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Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championship at Looe Sailing Club - Day 3

by Tim Fells 20 Aug 19:59 BST 17-23 August 2019
Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals at Looe day 3 © Neil Richardson

HD Sails Tuesday - Day Three

It was another sunny morning in Looe with the forecast for a force 3-4 from the South South West. Another glamorous day was in store and so it proved with the first race for the West Country Trophy followed by the main event of the week, the crew's race.

Race four started under black flag following a general recall and only Dan Willet and Pete Nicholson were BFD. An initial left-hander favoured those at the pin but you needed to be able to tack early and take the gains as the breeze went back right in the second half of the beat.

Christian and Sam were again leaders at the top mark and looked like they would do a horizon job with their clear speed advantage. However, Nick and Toby who had just squeezed round in second never gave up the chase, playing the shifts expertly to keep in contention.

The course was Sausage-Triangle-Sausage-Triangle and the second reach was a toenail on the edge three-sailer. On this final leg to the finish Nick was able to exploit both his significant leverage on the max transom width of his JT design together with a useful tear in his spinnaker which depowered him enough to be able to drive hard and chase down Christian and Sam and pass them at the death.

Behind this epic tussle, the battle for the top six was extremely tight with a number of new faces showing well. Newly-weds George and Sophie Yeoman came home tenth, just ahead of David and Vicky Lenz. Further up the track the Chrises Gould and Kilsby again showed great pace and tactical positioning to take third holding off the challenge of Taxi and Pippa in fourth and big climbers Roger Gilbert and James Stewart in fifth. Jon Gorringe and Pete Gray kept themselves in the top three overall with a hard fought sixth.

So on to the main event, the crew's race where not only do the crews get the opportunity to show just how much latent talent is being neglected at the front of the boat, but helms who are always quick to offer words of advice, get to find out just how challenging the front end of a Merlin can be.

After the obligatory general recall, the fleet were away cleanly into a healthy force four with some chunky waves. Pete Gray, himself no mean helm, had the Gorringe fully deployed to power into the lead at the top mark from Arthur and Will Henderson nose forward from Frances Gifford and Tim Fells. On the run, Ally and Simon Potts put on their RS200 heads to hot up the angles and challenge for the lead.

However, there was no stopping Pete and Jon on the upwind legs and then the tight second reach. Your correspondent was gamely stretching his 60 year-old legs for a final time to help Frances take the final podium place behind Ally and Simon. Great fun was had by all and new bragging rights won for another year.

Tonight is the other main event of the week, Fancy Dress, with team's interpreting their boat names in creative and in some cases downright worrying ways.

merlinrocketchamps.com

Results after day 3:

PosSail NoFleetHelmCrewFounders CupBeechers CupClyde QuaichWest Country TrophyPts
1st3788GoldChristian BirrellSam Brearey12126
2nd3776GoldNick CraigTobytastic Lewis316111
3rd3791GoldJon GorringePete Gray2102620
4th3684GoldAndy DavisPippa Kilsby557421
5th3722GoldRoger GilbertJames Stewart1364528
6th3802GoldSimon PottsAlly Potts6135832
7th3712GoldIan SharpsAlex Warren71110937
8th3739GoldBen McGraneRoz McGrane143121948
9th3764GoldTim FellsFran Gifford111681348
10th3736GoldRoger PhillipsWill Crocker914192163
11th3726GoldWill HendersonArthur Henderson420241664
12th3658GoldChris JenningsChris Martin824152370
13th3795GoldAlex JacksonMary Henderson1519231572
14th3803GoldChris GouldChris KilsbyDNF43376
15th3766SilverAndy DalbyPete Horn2015133078
16th3742GoldPete BallantineRob AllenL0525182280
17th3777SilverGeorge YeomanSophie Yeoman2421261081
18th3673GoldCaroline CroftTom Lonsdale1622172681
19th3796GoldWilliam WarrenRachel Rhodes229272785
20th3759GoldSam BarkerMegan Pascoe3112162887
21st3691GoldMike CalvertJane Calvert2518371494
22nd3709SilverRob HendersonJames Ellis2123282496
23rd3786GoldDavid WadeBen Rayner128RET1197
24th3807GoldTim SaxtonJodie SaxtonRET7207100
25th3774GoldJon TurnerRichard Parslow26172235100
26th3711SilverSam ThompsonLeanne Thompson32292118100
27th3781GoldDavid WinderLiv Bell17343020101
28th3801GoldMatt BiggsBeka Jones18263531110
29th3756SilverSophie MackleyJames Ward2951925114
30th3778GoldDavid LenzVicky LenzRET281112117
31st3784SilverMark BarwellLouise Johnson33361434117
32nd3787SilverChris MartinSamuel Bailey19303929117
33rd3690SilverTim HarridgeClaire Mills27403433134
34th3732BronzeJohn CooperBecci Wigley42274232143
35th3582SilverBen PickeringNathan King34353143143
36th3666SilverJohn MeadowcroftOliver Meadowcroft44313237144
37th3749SilverBen HollisColin Anderson28413838145
38th3735GoldDave HallPaul ConstableRET323317148
39th3641SilverMark WaterhouseMat Currell30335036149
40th3804SilverAndrea BrewsterCharlotte Fildes45372939150
41st3775GoldDan WillettPete Nicholson233825BFD152
42nd3740SilverPatrick BlakeJilly Blake36393641152
43rd3790SilverColin BrockbankSuzy Brough40464642174
44th3794BronzeJulian HarmsTimothy Harms41544344182
45th3745SilverPaul DeanRussell Hall37474554183
46th3719BronzeRob MartinJan Martin3543RET46190
47th3769SilverGraham Cranford SmithRob Langley384840DNF192
48th3772SilverPhil EmeryPhoebe Paine49444851192
49th3723BronzeGeoff KimberHelen Kimber43495548195
50th3577BronzeJoe ToshWill LoweUFD454445200
51st3706BronzeLawrence ToshJack ToshRET564140203
52nd3800BronzeRichard BramleyLiam Weighill47525256207
53rd3767BronzeBen ArcherOlivia Bellini48505653207
54th3704BronzeJemma HorwoodSel Shah51554958213
55th3668BronzeMark SmythJulie Cronshaw4653RET55220
56th3639BronzeDan HeatonRory Hunter39RETDNS50221
57th3442BronzeMatt SmithJared LewisDNC4247DNC221
58th3511BronzeAndrew MillsEllie Mills50595359221
59th3555BronzeEmma RobertsonCarl Weighill53615157222
60th3482BronzeRichard BurtonPatrick Burton55585761231
61st3695BronzePete SlackConnor Langan54DNFRET47233
62nd3619BronzeGuy BrowneGreg Martin52DNFDNC52236
63rd3449BronzeCarl WhitehillSamuel WhitehillDNC575460237
64th3751BronzeHuw ReynoldsPhil ScottRETRETRET49247
65th3561BronzeJoe ShawHannah BurtRET60RET62254

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