both categories, sailing their Jack Holt Nellie design, Tiercel and John and Dan Meadowcroft were third, sailing Lady Luck, a Proctor XII.

While there was a strong home presence, there were visitors from Cookham Reach, (Pat and Jilly, Martin Evans and Mandy Platts) Thames/Minima (Sel Shah and Sarah Preston) and Hollingworth Lake (Ian Lang and Andrew Hunt). We think they enjoyed themselves...

The third race was for the Spade Oak Bowl and this was opened up to all Merlins, wide and narrow and fourteen boats took to the water. For a time, conditions were perfect but then the wind faltered and the final leg was completed in the lightest winds of the day.

Martin Hunter won again, Pat was second and third was the Outrage design Exequisite of Chris and Katie Rathbone. After racing, the fleet went for tea and retired to the bar, prior to the traditional Merlin feast and a cheese course served on Martin and Margaretha's barge. Afterwards, some brave souls launched into a Dark 'n' Stormy evening in the bar......

On Sunday morning, joined by a further three boats from Lymington, Hampton and an Upper Thames/Hampton entry, racing took place for the Allen Challenge Cup which was three races for the Thames Series. The wind had moved round more to the South and was quite lumpy at times which surprised a few and resulted in the occasional fill up and capsize.

John and Deirdre Bell sailing the Proctor XII Grand Teton, won overall with a first, second and third with Alex Jones and Jack Deung of Cookham second in their plastic Tales (two seconds and a third) and Stuart Jenkins and Nicola Scadden third with a first and two sixths (Passing Cloud design). Martin Evan and Mandy Platts in an NSMI rounded up the prize winners with a third, fourth and an eighth.

For the last race, the race team took the fleet from the club line all the way to the island up near Marlow (probably a mile long beat). The wind decided to increase quite a lot and there were some very happy crews when the race was shortened to two laps...

All in all a great weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

De May Racing Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubPYR1R2R3Pts
1stQuiver774Martin HunterMargaretha van DamUTSC1000‑1112
2ndTiercel901Pat BlakeJill BlakeCRSC990‑2224
3rdLady Luck1477John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftUTSC100033‑46
4thExequisite2266Chris RathboneRathbone teamUTSC9804‑637
5thRapport3247Martin EvansMandy PlattsCRSC99054‑69
6th 1781Mark AddisonSarah PercivalUTSC990(DNC)5510
7thRobin Hood2040Richard PauseyDan HarrisonUTSC9906‑8713
8thSatisfaction2604Jeremy SteinNicki BinksUTSC980‑87815
9thLa Volente1596Sel ShahSarah PrestonTSC/Minima9807‑9916
10thAttila the Hun2410Ian LaingAndrew HuntHollingworth10009‑101019

Spade Oak Bowl Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1Pts
1stQuiver774Martin HunterMargaretha van DamUTSC11
2ndTiercel901Pat BlakeJill BlakeCRSC22
3rdExequisite2266Chris RathboneRathbone teamUTSC33
4thLady Luck1477John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftUTSC44
5th 1781Mark AddisonSarah PercivalUTSC55
6thRapport3247Martin EvansMandy PlattsCRSC66
7thRobin Hood2040Richard PauseyDan HarrisonUTSC77
8thSatisfaction2604Jeremy SteinNicki BinksUTSC88
9thKevin3714Alan MarkhamSue MarkhamUTSC99
10thShindig3502Scott SmithDavid CopseUTSC1010
11thLa Volente1596Sel ShahSarah PrestonTSC/Minima1111
12thFirestarter3548Kevin RoseTim WilliamsUTSC1212
13thDeep Thought3451Martin WhitworthSarah CharrotUTSC1313
14thAttila the Hun2410Ian LaingAndrew HuntHollingworth1414

Allen Challenge Cup Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stGrand Teton1201John BellDeirdre BellHampton SC1‑323
2ndSnorter3627Alex JonesJack DeungCRSC22‑34
3rdLuka3560Stuart JenkinsNicola ScaddanUTSC‑6167
4thRapport3247Martin EvansMandy PlattsCRSC3‑847
5th 1781Mark AddisonSarah PercivalUTSC‑7718
6thTiercel901Pat BlakeJill BlakeCRSC84(DNS)12
7thEnchanted Evening3666Rob HendersonAlice MarkhamLymington Town SC5‑12712
8thKevin3714Alan MarkhamSue MarkhamUTSC‑95813
9thExequisite2266Chris RathboneRathbone teamUTSC‑119514
10thFirestarter3548Kevin RoseTim WilliamsUTSC‑1261117
11thShindig3502Scott SmithDavid CopseUTSC10‑13919
12thRobin Hood2040Richard PauseyDan HarrisonUTSC‑13111021
13thSatisfaction2604Jeremy SteinNicki BinksUTSC‑14101222
14thQuiver774Martin HunterMargaretha van DamUTSC4(DNF)DNS23
15thDeep Thought3451Martin WhitworthSarah CharrotUTSC16(DNS)1329
16thLa Volente1596Sel ShahSarah PrestonTSC/Minima1514(DNF)29
17thLady Luck1477John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftUTSC(DNC)DNCDNC38
17thAttila the Hun2410Ian LaingAndrew HuntHollingworth(DNC)DNCDNC38

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