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John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland Sailing Club

by Dave Wilkins & Andy Rice 4 Feb 11:07 PST 2-3 February 2019
Jess Lavery and Ian Walker in the John Merricks Tiger Trophy 2019 © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

Round six of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series, the John Merricks Tiger Trophy, attracted 118 boats to the start line despite the horrendous wind chill factor. Old boys Neil Marsden and Jonny McGovern showed the nippers how to race a 420 at warp speed...

Neil Marsden and Jonny McGovern turned in a barnstorming performance to plane their 420 to victory at the John Merricks Tiger Trophy last weekend at Rutland Water. The sixth event in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series was the toughest yet, with a severe wind chill for three strong-wind back-to-back handicap races on Saturday, followed by a gentler breeze for the pursuit race on Sunday.

There were 137 entries at the Tiger this year. Because of the severe weather down South there were 19 that could not make it North to Rutland, so it was a fleet of 118 that made it to the start line, with 48 classes representing 78 different sailing clubs around the country.

Saturday brought an icy wind of 15-20 knots from the north. Air temperature was only just above zero, and a lot colder with wind chill factored into the mix. The 420 of Neil Marsden and Jonny McGovern fought it out for the top places with the Fireball of Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff in all three of Saturday's races. Arran Holman and Pablo Garcia in their 420 split them in race 2 where they took the win. A very strong performance from the 2000 of Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge in all three races with 2, 5, 6 kept them in the hunt prior to the pursuit race.

Sunday dawned still very cold and not much wind. However the breeze perked up to about 10 knots and the sun was out for the start of the pursuit race. The temperature was still only just above zero and sailors were seen trying to thaw out their sheets and control lines. The race started on time at 11.00, using the specially designed digital count up clock which helped to avoid any confusion among the competitors about when their start should be.

The leading boats off were the Feva and 2.4mR followed by Laser 4.7s. The two largest fleets, 420s and Fireballs, both had tight starts. The wind was fairly steady around 8-10 knots around the course throughout the race, which made it hard for the flying machines, Moths and A-Class cats, to make any inroads having to first unlap themselves from the leading boats as they started.

The real progress was being made by the 2000 of Simon Horsfield/Katie Burridge and Steve & Ben Tylecote. Despite the light winds, the 420s were making good progress led by Neil Marsden/Jonny McGovern, Aaran Holman/Pablo Garcia and Eleanor Keers/Faye Chatterton. The 2000s maintained their position to finish first and second. The three 420s finished third, fourth and fifth. The "fast boats" just ran out of time but made valiant efforts to catch the leading boats in the light winds. The RS400 of Sam & John Knight, the RS800 of James Plenty/Eddie Grayson and 505 of Tom Gillard/Geoff Edwards N18 of Peter Gray and crew, and RS400 of Mike Simms/Jack Holden were catching up fast and made up sixth to tenth in the race.

The Fireballs really suffered in the winds with Ian Dobson being highest Fireball finisher in 28th place.

Neil Marsden and Jonny McGovern in their 420 were deserved winners, finishing in the top three in all four races. Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge were a strong finisher in all races too, finishing 2nd overall. Aaron Holman/Pablo Garcia in their 420 were also very consistent in all races finishing 3rd overall. Special mention must go to ten-year-old Harry George in his 420 crewed by his dad who finished 27th overall, and eighth 420 out of a fleet of 23.

Jess Lavery was crewed by Ian Walker in the very same 470 that Ian crewed to an Olympic silver medal in 1996 with his old sailing partner and good friend John Merricks, in whose honour the Tiger Trophy is held. They finished a creditable 16th in the 470 with Ian still screwing on fittings just before the first race start.

Ian commented: "It was great fun to sail with Jess but I was shocked how hard I found something that was second nature 20 years ago. The boom seemed a lot lower than I remember! The racing was superb and we always had lots of private battles going on around the race course particularly with a Merlin Rocket in the pursuit race. Saturday was very cold with gusty Northerly winds and I take my hat off to everyone who stuck at it and sailed all three races. I am delighted that Jonny and my old 1996 Olympic 470 and its original sails, foils and spars all held together despite a few ropes snapping (like Jess's toe straps!). It is 20 years since it last sailed. I will admit to more than a few aches and pains on Monday morning. A brilliantly organised event that will have raised a large sum of money the John Merricks Sailing Trust to help support youth sailing. It's also great to see that the winning crew, Jonny McGovern was a JMST award recipient in 2002 when the JMST helped him and [Olympic silver medallist in the 470] Stu Bithell to buy a 420."

