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Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series and Allen SE series at Shoreham Sailing Club

by Megan Pascoe 19 Jun 22:19 BST 17-18 June 2023
Caroline Croft and Alex Pausey win the Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series and Allen SE series at Shoreham © Warwick Baker /

It's been a while since I've written one of these. More of a blessing than a curse as coming third at a Merlin open is tricky. Sorry I've spoiled the build up to the results now.

30 odd Merlins turned up to the home of real sea sailing, Shoreham Sailing Club, on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller (two days) and the Allen South East Series (Sunday only). Of course, we usually have 20 knots south westerly with big rolling waves.

Well, that's what we were promised. Who's bored of NE lack of wind on the south coast? Anyway, we all trooped out to the west of the harbour on Saturday afternoon along with the Contenders.

Well done to the Contenders for sticking it out for the weekend. They don't look comfortable in under 8 knots. Good luck to all of them who are going to Kieler Woche and then onto the Worlds in Denmark and well done for joining in egg throwing.

As always, we had nice wind until we went to start the first race. After one postponed start the fleet got away. Unfortunately, a massive left shift left the race officer to can the race at the top mark. Hearts go out to Sarah Richards, Nigel Wakefield, Ben Jones and Helen Hilditch for being the first two round the first mark.

After a wait off we go again in an Easterly ish. Breeze out to the right, the fleet got away in light breeze. Jon Gorringe & Matt Currell led comfortably for the first lap. It was tight further behind. Down the last run the wind was even more unstable. Alex Jackson & Louise Johnson made the best decisions. Mark Barwell is going to have to up his game as he has a super crew on his hands.

Will Warren & I (Megan Pascoe) were following Alex & Lou and the two Shoreham boats went round the leeward mark together. It came down to who tacked first. Fortunately for us we did. The fleet was packed behind. Jon & Matt in third and Chris Jennings & Pete Nicholson grabbing fourth.

The lack of wind caused the fleet to retire to the bar. The main event of the evening was the egg throwing contest. This year with prizes so off to the beach we all went. Paul Rayson & Christian Hill made a good showing or throwing in second with Nigel & Freya Hudson taking the win.

Sunday morning came, some forgot to set their alarm clock. Tequila might have been to blame.

We went out to sea after waiting for a ship to come in. Not really as glamorous as the Otis Redding song but there you go. There was wind on the dock but sadly not really in the bay. Off to the east we went and started the first race.

Somebody had their birthday present by winning the pin end. I'm not allowed to mention their name as I will get in trouble. He is now a great grand master and normally sails with a main and a kite.

Alan Warren & Will Carroll were up the front of the fleet and it was Ian & Chris Martin who led the fleet. They held on beating former National Champions Christian Birrell & Sam Brearey. Chris Gould & Sophie Mackley won the family battle finishing in front of Caroline Croft & Alex Pausey.

For the life of me I can't remember the start of the second race, it was one of those weekends. From where I remember there was a big shift at the leeward mark, we reached up the second beat. The run down against the tide in a really light breeze was exciting, quite interesting trying to get round the leeward mark against the tide.

Unfortunately, the race did turn a little inside out with those further behind coming round in the left hander and those in front loosing out. Bad luck to Ian & Chris who should have taken the second win of the day. The big movers were Alex & Louise, Simon Potts & George Bender, who finished fourth and second. Caroline & Alex came through to take the win with Christian & Sam doing well to hold onto third. Dave Winder & Anna Blake and James Wells & Anna Aylward came through well to finish inside the top eight.

The rain and lack of wind led half of each fleet to head home. There was enough wind to start another race except for the pink and black boats and us who were BFD. Not entirely sure what happened but I hear John Meadowcroft & Charlotte Stewart were doing well.

Unfortunately, the reach against the tide that wasn't a reach led the race to be abandoned. The fleet retired home, some more smug than others. An unexpected discard after three races meant the points were really close. Well done to bronze fleet winners Geoff & Helen Kimber, Geoff's second win in a row.

Silver fleet winners were Alan & Will. Bodes well for the annual trip to Salcombe. Fifth went to Ian & Chris Martin, fourth to Alex Jackson & Louise Johnson, third overall plus with winners of the Gold fleet and taking home the Lighthouse Litre (Saturday winners) were William Warren & Megan Pascoe, second went to Christian Birrell & Sam Brearey, and overall winners taking home the Sussex Flagon (Sunday winners) and the Chairman's Cup (first overall) were Caroline Croft & Alex Pausey.

