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76th Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships at Mount's Bay Sailing Club - Overall

by Anna Aylward 5 Aug 2022 11:19 BST 31 July - 4 August 2022

The last day of the Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships was a fantastic and tiring end to a great week.

It started slowly after a highly competitive costume competition, won by the Maiden yacht, and a disco at the club last night. But the morning came with a breezy 20 kts northerly coming off the land, and we all geared up for the windiest day of the week. Although with hindsight, I could have geared up better by hitting the gym a bit more this year!

The first race got under way just after midday and the fleet charged up the beat to the windward mark. No side obviously paid in the shifty conditions as Christian Birrell and Sam Breary rounded first, followed by Stu Bithell and Tom Pygall, then Sarah Richards and Nigel Wakefield. By the next lap Tom Gillard and Rachael Gray had moved up into third place, a position they held for the remainder of the race, allowing them to win the Champs with a race to spare!

Stu and Tom had been chasing Christian and Sam hard through the next beat and on the second reaching leg they managed to charge past them. Stu and Tom maintained this lead and took their first race win of the week in the breezier conditions.

It was a very enjoyable race for the rest of the fleet, except perhaps for Mark Stockbridge and James Gifford, whose mast fell down on the first reach leaving them unable to take part in the fun. First gold boat went to Sarah Richards and Nigel Wakefield, first silver boat went to Tim Harridge and Rory Gifford and first bronze boat was Julian and Tim Harms, who flew today in the wind.

In between races, the breeze stayed on and the optimistic summer wetsuit felt like the wrong clothing choice for the day, but the second race started quickly and we were back to working hard. There were some flying starts and by the windward mark the left side had paid well and Tim Saxton and Mary Henderson were first round, followed by Stu and Tom then Chris Martin and John Tailby - who continued to have an excellent race finishing in 5th place and first gold boat.

Tim and Mary then held the lead for the remainder of the race, taking their third race win of the week (more than anyone else)! Stu and Tom followed behind in second place, not helped by their kicker breaking midway through the race, and Simon Potts and Lottie Fildes climbed up to third place, just enough for them to clinch third place overall with one point from them to Tim and Mary in fourth place overall.

First silver boat went to Ben Jones and Helen Hilditch, thoroughly enjoying the windy conditions, and first bronze boat was Geoff and Helen Kimber, finishing on a high with their best result of the week.

Today was the perfect ending to the week in Mounts Bay, finally getting to blast around the bay on some massive reaches. Thanks so much to all of the race team, getting all nine races in, and to the wonderful beach crew organising us with military precision. On behalf of the Merlin Rocket class we have had a brilliant week with some very competitive racing and you even called the dolphins over to meet us.

A huge congratulations to Tom and Rachael, our 2022 Aspire Merlin Rocket National Champions! It was a very impressive performance in a week full of light and shifty conditions. Second place went to a well-deserving Christian and Sam, and third place went to Simon and Lottie, who immediately found the groove in their first big competition together.

