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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Parkstone YC Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller and End of Season Silver Tiller Dinner 2022

by Richard Whitworth 1 Nov 2022 07:13 GMT 29 October 2022
Merlin Rocket End Of Season Dinner © Richard Whitworth

29 boats gathered for the end of season Craftinsure Silver Tiller and black tie/posh frock prize-giving dinner dance held at Parkstone Yacht Club on Saturday 29th October.

The forecast was frisky at 16-26kts and promised a good blast round in the 'top triangle.' Graham Davies, PRO, briefed the competitors and advised of the additional Flying Fifteen club fleet racing, Feva RYA session plus Cruiser training also hosted by the club elsewhere in the harbour.

The forecast was correct, and all of the boats were quickly locating the rake strings on the way to the start line.

A sausage/triangle course of about a mile in length, bearing 175 degrees provided a superb racetrack with plenty of options. The 'top triangle' can be dominated by Brownsea Island, but Graham had positioned the track sufficiently clear to have minimal effect.

All three starts of the day were clear and turned around speedily minimising the faff and enabled the fleet to get down to the racing in hand.

In the first race the left-hand side of the beat seemed to pay but it was tight at the first mark with a gaggle of boats arriving overlapped. Christian Birrell/Luke Patience, Richard Whitworth/Jemima Scroggie, Simon Potts/Richard Parslow bore away to go right toward Brownsea, Jon Gorringe/Matt Currell gybing immediately and taking a gust into the middle of the harbour.

The long run provided excellent planning conditions and caused a few hairy moments. The patchy gusts stretched the fleet toward their limits but offered a cracking days sailing.

These four plus Tim Saxton/Charlotte Fildes exchanged places throughout the race with notable escapes on the gybe mark especially from Christian/Luke. Jon/Matt always looked in control but couldn't quite take the lead. Simon/Richard slowly closed in on Richard/Jemima and that's how it stayed until the finish.

Race two - more of the same but the wind had dropped a little so only marginal planning at times On the first run Christian/Luke gybing immediately and establishing a dominant lead having taken a line of wind nobody else seemed to get. Jon/Matt, Simon/Richard and Tim Charlotte in hot pursuit.

At the bottom of the run one of the pale blue boats capsized and it was tricky to see who! Was it with the go faster stripe (Jon/Matt) or without (Christian/Luke.) It turned out to be Christian/Luke so Jon/Matt snuck through to take the lead. Apparently, there was an infringement somewhere along the way by Jon/Matt so having gained the lead they ultimately retired handing it to Simon/Richard followed by Tim/Charlotte and the soggy Christian/Luke.

The conditions were overwhelming for some with several retirements throughout the day plus one mast break.

Straight into race three - round the cans

The course was to beat south toward Corfe Castle, reach back to the corner of Brownsea Island, where much carnage occurred in the gybe, followed by a windy tight reach toward Wareham. Some boats with kite, lots without! The fleet then headed back south on the westerly Arne side of the harbour and a broad reach back to Poole. Head upwind again to Volunteer in the middle of the harbour (a mystical mark that none of the locals can normally find except Steve and Ally Tyler) then a broad reach ending up just off Poole Quay to finish and much closer to home.

This was a closely fought battle between the leading three with the smoothness of Jon/Matt eventually pulling through, Christian/Luke second, Simon/Richard third. The last race results important because that dictated the finishing positions for the meeting having concluded on similar final points.

The quote of the day must've been Luke asking Jon how heavy he was as he sailed past their upturned boat.

A big thank you to Graham and his team for some excellent race management and maximising the fun of the racers in a day where we had 27kts across the bows of the committee boat at times. Also, to PYC Class Captain Nick Scroggie and team for co-ordinating all that went into the weekend.

Now onto the other fun stuff...

Rob Allen, MROA Chairman, eloquently compared the evening's activities and guided the 84 diners down the Silver Tiller winners lists in the clubhouse resplendent in Halloween decorations.

Rob had help from Livvy Bell (Honorary Keeper of Class Records) and Stu Bithell (long time Merlin Rocket Sailor who happens to have an Olympic Gold medal!) presenting the prizes.

Aside from the Silver Tiller presentation there was the inaugural presentation of the Silver Pole for the top crew across the 'ST' series. Congratulations to Rachael Gray for her efforts over the season in guiding her helms toward the front of the fleet.

The trophy was presented by John Freeman who was commissioned to construct the base of the trophy with the love and care he put into building Merlin Rockets some years ago.

There were also a few words to commemorate Bryan Howard who bequeathed the funds to donate this perpetual trophy.

Gold Fleet and Best Improver was awarded to Chris Martin and John Tailby, Silver Fleet to Duncan Salmon and Ruth Hanstater and Bronze to Peter and Tim Male.

The Top Mast Trophy has been repurposed to be presented to the top club comprising of the highest three boats in the Silver Tiller. Congratulations to Lymington Town Sailing Club for their success this year. The team of Mark Barwell & Lou Johnson, Chris Gould with various crews and Caroline Croft with various crews have sailed consistently well over the season and thoroughly deserve the trophy.