Principal race officer David Wilkins was also delighted with the evening meal held in John Merricks' honour. "The Tiger dinner was a great social occasion with over 120 diners enjoying the 'John Merricks favourite meal' and a great talk from Ian Walker. He talked about the history of the Tiger Trophy, told a few stories about their successful partnership, including the last race of the 1996 Olympic Games. Ian explained the work of the JMST and his new RYA role and GBR's Olympic prospects for Tokyo 2020." This was followed by the auction of many goodies provided by Ian, Ben Ainslie, JMST Trust and Selden masts (and others). This raised close to £2000 for the JMST.

It was great that John's dad and family were able to make the prizegiving and Denis made a thank you speech on behalf of John and the JMST.

Thanks were given to:

  • Ian Walker and Suzy Hamel from JMST who organised the auction prizes, and Ian for sailing and a great talk at the dinner.
  • It was supposedly Dick and Vicky Sanders last Tiger Trophy having been involved in organising all 25 previous Tiger Trophies.
  • to all the competitors who travelled in the cold conditions.
  • to all the volunteers who gave up their weekend to help run the event (race teams, safety team, shore teams.
  • And to all the staff at RSC for their support and Catering staff for keeping everyone fed and watered and providing the Tiger dinner.

With SailRacer providing GPS tracking for the first time at the Tiger Trophy, this event also served as a qualifier for the Great British Sailing Challenge which culminates with a Grand Final at Rutland Water in late September.

Simon Horsfield and Burridge (2000 - ASA) jump to the top of the Selden SailJuice Winter Series Rankings, with eight sailors still able to make it to the podium as we go into the final round, the Oxford Blue which takes place on 16 February and usually fills out to its 150-boat capacity. Enter here while you can: www.sailjuiceseries.com

List of prize winners at the Tiger Trophy:

Overall and winner of the "John Merricks Tiger Trophy" - 420 Neil Marsden & Jonny McGovern Blackpool SC
Tony Everard Trophy (Lowest score for fleet races, no discard) - 420 Neil Marsden & Jonny McGovern Blackpool SC
John Merricks Pursuit Trophy (Winner of Pursuit Race) - 2000 Simon Horsfield & Katie Burridge ASA
Shere Khan Trophy (Best placed helm over 60) - RS400 Mike Simms & Jack Holden Carsington SC
Lady Tiger Trophy (First all Female crew) - 420 Eleanor Keers & Faye Chatterton ISC
John Merricks Junior Trophy (U16) - 420 Jamie Cook & Will Martin CBYC
John Merricks Youth Trophy (U19) - 420 Jack Lewis & Fraser Hemmings Draycote Water SC
Tiger Club Trophy (Club with most entries excluding Rutland) - Draycote Water SC

Class Winners (excluding winners of above trophies) with six or more entries:

420 - Aaron Holman & Pablo Garcia (second after Neil Marsden)
Fireball - Ian Dobson & Richard Wagstaff
Blaze - Eden Hyland
Osprey - Terry Curtis & Peter Greig
Laser - Eleanor Craig
RS Aero 7 - Richard Pye

