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Craftinsure 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Silver Tiller and other fixtures updates from the Merlin Rocket class

by Lou Johnson 23 Mar 21:14 GMT 19 March 2021
Hampton Merlin Open © Emily Bunner

The M.R.O.A. Committee has been working hard behind the scenes to adapt the class 2021 calendar, to enable our sailors and the clubs we visit to remain safe places to visit as we emerge out of lockdown in the coming weeks. We understand everyone is keen to get back on the water as are we, which is why we have taken the time to go through the motions before publicising an official statement.

The following information is based on the government information available at the time of going press - 19th March 2021. Please note should the Government guidelines change then this revised plan will be further updated, please note the Fixtures List on the Merlin Rocket website is your primary reference point.

Craftinsure Silver Tiller

Firstly, we are thrilled to announce that Craftinsure remain our headline sponsor for the prestigious Silver Tiller, this is the 11th consecutive year they have supported us - more on that in a separate announcement.

In agreement with our sponsor, the M.R.O.A. Committee has made the decision to withdraw all Craftinsure Silver Tiller status on events up to and including the 17th May. This decision has not been taken lightly, and a number of factors have influenced this. It is important that as a class, all sailors get a fair and equal chance to compete in the events on our national circuit. It was the committee's opinion that prior to the 17th May there are additional challenges associated the virus restrictions and therefore a total of seven events have been affected by this decision:

1. Wembley Sailing Club
2. Burghfield Sailing Club
3. Salcombe Yacht Club
4. Blithfield Sailing Club
5. Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club
6. Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club
7. Parkstone Yacht Club

The good news is that Wembley, Burghfield and Blithfield have all expressed an interest in rescheduling the events which our Silver Tiller Coordinator Caroline Croft is organising.

Salcombe Yacht Club is planning to host a Merlin Rocket open meeting on 17th/18th April, this will not have Craftinsure Silver Tiller status, and the club have put a post on the forum regarding their plans.

Parkstone Yacht Club is planning to host a Merlin Rocket open meeting on 15th/16th May, this will not have Craftinsure Silver Tiller status, and the club will communicate any updates with competitors which the class will share once received.

As a class we were looking forward to returning to Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club and the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club. Due to travel restrictions and timings, they have jointly made the decision to cancel this year, so we will visit in 2022.

Due to the loss of both Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club (restricted) and the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club (sea), restricted category Silver Tiller status has been given to the Upper Thames event on 11th/12th September, this will be a one-day Silver Tiller and confirmation to follow. To replace the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club sea venue, sea Silver Tiller status has been given to given to Paignton on 9th/10th October.

We have lost two open category events; therefore, Silver Tiller status will be given to the Inland Championships at Bala on 25th/26th September. To make sure that we have six open events, we will return to Chichester Yacht club towards the end of the year (date to be confirmed).

To fit in the rescheduled events and look to keep the number of events at 18 and equal across the three categories (Open, Sea and Restricted) the Craftinsure Silver Tiller Dinner will now take place on 4th December at Itchenor Sailing Club.

We are also looking to reschedule Brightlingsea Sailing Club which was due to take place on 22nd/23rd May. Due to multiple fleets attending and the potential for high boat turnout, the M.R.O.A. thought it was best to reschedule and we are working closely with the club to confirm a new date for this season.

More information will be provided once the details have been confirmed.

Class Training

Class training for 2021 is currently postponed as the two venues Blithfield and Parkstone fall before 17th May, Christian Birrell our training coordinator is looking at alternative dates and venues to fit with the class events.

Thames & De May Series

These are single day local events, and therefore the decision for both these series has been to continue and go ahead as scheduled.

Midland Circuit

Blithfield Sailing Club was the only Midland circuit event before 17th May which is going to be rescheduled for later in the year.

"A huge thank you to all the sailing clubs who have helped us plan and reschedule events this year. We are really keen to get back on the water, but we also need to make sure we continue to do our bit to stop the spread and what we can to keep our sailors, the clubs we visit and their members safe. It's going to be a great season, we just have to wait a little bit longer before we can get started!" comments Caroline Croft, Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Coordinator.

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