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Marblehead 2020 Mermaid Trophy at Guildford Model Yacht Club

by Roger Stollery 18 Mar 14:29 GMT

A marvellous day's racing, as part of the GAMES series for Marbleheads, saw 12 highly competitive races completed with 17 entries from 8 clubs sailing in 'A' rig light winds on Guildford MYC's Abbey Meads Lake. Unfortunately the coronavirus had affected the contacts of three of the competitors, who pulled out at the last minute.

The forecast SW wind direction didn't materialise, which caused a bit of delay while the race team reorganised the course and the control area on the west bank, where the wind was blowing in an ideal direction parallel to that control area. RO Roger Stollery set a 900 metre long windward leeward course, which consisted of 3 beats and 2 offwind legs.

In Race 1, Martin Crysell sailing UP 117 got the best start and streaked away from the rest of the fleet, only to be overtaken on the final beat by Peter Stollery sailing his UP 39. David Adam sailing his GRUNGE 36 got the best start in Race 2, but he too was overtaken by Peter. Colin Goodman sailing his GRUNGE 61 got the best start in Race 3 and despite being challenged by David went on to win.

This was the first of his first hat-trick of wins, which was broken in Race 6 by Martin and Peter. Throughout the morning there was some very close racing between two World Champion skippers, Peter and Colin, which was a delight to see with the boats always being very close with the lead changing all the way round the course.

After the lunch break there was more really good close racing not just at the front, but also further down the fleet. At the end of Race 8, one very close finish between Martin and Peter Dunne, resulted in fifth and fourth places respectively and with a great beaming smile Peter said "that was as good as a win!"

Way out in front of the fleet Colin and Peter continued their fascinating match racing battle with Colin gaining another hat-trick of wins. The cantankerous wind moved to the forecast south-westerly, which left the wind blowing over the right shoulder and creating more crosswinds and shadow next to the bank.

Perhaps local knowledge helped Peter to win Races 10 and 11 in these conditions and close the gap on Colin. However, this was not enough and with Colin winning the last race, the bronze Mermaid had found a new home.

At the prize-giving Colin thanked the Guildford team for running another good event, whilst Peter mentioned that the Mermaid is the longest running radio sailing trophy for Marbleheads in its 42nd year and thanked his dad and the Guildford team for running today's event, as well as at least 30 others!

We were lucky to get this really good event completed, as it now looks as if the GAMES events and the sport of radio sailing, will be disrupted by the pandemic for a while.

Results:

1st Colin Goodman Chelmsford GRUNGE 14
2nd Peter Stollery Guildford UP 16
3rd David Adam 3 Rivers GRUNGE 31
4th Martin Crysell Guildford UP 32
5th John Howell 3 Rivers VICKERS V1M 48
6th David Coode Guildford PIRANHA 66
7th Peter Dunne Woking STARKERS 69
8th Richard Baldey Frensham Pond WHISPER 73
9th Peter Jackson Abington Park UP 76
10th David Wilkinson Whitefriars SC ROAR EDGE 104
11th Garry Stephenson Whitefriars SC STARKERS 108
12th Charles Wand-tetley Guildford UPROAR 144

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