Please select your home edition
Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Banbury Sailing Club Vintage and Classic Dinghy Open

by Tim Bury 9 Oct 2022 12:17 BST 24 September 2022

Sixteen boats, including around ten visitors from the CVRDA and Vintage and Classic Merlin fleets, sailed in our Vintage and Classic event.

The Vintage Merlins were competing for the Demay Series and the winner would take home the Banbury Shield trophy for 12 months. They enjoyed good sailing in a force 3 northerly breeze with some sunshine. There were two races before lunch and one in the afternoon. The boats ranged from International Moths and Merlin Rockets to Solos and Mirrors, and a British Moth, a Wayfarer, a Finn (Ben Ainslie's Olympic class) and an Albacore in between, so the Duty Crew stayed on the start/finish line to record lap times. It was interesting to note how many boats could fetch the Committee Boat, or not, from Buoy 8, only partly due to the variability of the wind.

The start in race one seemed to favour those towards the pin end due to the line bias and those boats, which included Ian's Shelley and Tim and Pat in ROTS, were able to call for room to tack away from the shallows which put them in a good position up the first beat. The battle for the lead was between those two and Satisfaction, the other red Merlin who went on to finish first across the line, but not far enough in front to save his handicap from the Moths of Ian, Lyndon and Tom who took the top three places with Roger in the Mirror gaining fourth place. Merlin 3506 (Smartypants) arrived late for the start, but showed signs of things to come by rapidly catching the fleet and passing all except the leading group of boats. Graham in his newly acquired all varnished Mistral Moth was coping well on his first outing until his gooseneck failed with a loud bang forcing him to retire.

A similar pattern emerged in race two, but this time Smartypants made a good start and soon took the lead with a group of boats chasing hard. The three moths enjoyed a close battle with Lyndon and Ian swapping places several times until the decisive 3rd beat when Ian went hard right picking up a favourable wind shift giving him a decent lead over Lyndon at the windward mark. Merlin 3506 Smartypants was never headed and went on to finish with a comfortable lead, but the Moths were still close enough to take the top three spots again, with Ian Laing in Merlin 2410 finishing fourth.

During race two Graham managed to fashion and fit a replacement gooseneck with some welcome help from a member of the host club who not only found him a suitable part, but provided some power tools with which to modify it to fit the Needlespar mast.

Whether it was too much lunch, tiredness or more blustery conditions, a number of boats - and not just Moths - capsized in the afternoon. Our Safety Boat attended but no-one needed rescuing.

Race three saw a bit more wind and the welcome return of Graham's Mistral to join the fray. A very even start made the first beat quite hectic with the fleet bunched tightly until the faster boats started pulling clear. Smartypants established an early lead and gradually pulled away with some impressive downwind speed thanks to some excellent spinnaker work. ROTS had a better start this time but couldn't match the pace of Smartypants. The three leading Moths were again locked in close combat until Tom had a bit of a wobble in the Magnum causing him to drop back. Lyndon and Ian were about to cross tacks on the second beat when Graham who was still coming down the reach failed to spot the boats approaching from leeward causing Lyndon into a panic Gybe which resulted in a lengthy capsize. Ian was able to tack away narrowly avoiding getting entangled in the same incident which left him dicing with Merlin 2604 until a big gust on the reach down to mark 1 caught the Merlin mid kite drop resulting in a wild broach and a capsize. The Albacore of Pat and Sandy suffered a similar fate later in the race and at one point Ian fell out of his Merlin which sailed on without him, so by the end the various incidents combined to shake things up a bit in the results. Ian hung on to take a third victory just ahead of Graham and Christian in their very well sailed Merlin with Roger in the Mirror taking a well deserved third ahead of Gavin in the British Moth and George in the Wayfarer, both of whom seemed to relish the breezier conditions... well they stayed the right way up which helps!

We had no idea who would win the series until after tea, when Sailwave converted the finishing times into average lap times and a set of results. It turned out that the Moths had had a ball(!), taking the first three places. Prizes were awarded to the top boats, K2883 Ian 1st, 3222 Lyndon 2nd, 4066 Tom 3rd, 2604 Jeremy and Sarah 1st Vintage Merlin, 2410 Ian and Steven 2nd Vintage Merlin, and 3506 Graham and Christian 1st Classic Merlin.

Related Articles

Calling clubs/classes to send oldest video footage
Are there any more nostalgic sights of vintage/classic racing to watch? During the pandemic in 2020 there were a number of great videos discovered and digitised. and would love to make sure these wonderful doses of nostalgia are collected together for all to see. Posted on 22 Jul
Merlin Rocket Thames Series at Tamesis
A beautiful oasis of tranquillity in west London... with 'helicopter' gusts Thirteen Merlin Rockets turned out on Sunday 21 May at Tamesis Club for the Thames Series, sponsored by CraftInsure. Also, at stake on the day were the Sondown Cup and the Elizabeth Bowl. Posted on 25 May
Vintage Merlin Rockets at Tamesis
North-east wind direction always keeps the racers on their toes Merlin Rockets turned out on Saturday 20 May at Tamesis Club for the Porteous Cup and Southcott Cup. Also, at stake on the day were points in the de May Series, sponsored by CraftInsure. Posted on 25 May
Rickmansworth Classic International 14 Open
Visitors came from Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia An encouraging 11 boats turned out for the weekend at Rickmansworth Sailing Club with many of them coming some significant distance. Visitors came from North Wales, mid Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia which was a fantastic endorsement. Posted on 17 May
Merlin Rocket De May Vintage & Thames Series
Thames SC & Minima YC host a fleet both narrow and wide Merlin Rocket Vintage & Thames Series open meetings were held at Thames Sailing Club 29th April 2023 and Minima Sailing Club on 30th April 2023. The De May and Thames Series are sponsored by Craftinsure. Posted on 5 May
Searching for a Sixpence on a Chelsea Morning
Lowrider Moths at Nantwich & Borders SC epitomise individuality and enjoyment One of the exciting aspects of the UK dinghy scene is its diversity, yet the Moths seem to celebrate this with an even wider range of boats that spread from what are in effect 'little' versions of bigger classes. Posted on 18 Apr
Merlin Rockets at Hampton
Vintage racing on the river, followed by modern boats the next day Hampton SC hosted the next round of the Merlin Rocket vintage and local circuit meetings. On Saturday the De May vintage series for boats built before 1985 continued, followed by the Thames series open to all Merlins on the Sunday. Posted on 11 Oct 2022
Art on the Water
It is hard not to marvel at the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez photos With Act 1 of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022 now concluded, it was hard not to marvel at the photos coming through from the event. The exceptional photographer Ingrid Abery sent through her shots, which looked like classical paintings. Posted on 4 Oct 2022
Classic and Day Boat zone at Southampton Boat Show
Everything from boats and kit to practical demonstrations Classic and Day Boat area at Southampton Boat Show is the place to be this year with world launches of new boats, innovative solutions for propulsion, live demonstrations, and the chance to learn about boat building techniques from master craftspeople. Posted on 15 Sep 2022
Finn de siècle
Dougal Henshall digs through early historic photos and stories on the Finn class We look at the Finn, the boat that had already cemented its position as the Olympic singlehander in the 50s, although the DNA of the boat was rooted in events leading back even before the war years.... Posted on 8 Sep 2022