Please select your home edition
Craftinsure 2012
Product Feature
Harken 16mm Block - 404
Harken 16mm Block - 404

CraftInsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event 12 at Ranelagh Sailing Club

by Duncan Salmon 4 Jun 13:11 BST 2 June 2019
Fran Gifford and Alex Warren win the CraftInsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event 12 at Ranelagh © Richard Jarvis

The Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller series moved to Ranelagh on the Thames on Sunday 2nd June, with fifteen teams competing and visitors from Lymington, Shoreham, Hampton, Tamesis and Wembley. With a flooding high tide at 2.30pm the start was a very civilised 1pm which allowed the fleet to rig on the Thames embankment watching the world, walk, cycle or row by one of life's great London pleasures. The wonderful Ranelagh welcome, provided free tea and bacon rolls adding to the enjoyment of the lovely early summer morning.

As usual at Ranelagh the start was upstream, underneath the strongly flooding tide. The wind was (as described by the Commodore) challenging, with large gusts spreading themselves across the water as they bounced over the tops of the trees and through the buildings! Fran Gifford & Alex Warren read the start brilliantly storming up the middle of the river in the strongest current and rounded the first of two marks in the lead narrowly ahead of Alex Jackson & new crew Alex Hamilton. Behind them was a chasing pack of around ten boats trying to deal with the the strong current on the leg back to Putney Bridge.

Places were changing regularly with John Cooper & Becki Wigley losing their third place to Duncan & Harriet Salmon who were then overtaken by Tim Medcalf & Valerie Hamill in 596, a beautiful vintage wooden boat and John and Livvy Bell in their modern Merlin. Fran & Alex and Alex & Alex managed to get around the second mark and then disappeared off on the tide never to be seen again. Tim & Valerie rounded third but were slowly reeled in by the Salmons who had overtaken them by the football ground on the leg back.

On the second lap the Bells made a challenge to the Salmons but as a result of the random gusts fell back leaving Duncan and Harriet with a large gap between the chasing pack but an even larger gap to catch up the leaders. That gap was never comfortable, as is often described, given the gusty shifty and unpredictable wind!

After four laps the race finished with Fran and Alex in first Alex and Alex second (they briefly had overtaken Fran but dropped back to finish a close second) with the Salmons third and Bells fourth and Tim and Valerie coming in in fifth place. The first three boats enjoyed cold beers on the embankment while de-rigging (courtesy of Fran) and the fleet was then treated to a wonderful chicken and chorizo casserole cooked by Brian Clarke and his band of helpers.

A great day racing on the river at that rather special place which is Ranelagh sailing club.

Next up the Craftinsure Silver Tiller heads to Parkstone Yacht Club on 15/16 June.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmCrewR1Pts
1st3676RSCGifford FWarren A11
2nd3795ShorehamJackson AHamilton A22
3rd3702WembleySalmon DSalmon H33
4th3652HamptonBell JLivvy44
5th596ThamesisMedcalf THamill V55
6th3732LTSCCooper JHigley B66
7th3592RSCWollney MTeo77
8th2444RSCStolper TStolper S88
9th1596TSCShah.SErskine‑Tullock N99
10th3073RSCDunoyer PDoutraux E1010
11th214RSCMouscadert GJuliette1111
12th3061RSCLong NCaroline1212
13th2744RSCBrougham GShenk M1313
14th3585TBAClay AFildes CRET16
14th654RSCClarke BHeyhoe TRET16

Related Articles

What's the formula at Salcombe Gin Merlin Week?
Unique in the dinghy sailing calendar and wildly successful Salcombe Gin Merlin Week is unique in the dinghy sailing calendar and wildly successful with it. Capped at 120 boats, the event is always over-subscribed with in excess of 180 teams applying for a place. Posted on 17 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week overall
Richard Whitworth and Jemima Scroggie keep their cool to win The final day brought further wall-to-wall sunshine with a North-Westerly force 2-3. On countback, Richard and Jemima's three bullets makes them champions without having to sail the last race. Posted on 12 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week day 5
Second bullet for Taxi and Pippa but is it too late? Light cloud cover with the prospect of sun and a light SW breeze greeted the competitors on the penultimate day of the Salcombe Gin Merlin Week. Posted on 11 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week day 4
It's hard to see the winner coming from outside the top five now Wednesday dawned to another sunny day and early indications of a sea breeze cell forming in the harbour mouth. The forecast was for the wind to be light from the southerly quadrant all day. Posted on 10 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week day 3
Is it time to user permanent marker on the 'board of death'? Competitors awoke on Tuesday morning to wall to wall sunshine and a faint easterly that soon died away. As the morning flights made their way across to Mill Bay the first signs of a sea breeze started to appear. Posted on 9 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week day 2
The dreaded 'fairway' rule bites two top sailors Early morning on day 2 of the Salcombe Gin Merlin Week and there was mist lying in the valleys of the estuary. By the start time the gradient F2 Easterly had cut down to the water, providing some lovely sailing conditions under clearing skies. Posted on 8 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week day 1
A breeze fills in for the 120 boats on the first day The long awaited Salcombe Merlin Week kicked off under cloudy skies. After a beautiful Salcombe summer day on Saturday spent transferring boats across to Mill Bay in a building sea breeze, the conditions for race one looked distinctly problematic. Posted on 7 Jul
Vintage Merlin Rockets at Frensham Pond
The youngest boat being a mere 44 years old Once upon a time - many years ago - beautiful wooden Merlin Rockets and National 12s were commonplace at Frensham Pond. So, it was with joy in our hearts that Frensham welcomed back a fleet of handsomely crafted vintage wooden racing machines. Posted on 6 Jul
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week 2019 preview
An iconic and unique event on the sailing calendar Sunday 7th July will see the start of the 62nd Salcombe Merlin Week, this year sponsored by Salcombe Gin, the award winning and rapidly growing local distillery. Posted on 2 Jul
Merlin Rockets at Whitstable
28 boats compete for the Melbourne Cup Following a weekend of top end conditions at Parkstone that left a few bruised and battered bodies, an fleet of 28 boats assembled at one the class's oldest venues, Whitstable, home of oysters, whelks and anything else you can extract from a shell. Posted on 25 Jun