Thank you to our sponsors Aspire Financial Advisers, HD Sails, Mounts Bay Distillery, Fernhurst Books, West Systems, Triggernaut Sports Glasses, Robline/DinghyTec and GK Engineering.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Merlin Rocket nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoHelmCrewFleetClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1st3759Thomas GillardRachel GrayPlatinumStaunton Harold Sailing Club123251413DNS17
2nd3788Christian BirrellSam BreareyPlatinumParkstone Yacht Club611544622925
3rd3802Simon PottsCharlotte FildesPlatinumBurghfield Sailing Club1031981966336
4th3807Tim SaxtonMary HendersonPlatinumItchenor SC & Brightlingsea SC20981110237137
5th3719Ian MartinChris MartinPlatinumBurghfield Sailing ClubUFD657242010842
6th3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertPlatinumAxe Yacht Club55719339141946
7th3811Stu BithellTom PygallPlatinumParkstone Yacht ClubDNSDNS42467101254
8th2137James GossChris WhitePlatinumSouth Staffs Sailing Club1372315293231154
9th3764Tim FellsFrances GiffordPlatinumSalcombe Yacht Club441681181216754
10th3778David LenzVicky LenzPlatinumLymington Town Sailing Club122592091751659
11th3735Andy DavisJack HoldenPlatinumSouth Staffs Sailing Club8241726105541261
12th3791Jon GorringePete GreyPlatinumParkstone Yacht Club2311317342349472
13th3803Caroline CroftFaye ChattertonPlatinumLymington Town Sailing Club91062512915221374
14th3775Chris JenningsPete NicholsonPlatinumBurghfield Sailing Club193031121413138685
15th3758David HayesJonny RatcliffePlatinumLymington Town Sailing Club14143213241111121085
16th3782Ed ChapmanChris KilsbyGoldLymington Town Sailing Club313192833218151493
17th3780Sarah RichardsNigel WakefieldGoldLymington Town Sailing Club171136102722813DNF108
18th3801Matthew BiggsBeka JonesPlatinumBartley Sailing Club28152522715142020113
19th3796William WarrenMegan PascoeGoldShoreham Sailing Club1816216251619DNF22118
20th3787Chris MartinJohn TailbyGoldMidland Sailing Club7403511183931255132
21st3746James WellsAnna AylwardGoldRYA162311162320262923132
22nd3726Will HendersonRupert WhitePlatinumSalcombe Yacht Club301228231625161932139
23rd3696Alexander WarrenJonty FreemanshGoldShoreham Sailing Club222814152634221834145
24th3683Arthur HandersonLivvy BellGoldSalcombe Yacht Club153320182927172431150
25th3676Antony GiffordJo GiffordPlatinumRoyal Tay Yacht Club211712382217323642157
26th3757Tim ParsonsAndrew ServiceGoldLyme Regis Sailing Club242910292133343017160
27th3799Paul RaysonChristian HillGoldFishers Green SC & SalcombeYC112033333941292121168
28th3793James GoodfellowRick CornesPlatinumBurghfield Sailing Club2745341442BFD211718173
29th3815Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonSilverLymington Town Sailing Club371823354618252828175
30th3806Ben JonesHelen HilditchSilverShoreham Sailing Club471926401928353424185
31st3809John TurnerRichard ParslowPlatinumLyme Regis Sailing Club318223117DNFBFD11DNF186
32nd3716Steven LeneyGill LeneyGoldBlithfield Sailing Club2621183220DNF3837DNS192
33rd3756Sophie MackleyJames WardGoldShoreham Sailing Club353429213522243230192
34th3727Mark StockbridgeJames GiffordSilverUpper Thames Sailing Club6132245311230DNFDNS195
35th3666John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftPlatinumUpper Thames Sailing Club332239372835273127203
36th3690Tim HarridgeRory GiffordSilverHampton Sailing Club322757393850182625205
37th3816Phil EmeryPhoebe PaineSilverWhitstable Yacht Club2543274713373643DNF224
38th3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonSilverBlithfield Sailing Club23384027DNCDNC333335229
39th3732Ben HollisGeorge BenderSilverBlithfield Sailing Club403642414132392726241
40th3772Dan HeatonTom GurneySilverMountbatten Sailing Club413941444326374233259
41st3779David LeeKirsten GlenSilverStarcross Yacht Club46443843DNS30423529261
42nd3684Tom LowHannah BurtSilverQueen Mary Sailing Club294145344848434137270
43rd3794Julian HarmsTimothy HarmsBronzeMidlands Sailing Club385048535443403915273
44th3740Pat BlakeJilly BlakeGoldLymington Town Sailing Club342630DNF324446DNFDNS278
45th3790Colin BrockbankSue BroughSilverWembley Sailing Club39474436303649DNFDNS281
46th3770Jon StewardAnnabel StewardBronzeFishers Green Sailing Club525451424524454439290
47th3813Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasBronzeStarcross Yacht Club4837433036495051DNS293
48th3656Charlotte GoughDave GoughGoldStarcross Yacht Club36424645403848DNCDNC295
49th3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberBronzeStone Sailing Club424852524440474836305
50th3766Andy DalbyAimee Dalby/Sean AndersonGoldBurghfield Sailing Club5046374937425645DNF306
51st3682Ross BorneJohn BurnSilverSalcombe Yacht Club455249505346513838317
52nd3767Ben ArcherOlivia BelliniSilverParkstone Yacht Club44534755DNF31535241321
53rd3662Nigel HudsonFreya HudsonBronzeBartley Sailing Club4949545152DNF414040322
54th3785Robin CharlesOscar SimmonsBronzeStarcross Yacht Club515153484945524943336
55th3695Peter SlackImmy BrownBronzeRYA433550DNC5047DNC47DNF338
56th3742Howard EelesBradley EelesBronzeBartley Sailing Club5357DNF4651524454DNF357
57th3619Guy BrowneAndy HunterBronzeTrent Valley Sailing Club545660545653555044366
58th3567Martin SmithKaren BestonBronzeBlithfield Sailing Club556362595554585545381
59th3800Richard BramleyCalum TaitBronzeShoreham Sailing Club5655635657555946DNS384
60th3561Joe ShawJulie CronshawBronzeWembley Sailing Club57585858475157DNFDNS386
61st3574Marc CandelasJohn DonoghueBronzeUpper Thames Sailing Club5961645758565453DNF398
62nd3750Neal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteSilverBurghfield SC & Salcombe YC586255DNCDNCDNCDNFDNCDNC439
63rd3586Kieron MasonBelinda MasonBronzeBlithfield Sailing Club606059DNCDNCDNCDNCDNFDNS443
64th3449Carl WhitehillDani WhitehillBronzeRYADNS5956DNCDNCDNCDNFDNFDNS445
65th3792Alistair McDonaldLydia BourneBronzeBerwick Sailing Club & YDSCDNSDNS61DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC457

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