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Vintage Merlin Rocket Open at Fishers Green Sailing Club

by Godfrey Clark 7 Jun 09:36 BST 28 May 2022

With an ideal northerly wind direction straight down the axis of the lake, the Fishers Green home boats were joined by some very welcome visitors, the race team had no trouble setting a true beat the full length of the lake, giving a 1.2 kilometre upwind leg from near the south weir to the north weir at the other end. Visitors came from as far as Chew Valley and Hollingworth Lake, but surprisingly only one boat from any of the London clubs.

Race one gave a hectic start line with Godfrey Clark and Mary Webb being OCS and having to go 'round the ends' and duck some transoms, but by the first windward mark they had found clear air and arrived second, behind Chris and Gabe Hill. That proved to be the finishing order, especially after the two leaders escaped the wind lull at the top mark and sailed happily away from the fleet with spinnakers pulling nicely.

For race 2 the start was again keenly contested with an identical pattern of the Clark team OCS and having to return, only to execute a good enough recovery to quickly climb to 3rd place. Meanwhile Chis and Gabe had almost nailed it again but were beaten on the water by the narrow hulled boat, Luca, of Oliver and the diminutive Emily Houseman (aged 7).

Ashore for a hot curry lunch with all the trimmings, and any of three boats could win the event on the final race. This time the Hills in Cream Cracker made no mistake and established a good enough lead to defend from the Housemans. Just behind, Hamlet was closing fast on the Steels in Pandimonium who in turn managed to pip Shogun on the line for 3rd place by just a boat-length.

The afternoon continued with a Crew's Race, giving some of the club's up and coming sailors the chance to have a go at helming the club's fastest boats. This surprisingly brought the liveliest breeze of the day and was won by Richard Burton (Shanendoa).

It had been a super day's racing in delightful conditions with the beat/sausage courses making it easy on the crews despite some tactical decisions of when and where to gybe, to match the shifts on the upwind legs

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stCream Cracker2997Chris HillGabe HillFishers Green SC1‑212
2ndLuka3560Oliver HousemanEmily HousemanChew Valley Lake‑5123
3rdHamlet3185Godfrey ClarkMary WebbFishers Green SC23‑55
4thBad Dog3232Harry StewardAnnabel StewardFishers Green SC35‑78
5thShogun3055Nick YannakoyorgosBlakeFishers Green SC‑7448
6thPandimonium3152Mike SteelDebs SteelSt Edmundsbury S & C‑87310
7thNutshell1742Jon StewardHannah PighillsFishers Green SC‑126612
8thShanandoa3088Andrew MillsRichard BurtonHampton SC6‑11915
9thPatriot3252Tony CooperJessica CooperFishers Green SC412(DNC)16
10thSmartypants3506Graham WebbRoberto ManciniFishers Green SC9‑13817
11th 2410Ian LaingAndrew HuntHollingworth108‑1318
12thHot Goblin3402Mike AtkinsonSimon WilliamsFishers Green SC‑1391019
13thPassion3314Richard CoulterGraham NewmanFishers Green SC‑14101222
14thCobra3465Chris GlawinClive GladwinFishers Green SC11‑141122

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