So, commiserations to Matt Biggs and Beka Jones being pipped at the post in the Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2022 by the best newcomers (!) Tom Gillard and Rach Gray. Well done in a great year for you.

In total 24 Helms qualified for the Silver Tiller, Seven from the Platinum fleet, four Gold fleet, eight from Silver and five from Bronze. 148 Helms took part in at least one Silver Tiller event and 13 needed just one more event to qualify. For the inaugural Silver Pole, there were 13 crews to qualify.

Things are changing in 2023, with a new format for the Silver Tiller, but one thing remains constant, Craftinsure has very kindly agreed to sponsor the Silver Tiller for its 13th consecutive year. Thank you Craftinsure! The class is introducing more regional events with a new SE and SW short series, plus a Women's and Youth Championships on two separate weekends. There's plenty to look forward to you can see the full calendar here.

Parkstone YC excelled themselves off the water too with many comments upon the quality of food, value for money and having a jolly good time dancing into the early hours. Thank you Parkstone.

Roll on the Craftinsure Silver Tiller and Silver Pole 2023.

More on the Silver Pole by Dan Alsop

The Merlin Rocket Owners Association is honoured to announce the Silver Pole, a new perpetual trophy in recognition of the crew. The Trophy is in memory of Bryan Howard from Waveney and Oulton Broad Sailing Club who bequeathed a sum of money to the MROA.

Silver Pole will be awarded to the winning crew on the lowest aggregate points from the Silver Tiller events they compete in.

To qualify in 2022 the crew must be an associate (or full) member of the Merlin Rocket Owners Association and take part in at least five events from the Silver Tiller, one Restricted, one Sea and one Open plus their two lowest scoring events. The crew can carry results with different helms and in different Merlin Rockets.

The base of this trophy is being made from mahogany and is being shaped by retired Merlin Rocket builder John Freeman and Salcombe based ship modeller Malcolm Darch is making the silver pole to be positioned on top. The Silver Pole in memory of Bryan Howard will first be awarded at the end of season dinner at Parkstone Yacht Club 29thOctober 2022.

Nick Truman who Bryan crewed for recalls a championship at Weymouth in 1960 when they got to the first mark, but neither of them knew which way to round it so they had to wait for John Oakley to catch them up! He was a very clever man, but he didn't know that! Bryan owned five Merlin Rockets over the years, he was a likeable, gentle, social, and clever man who will be greatly missed.

Overall Results:

PosDivisionSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stPlatinum3791Jon GorringeMatt CurrellParksone YC2(RET)13
2ndPlatinum3788Christian BirrellLuke PatienceParkstone1‑323
3rdPlatinum3802Simon PottsRichard ParslowBurghfield SC‑4134
4thPlatinum3807Tim SaxtonCharlotte FildesItchenor‑5257
5thPlatinum3703Richard WhitworthJemima ScroggieParkstone YC & HLSC36‑99
6thPlatinum3775Chris JenningsPete NicholsonBurghfield/Brightlingsea64‑710
7thGold3812Tom StewartRob AllenWaldringfield/Salcombe YC‑95611
8thPlatinum3666John MeadowcroftOllie MeadowcroftUpper Thames Sailing Club12(RET)416
9thGold3782Edward ChapmanHannah PetersLymington Town711‑1618
10thGold3780Sarah RichardsNigel WakefieldLymington Town SC10‑21818
11thGold3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham sc810‑2218
12thSilver3727Mark StockbridgeNeil DaviesUpper Thames Sailing Club‑1481220
13thGold3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA‑1671522
14thSilver374Ben HollisAlex PauseyBlithfield/Upper Thames‑2091322
15thGold3676Frances GiffordChris GouldRanelagh SC11‑121122
16thPlatinum3793James GoodfellowRichard CornesBurghfield SC1513(DNS)28
17thSilver3815Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town SC‑19161430
18thSilver3789Nick ScroggieEdward ScroggieParkstone YC‑23141731
19thSilver3712Andy HadfieldBen WhaleyParkstone YC13‑191932
20thSilver3694Steve TylerAlly TylerParkstone1717‑1834
21stSilver3772Dan HeatonBilly WilkinsonMountbatten‑21152035
22ndSilver3684Tom LowEd LowWest Hoe SC1820(DNS)38
23rdBronze3518Julian HarmsGeorge BenderMidland Sailing Club(RET)182139
24thPlatinum3803Caroline CroftSophie MackleyLymington Town Sailing Club(RET)RET1042
25thGold3716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield22(RET)DNS54
26thBronze38Peter GrayRachael GrayStaunton Harold24(RET)DNS56
27thGold3539Dan AlsopJenny KingLyme Regis SC25(RET)DNS57
28thSilver37Ben ArcherOlivia BelliniPYC(RET)DNCDNS64
28thBronze3518Tim HarmsAmelia LittleHampton Sailing Club(RET)DNCDNS64
28thPlatinum3690Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe YC(DNC)DNCDNC64
28thGold3750Neal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteBurghfield(DNS)DNCDNS64

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