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Craftinsure 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Merlin Rocket Open at Bartley Sailing Club

by Simon Potts 13 May 09:58 BST 9 May 2021

A heavy wind was forecast for the Bartley Sailing Club Open meeting on Sunday 9th May, the first event in the Midland Circuit 2021. The duty officer Steve Ward and Fleet Captain Mark Reddington stood strong and ran back-to-back races before and after lunch. The wind was set to be gusty and shifty for the day, with sunshine of course. Bartley always delivers.

Four races were sailed with great care and attention to setting the optimum course. It was a good job there was a lead boat, the courses were very complicated (and testing!).

13 entries in total, with seven home boats. Two didn't like the look of the breeze and the conditions for the day so their boats stayed wrapped up in the car park. (Very competent sailors) This meant the rescue crews had 5.5 boats each to care for, meaning they were very busy all day.

It was very clear from the start Andy "Taxi" Davis and Pippa Kilsby were on form and gagging to go racing, by rocketing into the lead in the first race, only to be the first to capsize. True to form, they didn't make that mistake again and smashed the rest of the races. Matt Biggs professionally perched all day, proving all those physiologists wrong. There is no need to put too much effort in when you know your way around the pond. Simon Potts and James Dawes tried hard to miss the first race due to vehicle malfunction. Thankfully the AA were speedy enough to let them take advantage of Taxi and Pip's "whoopsie" in race 1. Pottsy then reverted to his captain splash ways, keeping the spectators entertained by race 4. The new kids on the block, James Goss & Chris White showed their stunning pace in a new Winder, which is thankfully still in one piece after a small incident at a leeward mark... Pete Ballantine and Rob Allen demonstrated they were the tallest and fittest by making hiking look very easy, even in race 4.

The only boat that survived the day without capsizing was the two Big Bens (Ben Eaves and Ben Hollis) in Back to the Future. I hear they had nearly 190 kg on board, why would they capsize? Confident they would not swim after a big lunch; they casually launched. Unfortunately, they lost grip on the slimy slipway before the boat also managed to slide off its trolly. Thankfully they were holding onto the boat, so they stayed with it when it took off downwind towards a nicely bobbing metal edged pontoon. Although they were firmly wedged into the corner of the jetty and the slopey slimy concrete bank, somehow, they managed to get out of one precarious place without a scratch, Great work team Ben - amazing seamanship! The PRO must have been busy spectating, because as soon they got sorted the racing sequence got under way.

Colin and Sean Anderson capsized at the finish of the last race. Paul Hollis and Michelle Evans made the best capsize of the day. Mark Reddington had a great day showing how a Merlin works to George Faraday, George's first sail in a Merlin. We hope to see you on the water again George. Great work Mark. Nigel and Freya Hudson did not stop smiling whilst they were on the water for the morning. Howard managed to take the track off his mast in one piece, that will be re attached by Phil "Dirty-Hands" Scott ready for next week. Jemma Horwood and Anna Aylward managed a good first race then retired on a high for an early lunch.

The results speak for themselves, well sailed Taxi & Pip. More importantly well done to Team Bartley for a very warm welcome and a great days sailing. We all look forward to seeing you again on 19th September for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2021.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoFleetClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stDAVIS AndyKILSBY Pippa1GoldSouth Staffs SC‑31113
2ndBIGGS MattJONES Becka3801GoldBartley SC22‑437
3rdPOTTS SimonDAWES James3802GoldBurghfield SC1‑5258
4thBALLANTINE PeteALLEN Rob3812GoldSalcombe YC‑53328
5thGOSS JamesWHITE Chris3814SilverSouth Staffs SC44‑5412
6thEAVES BenHOLLIS Ben3583SilverBartley SC(DNF)76619
7thANDERSON ColinANDERSON Sean3749SilverBartley SC66(DNF)719
8thHOLLIS PaulEVANS Michelle3730SilverBartley SC(DNF)87823
9thREDDINGTON MarkFEREDAY George3805SilverBartley SC798(DNC)24
10thHUDSON NigelHUDSON Freya3662BronzeBartley SC810(DNF)DNF33
11thEELES HowardEELES Bradley3742BronzeBartley SC9(DNF)DNSDNC39
12thHORWOOD JemmaAYLWARD Anna3704SilverWembley SC10(DNS)DNSDNC40
13thSMITH MartinBESTON Karen3567BronzeBlithfield SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC45
13thLENEY SteveLENEY Gillian3716GoldBlithfield SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC45

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