Thanks to the 505 crew of Gareth Caldwell and Tyler Hamsworth for running the racing in tricky conditions. Special thanks to Ivan the Phantom Spinner and Mandy for running the bar. Hopefully if the world we live in has swapped round we had the randomness of Salcombe harbour this weekend so we will get a full SW with big waves at Salcombe week.

The Craftinsure Silver Tiller series takes a little break now until Mumbles Sailing Club 23rd and 24th September, and the next meeting in the Allen SE Series is at Upper Thames on 17th September.

There's plenty before then with the HD Sails Midland Circuit heading to Blithfield Sailing Club on 3rd July, Salcombe Week starts on 9th July and entries are open for the Aspire National Championships at Brading Haven from 30th July - you can enter online now.

Overall Results:

PosFleetBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR2R3R4Pts
1stPlatinumSkadi3820Caroline CroftAlex PauseyLymington Town SC‑7415
2ndPlatinumBlue My Mind3809Christian BirrellSam BreareyParkstone YC‑5235
3rdGoldRoberta3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham SC1‑1556
4thPlatinumGoon3795Alex JacksonLouise JohnsonShoreham SC2‑1246
5thPlatinum 3719Ian MartinChris MartinBurghfield SC81‑139
6thPlatinumKhaleesi3802Simon PottsGeorge BenderBurghfield SC‑11729
7thPlatinumDidley Squat3791Jon GorringeMatt CurrellParkstone YC3‑1069
8thPlatinumBlack Swan3803Chris GouldSophie MackleyLymington Town SC63‑99
9thGoldPoint n Squirt3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA‑156814
10thPlatinumNight Fury3775Chris JenningsPete NicholsonBurghfield SC4‑141216
11thPlatinumAttack Of The Clones3801Dave WinderAnna BlakeHollingworth Lake SC9‑11716
12thPlatinumBaloo3807Tim SaxtonEmma ClarkeItchenor SC‑1481018
13thGoldTiger Tiger3696Alexander WarrenJonty FreemanShoreham SC‑1751419
14thGoldTime Machine3780Sarah RichardsNigel WakefieldLymington Town SC129‑1621
15thPlatinumGary3782Edward ChapmanAmy/EilidhLymington Town SC10‑171121
16thGoldFragile3727Mark StockbridgeJames GiffordUpper Thames SC‑23181533
17thSilver343773Alan WarrenWilliam CarrollShoreham SC‑24132134
18thGoldLeaner Driver3747Clive EplettRebecca VideloFrensham Pond SC‑20161834
19thSilverStill Not Over3665Ross JacksonDave ReidShoreham SC13‑242235
20thGoldSalmon en Croute3702Duncan SalmonRuth HansaterWembley SC18‑201735
21stPlatinumTed3666John MeadowcroftCharlotte StewartUpper Thames SC1919‑2038
22ndGoldSimply Scrumptious3799Paul RaysonChristian HillFishers Green SC1623‑2539
23rdSilverOutnumbered3745Paul DeanHannah BurtWembley SC(DNC)221941
24thBronzeAura3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone SC2221‑2443
25thSilverChill Out3633Timothy HarmsAmelia LittleHampton SC‑26252348
26thBronzeBrambles3800Richard BramleyTony ChealShoreham SC‑28282654
27thSilverBlue Tit3806Ben JonesHelen HilditchShoreham SC21(DNC)DNC55
28thBronzeAttack of the Clones3662Nigel HudsonFreya HudsonBartley SC2926(DNC)55
29thBronzeBronte3663Nick YannakoyorgosMatteo ManciniFishers Green SC3027(DNC)57
30thSilverEuphoria3642Stephen GrahamGeorge GrahamBurwain SC25(DNC)DNC59
31stBronzeIndecision3677Timothy BarrChris MartinTamesis SC27(DNC)DNC61
32ndBronzeAfter Myth3054Stuart JenkinsNicola ScaddanHampton SC / UTSC(DNC)DNCDNC68
32ndBronzePlanet Waves3669Andy PhillipsThalia WylieShoreham SC(DNC)DNCDNC68

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