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Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Open at Midland Sailing Club

by Chris Kilsby 8 Apr 19:55 BST 7 April 2019
Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Midland SC © Phil Base /

28 Merlin Rockets gathered at Midland Sailing Club in Edgbaston for the sixth Craftinsure Silver Tiller of the year. The wind gods were not playing 'full force' with a light c.5 knots blowing left to right down the lake (East North Easterly).

Following a quick bacon butty and briefing we were off with one race before lunch. With two good beats set by the race officer, he'd done all he could to ensure good racing in the shifty conditions. The first start was clean with most of the top boats central or port of the line. Taxi and Pip were quick off the blocks, taking a good lift on port towards the windward mark, with the Calvert's close on their heels. By the middle of the race, the Calvert's had passed Taxi & Pip and had a good lead and with one beat to go it seemed inevitable that they'd take the bullet. But in some kind of Midland wonder, they'd gone left and had hit a patch of not very much, allowing Matt Biggs and Beka Jones through at the last minute. The Calvert's finished second and Taxi and Pip third. Back to the hard for some much-needed grub.

Following a chicken and veg lunch, we were back out with a 13.15 / 13.20hrs start time for the second race. This time the fleet were more in tune with the wind, principally knowing that it could not be trusted. The start was again clear, and the fleet jumped to action, firing in all directions and seemingly not knowing quite what's going on. Steve & Gill Leney rounded first, following a blinder on the right, but the Calvert's sniggled through on the first down wind leg. After the first few laps there had been a lot of separation from the top three, fourth (on our own) and the rest of the pack battling it out. The Calvert's kept their nerve and took the bullet with Biggsy and Beka in second and Taxi and Pip in third.

With the Calvert's and Biggsy / Beka both carrying a 1 and 2, it was down to them to confirm the Silver Tiller winner.

The third and final race started with the Calvert's, Taxi / Pip and the Chris' coming off the starboard side and Biggsy / Beka hitting the port end. At first, the right side looked pretty miserable, but soon became superb with better breeze and some handy shifts. At the top mark Biggsy and a few of the port end boats came in with pace, with Biggsy around in fourth, the Chris's in third, Mark Stockbridge and Edward Atkins in second and the Calvert's leading. The following few laps included a lot of changes at the top but by the last half of the last lap Chris Gould / Chris Kilsby were a little way in front and could nurse their way to the final race win, allowing Mike & Jane Calvert to take another Midland well deserved win.

The Silver Fleet was won by Veteran Richard Dee and Nancy Gudgeon from Midland who made 5th overall, and Matt Smith and Jared Lewis (also from Midland) took the Bronze Fleet win.

Many thanks to Midland Sailing Club for a good Silver Tiller We're looking forward to some more of the same next year! The Silver Tiller 2019 is sponsored by Craftinsure with Magic Marine as the class clothing partner. Photos are on the Midland Facebook page.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubFleetR1R2R3Pts
1st3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxegold‑2123
2nd3801Matt BiggsBeka JonesBlithfieldgold12‑33
3rd3803Chris GouldChris KilsbyMidlandgold‑4415
4th3684Andy DavisPippa KilsbyBlithfieldgold33‑56
5th3765Richard DeeNancy GudgeonMidlandsilver‑77411
6th3673Caroline CroftTom LonsdaleBlithfieldgold5‑6611
7th3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfieldsilver6‑14814
8th3787Chris MartinSamuel BaileyMidlandsilver9‑11716
9th3730Paul HollisPaula MasonBlithfieldsilver89‑1317
10th3716Stephen LeneyGillian LeneyBlithfieldgold‑1181018
11th3702Duncan SalmonHarriet SalmonWembleysilver145‑1619
12th3745Paul DeanRussell HallWembleysilver10‑12919
13th3700Rob KennaughAndrew ProsserMidlandgold‑12101121
14th3442Matt SmithJared LewisMidlandbronze15‑161227
15th3727Mark StockbridgeEdward AtkinsRanelaghgold(RET)131427
16th3569Ben LulhamSam LulhamRutlandbronze13‑151528
17th3705Geoff WrightKatie WrightBlithfieldsilver1617‑2033
18th3794Julian HarmsHelen HarmsMidlandbronze17‑181734
19th3805Mark ReddingtonHoward EelesBlithfieldsilver(DNC)191938
20th3762Malcolm HyamsMarina GashinovaMidlandbronze21‑231839
21st3567Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfieldbronze1920‑2139
22nd3619Guy BrowneGreg MartinTrent Valleybronze1822‑2440
23rd3530Mike CollesMike JaplinskiMidlandbronze‑23212243
24th3497Jan HollandMartin HarrisMidlandbronze2025(DNC)45
25th3518Jenny Chen AndronisSarah CrabtreeMidlandbronze‑25242347
26th2410Ian LaingAndrew HuntHollingworthbronze24‑262549
27th3586Kieran MasonBelinda MasonBlithfieldbronze22(RET)DNC51
28th3695Pete SlackJimmy BrownBlithfieldbronze(DNC)DNCDNC58

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