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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Starcross Yacht Club

by Fran Gifford 20 Sep 2022 21:25 BST 17-18 September 2022

Twenty merlins arrived early to the exceptionally warm welcome of a gloriously sunny Starcross Yacht Club on Saturday 17th September for round 14 of the CraftInsure Silver Tiller series. Our race officer Russ Gibbs helpfully let us know that the wind would generally back from Northerly to North Westerly, which proved to be the case, with the pressure spots tending to back resulting in big gains being there for the taking on the left.

Windward-leewards were the order of the weekend, generally across bits of the channel that weave around the River Exe, with the red and green channel markers giving half clues as to where the stronger tide was. With a short wait afloat for the wind to fill in and settle through some huge swings, racing started on the last of the flood, finishing on the rapidly ebbing ebb.

Race one saw Mike and Jane Calvert launch themselves early into a comfortable lead, with the battle for second taking place between Caroline Croft & Faye Chatterton and Arthur Henderson and Livvy Bell, won by Caroline and Faye. The breeze filled in nicely for race two giving everyone more of a leg stretch. A big gust and port lift on the left saw Frances Gifford & Matt Currell take a decent lead into the first couple of laps, only to be reeled in by the Calverts to take their second win of the day.

Caroline Croft and Faye Chatterton took their second podium of the day with a comfortable third. James Wells and Anna Aylward stormed the short windy kite reach between the leeward mark and the finish to clinch fourth, from the jaws of sixth.

The tide had gone out sufficiently quickly that there was insufficient water for a third race, allowing everyone a sunny afternoon of tea, beer and boat bimbling.

Sunday dawned equally early, equally sunny and equally windless, but with the promise of more. A tidal deadline possibly encouraged our race officer to squeeze race three in without a lot of wind to help us round. We did all get round and the Calverts squeezed across the line in a photo finish ahead of Matt Biggs and Beka Jones. Ben Hollis and Will Wilkinson sailed a solid third with a battle royal ensuing on the finish line for fourth, ultimately won by Caroline Croft and Faye Chatterton.

The remainder of the fleet finished in a building breeze which would result in two fantastic hiking races to round out the weekend.

Race four saw Arthur Henderson and Livvy Bell bail left out of the start following turns for a minor indiscretion, only to find something exceptional to lead at the first mark. Caroline and Faye were in hot pursuit with a bit between their teeth. Ranelagh Jack and Dave Royce were in the podium mix throughout, making good use of their collective height advantage.

The following laps were gusty and shifty leading to huge gains and losses, with Caroline and Faye prevailing to take their first win of the regatta followed by Frances and Matt in second and the Calverts pulling through to third. This gave them the open meeting with a race to spare, but all to play for throughout the rest of the fleet.

Caroline and Faye started race five roughly where they'd left off race four, to lead at the first mark. They were chased hard but not hard enough by Frances and Matt, with James Wells and Anna Aylward looking to pull off one of their fancy finishes on a lovely gust on the final run, into the gybe to the finish. It wasn't to be as Frances and Matt had heard all about their finishing skills and were wise to the possibility.

Overall the Calverts had done enough early in the regatta, Caroline and Faye had dominated the latter part for an easy second, and Frances and Matt and meandered around enough in the podium positions to take third. Silver Fleet was hotly contested with Colin and Sean Anderson clinching the prizes with 7th overall and bronze fleet was won by Geoff and Helen Kimber in 10th.

So there it was, another fantastic weekend of racing at Starcross. We were ashore in good time for pasties and free scones and clotted cream and jam. A prompt prize-giving compered by Vyv Game, lots of thanks for all involved, and some more sitting in the sun next to an increasingly muddy but beautiful estuary. Thank you Starcross - I'm sure we'll all be back.

Next up on the Silver Tiller circuit is a first visit to another beautiful estuary - Stone Sailing Club on the River Blackwater in Essex - where a warm welcome, a great social and excellent racing are promised - 1st and 2nd of October. Stone SC look forward to welcoming us all.

Overall Results:

PosFleetBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stplatinumQuick Fix3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe YC1113‑66
2ndplatinumBlack Swan3803Caroline CroftFaye ChattertonLymington Town23‑4117
3rdgoldHot Totty3676Frances GiffordMatt CurrellRanelagh SC42‑52210
4thplatinumPokey3801Matt BiggsBeka JonesBartley SC5‑726417
5thgoldPoint n Squirt3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA64‑165318
6thgoldBluebird3683Arthur HendersonLivvy BellSalcombe YC3‑1067521
7thsilverStanley3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfield867‑17728
8thsilverWild at Heart3709Jack NortonDave RoyseRanelagh‑159104831
9thplatinumDuck and Dive3713Chris GouldSarah RobertsLymington‑10888933
10thbronzeAura3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone SC111199‑1840
11thgoldWild Card3656Charlotte GoughDave GoughStarcross YC912‑18101142
12thsilverBlood sweat and beers3730Ben HollisWilliamBlithfield13‑163151243
13thsilverKeyser Soze3684Tom LowStorm SmythWest Hoe SC121314‑161049
14thbronzeHighlander3721Nick TurnerCarly GurrStarcross YC14‑1912111451
15thsilverThe Angels Share3779Dave LeeKirsten GlenStarcross YC75(DNS)DNSDNS54
16thbronzeRocket Science3785Robin CharlesOliver HuntStarcross YC‑181415131355
17thbronzePacemaker3813Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross YC‑191511141757
18thsilverCombat Wombat3772Dan HeatonDan FordMountbatten‑171713121557
19thbronzePainkiller37Vyv GameMike TuckettStarcross YC16‑1817181667
20thbronzeSlippery When Wet3693Colin LeeDave ParryStarcross YC20(DNS)DNSDNSDNS83

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