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Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships at East Lothian Yacht Club - Day 2

by Charlotte Fildes 17 Aug 09:52 BST 14-19 August 2021

Day two of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships at East Lothian Yacht Club, brought sunshine and even some warmth in the air, along with another 12-15 knots of breeze from the west. It took a while for it to settle, causing yet more headaches for the race officer and his team trying to lay a course, and after a bit of waiting around and one general recall under the U flag, the fleet started race three on the second attempt.

Those on the far left came in on the money with a great shift and pushing less tide, and it was Dave & Vicky Lenz who rounded the windward mark first, ahead of Stu Bithell & Tom Pygall in second, followed by Christian Birrell & Sam Brearey in third, and Dan & Ben Alsop having a blinder in fourth.

Unfortunately, Dave & Vicky caught a lobster pot on the second reach of the first triangle which allowed Stu & Tom to overtake underneath them and go on to establish a convincing lead. By the next windward mark the places behind had changed yet again with Alex Jackson & Chris Kilsby in second, just ahead of Christian & Sam, with Dave & Vicky in fourth.

On the final lap, Stu & Tom held on to take the bullet and the Clyde Quaich Trophy, but Alex & Chris were overhauled by Christian & Sam who took second, and Dave & Vicky also managed to claw back third place from Alex & Chris who ended up fourth. Caroline Croft & Chris Gould took fifth and Sophie Mackley & Oliver Meadowcroft finished in sixth.

First silver fleet was James Wells & Anna Aylward who managed to sail past Dan & Ben Alsop, and first bronze fleet was Geoff & Helen Kimber.

During the start sequence for race four, a superyacht appeared by the windward mark and looked to be heading on down the racecourse before being diverted around. Apparently, it was Tom Cruise who had obviously come on over to watch some great Merlin Rocket racing and see what all the fuss was about.

This time, the first beat was all about the right-hand side which Christian & Sam absolutely nailed to lead around the top mark, followed by Andy 'Taxi' Davis & Pippa Kilsby in second. Stu & Tom in were third, and Dave & Vicky in fourth, but alas both Stu & Dave were BFD, which has certainly shuffled up the leader board for now.

So Christian & Sam ended up with the win, and taking the West Country Trophy, ahead of Taxi & Pippa in second. Tim Fells & Fran Gifford sailed a great race to take third, ahead of Ben Saxton & George Yeoman in fourth, followed by Alex & Chris in fifth, and Caroline & Chris in sixth.

First Silver fleet was Dan & Ben Alsop finishing just outside of the top ten in his beautiful wooden boat, and first bronze fleet was Ben Archer & Olivia Bellini.

Christian & Sam are top of the leaderboard on day two with the first discard still not in play; Taxi & Pippa sit in second, and Caroline & Chris are in third.

With thanks to our sponsors HD sails, SSE, NB Distillery, Fernhurst Books, Triggernaught Sportsglasses and our title sponsor Aspire Financial Advisers.

More photos are available to browse, and there is drone footage of the gybe mark too.

Watch races live with GPS tracking

Results after day 2:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st3788Christian BirrelSam BrearyParkstone YC12216
2nd3735Andy DavisPippa KilsbySouth Staffs SC3310218
3rd3803Caroline CroftChris GouldLymington Town SC965626
4th3807Tim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor SC759930
5th3795Alex JacksonChris KilsbyShoreham SC13134535
6th3764Tim FellsFran GiffordSalcombe YC15713338
7th3781David WinderOliver RaynerHollingworth Lake SC11418841
8th3712Ian SharpsAlex WarrenBurghfield SC412191247
9th3811Stuart BithellTom PygallParkstone YC211BFD50
10th3758Dave HayesWill CrockerLymington Town SC121120750
11th3746James WellsAnna AylwardStarcross YC820111352
12th3756Sophie MackleyOllie MeadowcroftShoreham SC101861953
13th3539Dan AlsopBen AlsopLyme Regis SC1714121154
14th3786David WadeBen RaynerNorthampton SC198171559
15th3777Ben SaxtonGeorge YeomanItchenor SC6DNF7463
16th3814James GossChris WhiteSouth Staffs SC1410211863
17th3763Mark BarnesJosh WilceWhitstable YC1619141463
18th3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham SC1816151766
19th3766Andy DalbyMark OakeyBurghfield SC209221667
20th3778David LenzVictoia LenzLymington Town SC5153BFD69
21st3804Ian DobsonCharlotte FildesBosham Hoe SCBFD1781081
22nd3641Mark WaterhlouseIsobel StewartSalcombe YC2123232693
23rd3784Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town SC2225272195
24th3666John MeadowcroftImogen WadeUpper Thames SC24283024106
25th3684Tom LowEd LowWest Hoe SC29292623107
26th3775Dan WilletPete NicholsonBrightlingsea SCBFD212420111
27th3745Paul DeanHannah BurtWembley SC32222832114
28th3757Tim ParsonsSarah ParsonsLyme Regis SCBFD261627115
29th3710Jon IbbotsonRobbie StewartBurghfield SC25392528117
30th3767Ben ArcherOlivia BelliniParkstone YC30332925117
31st3751Phil EmeryPhoebe PaineWhitstable YC27323133123
32nd3790Colin BrockbankSue Broughwembley SC28303531124
33rd3787Chris MartinSamuel BaileyMidland SCBFD243322125
34th3772Dan HeatonTom GurneyMountbatten SC2327UFD29125
35th3723Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone SC26343630126
36th3774Richard CoulterLouis LappageFishers Green SC31313234128
37th2663Chris HowarthMike HamiltonBlackpool & Fleetwood SC34403735146
38th3695Pete SlackImmy BrownBlithfield SC33374238150
39th3662Nigel HudsonFreya HudsonBartley SCBFD353436151
40th3619Guy BrowneGreg MartinTrent Valley SC35414037153
41st3561Joe ShawParicia HickeyWembley SC37433840158
42nd3449Carl WhitehillSam WhitehillRYA363839DNF159
43rd3800Richard BramleyPaul WalkerShoreham SC38424139160
44th3792Alistair McDonaldLydia BourneBerwick Upon Tweed SC394443DNF172
45th3740Pat BlakeJilly BlakeCookham Reach SCBFD36DNFDNF174

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