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Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series and Felucca Trophy at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Sally Townend 24 Oct 2022 13:31 BST 22-23 October 2022

Sixteen Merlin Rockets turned up for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller open meeting and Felucca trophy at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club on the weekend of 22nd / 23rd October. The club welcomed 7 visitors from as far as field as Parkstone. Home Merlin Rocket teams featured several of the super enthusiastic under 16 juniors.

Rumours of the lake being low proved to be true but recent heavy rain (unusual for Rochdale) had raised the level by six feet in the last week, this resulted in the water looking brown which contrasted with the blue sky that greeted the sailors. Fortunately the wind played ball by blowing from the south best the perfect direction for Hollingworth Lake.

Competitors set sail for race 1 in blustery conditions with Steve Crook and Sally Townend leading the way to the first mark but soon to be overtaken by Matt Biggs and Becka Jones and then Richard Whitworth and Jemima Scroggie with these positions being maintained till the finish.

Race 2 saw several boats bailing out of the start with 15 seconds to go leaving Matt and Becka to lead the way to the first mark. He was followed at the first mark although they had both bailed out at the start Richard and Jemima and Steve and Sally they were closely pursued by Matthew and Tom Winder. The leading three boats pulled away from the rest of the fleet without any further place changes.

Boats went ashore for a Hollingwoth tea and cakes and returned for race three which saw the dream duty team of Nick Hornsby and Roger Mee set a change of course that provided two beats each the full length of the lake providing for close tactical racing with lots of place changing throughout the fleet.

Steve and Sally led at the first mark followed by Richard and Jemima. On the penultimate lap saw Steve and Sally and Richard and Jemima split gybes on the run, with Richard and Jemima coming out smelling of roses, with positions staying the same until the finishing line where there was no bell for Richard and Jemima having missed out the Hollingworth 'I-O' on one of the laps. Jemima tempted to take responsibility for the error but onlookers thought that Richard with 50 years of sailing at Hollingworth Lake should have known where the marks were! So Steve and Sally took the win with Matt and Becka taking second and Nick Heginbotham and Justine Davenport taking third..

Saturday night saw 72 competitors and friends for the Felucca meal with celebrations for Richard Whitworth's 60th birthday, with the night ending with the birthday boy going through the porthole in true Hollingworth tradition.

Sunday morning brought a contrast to Saturday with heavy rain and very blustery winds but by the time of the start at 10.30 the wind had moderated significantly to leave a morning with variable wind strength blowing from the east.

Race four saw Matt and Becka lead from the start except for a momentary swap of places with Richard and Jemima going into mark D under the wind shadow of café point, securing the Felucca trophy with a race to go.

Race 5 with second place still up for grabs, the two contenders Richard / Jemima and Steve/ Sally both went back at the start following a single recall signal, Nick and Justine led at the first mark followed by Tom Daniels and Ryan sailing a boat Tom has brought for £500. Richard and Jemima was soon on the heels of Nick and Justine with Tom holding on valiantly until he found you get what you paid for when his spinnaker halyard shredded. Unluckily Nick and Justine wine glassed their spinnaker at the gybe mark to let Richard and Jemima through followed by Steve and Sally.

Behind the top 3 overall saw Nick Heginbotham/Justine Davenport and Ben Hollis/Alex Pausey battle it out for 4th place with Nick and Justine taking the honours.

The event was concluded with a pie and peas lunch and prize-giving with top three awarded their prizes alongside silver fleet winners Ben Hollis and Alex Pausey and Martin Watts and guest crew Andy Smith being awarded bronze fleet winners.

Special thanks to the race officer and his team and all the volunteers that made for another great weekend at Hollingworth. The Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2022 concludes next Saturday the 29th October at Parkstone Yacht Club.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubFleetR1R2R3R4R5Pts
13801PokeyMatt BiggsBecka JonesBartleyPlatinum1121175
23703FaithlessRichard WhitworthJemmima ScroggieParkstone SCPlatinum2217217
33678NoraSteve CrookSally TownendHLSCGold331329
43679Daddys YotNick HegginbothamJustine DavenportHLSCGold4536315
53732 Ben HollisAlex PauseyBlithfieldSilver54451718
63615EdgarStuart BatesJacob DinHLSCSilver7754622
73596FreebirdMartin WattsAndy SmithHLSCBronze68671226
83557 Matthew WinderTom WinderHLSCBronze86712930
93723DESLes BithellJasper BramwellHLSCBronze10999431
103817 Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone SCBronze9111317841
112663Tyrannasaurus RexChris HowarthXavier Bramwell / Mike HamiltonB&FYCSilver1717148544
123603Laid BackTom DanielRyan RichardsHLSCBronze111312111747
133659ZenoJulian ParryZoe ParryHLSCGold17108171752
143414Chrystal BallsInnes ArmstrongRhiann BramwellBurwainBronze171411101752
153740Why AskPat BlakeJilly BlakeCookham ReachGold171210171756
163368DebutanteIan LaingAndrew HuntHLSCBronze171717171768

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