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubHcapR1R2R3R4Pts
14201Neil MARSDENJonny MCGOVERNBlackpool10861‑3135
2200022334Simon HORSFIELDKatie BURRIDGEASA1109‑65218
342053967Arran HOLMANPablo GARCIAHollowell108641‑1149
442054487Jack LEWISFraser HEMMINGSDraycote Water108646‑251222
542056339Eleanor KEERSFaye CHATTERTONISC10869‑158522
65059177Tom GILLARDGeoff EDWARDSSheffield Viking8781110(DNF)829
742055242Megan FERGUSONBettine HARRISFPSC108687(DNC)1631
8Fireball15141Ian DOBSONRichard WAGSTAFFBurwain94422‑32832
9RS8001171James PENTYEddie GRAYSONBeaver 799209‑31736
10RS4001488Mike SIMSJack HOLDENCarsington95219‑30151044
1142056108Jamie COOKWill MARTINCBYC108654‑94049
12Fireball15155David HALLPaul CONSTABLEBlackwater944(RTD)1273150
13Nacra 15 Spi DH70Morgan SMITHAlex HAMELWeston740‑18853952
14RS8001166Ralph SINGLETONSophie SINGLETONBurghfield7991211‑183255
15Blaze766Eden HYLAND ChaseWater102722‑24102456
16470GBRJess LAVERYIan WALKERBritish Sailing Team97314‑18172758
17RS Aero 72439Tim HIRE Royal Lymington107315‑21212359
18Fireball15133Kevin HOPEAndy STEWARTNotts county94416‑17152960
19RS4001202Sam KNIGHTJohn KNIGHTBartley95229‑3226661
20Scorpion2039Grahame NEWTONRachael RHODESStaunton Harold1025‑4729221465
2142056115Dylan MCPHERSONAndrew STURTRYA1086715‑284668
22K1138Andrew SNELL ASA10702726‑291568
23RS Aero 71020Richard PYE Draycote Water1073‑3725361778
24RS Aero 72545Noah REES Torpoint Mosquito10732436‑412585
25Blaze751Josh HYLAND ChaseWater1027‑3333203790
26Laser Radial207986Eleanor CRAIG Draycote Water115032‑56372190
2742051740Harry GEORGEJames GEORGELymington Town1086‑4423323691
28National 18403Oliver HousemanSam Jones & Jeff McGillChew Valley Lake910‑6339233092
2942052480Oliver DOWSON MCGILLSzymon MATYJASZCZUKRLYC1086‑3120136497
3042056091Bertie FISHERCharlie BACONItchenor108610‑19167298
31Challenger312Valerie MILLWARD Rutland Sailability116225‑272453102
32Challenger270Graham HALL Rutland116228‑413143102
33Nacra 15 Spi DH20Ben HARRISAnnabel LUXTONWeston740‑2616483103
3442054480Callum DAVIDSON‑GUILDOscar CAWTHORNETrearddur Bay108613‑585444111
35D‑Zero217Thomas SOUTHWELL Netley 1036‑55434919111
36RS Aero 72060Andrew MCKEE Rutland1073(DNC)352749111
37Fireball13944Dan JOHNSONBen LATHAMErrwood944‑38283350111
38RS Vareo407Luke FISHER Emberton Park1090‑72544818120
39Merlin Rocket3569Ben LulhamSam LulhamRSC96846‑645026122
40Laser Radial202320Gemma MCDONNELL Hollowell115046‑614038124
41GP1413870Maciej MATYJASZCZUKCharlie COTTERWelsh Harp11313967(DNF)20126
42Fireball15114John HAYESJoel JAMESSouthport944‑42403452126
43Enterprise22901Paul YOUNGEmma COLEMANMidland114956(DNC)4634136
44Fireball14940Georgia BOOTHTbc TBCSailing Dam94440‑454354137
45RS Aero 52552Sammy ISAACS‑JOHNSON Maidenhead11292357(DNC)59139
46Laser Radial171861Lydia BARBER Blithfield115050‑654445139
47RS Aero 71336Joe GALLIVAN Lymington Town1073‑69343876148
48Fireball15143Isaac MARSHOliver DAVENPORTNorthampton944‑17136OCS156
49Blaze799Richard BOTTING Draycote Water1027‑53484267157
5042056467Ellie DRIVERRose EDMONDSDraycote Water1086‑62375568160
51420549Toby SCHONROCKThomas CLAYTONParkstone108630‑423994163
5240004281Harry LITTBetty BOORSC9175131(DNC)81163
53National 18401Peter GRAYRichard Pepperdine SIMON FORBESStaunton Harold910(DNC)UFD199165
5442054187Phoebe HUTCHINGSEmmy WALKERWarsash108643‑463588166
55Graduate3013Fresh ABENDSTERNIzzy WATERFALLToddbrook112960‑725848166
56D‑Zero54Ed DEACON Hunts1036‑54525362167
57D‑Zero191Nigel AUSTIN Cransley10365753‑5958168
58Laser209003Mark GREENSTREET Wembley11126869(DNF)35172
5942052566Katheryn BYNEEllie RUSHDraycote Water1086(DNC)705151172
60Laser Radial197924Jamie MASON Blithfield115066‑795256174
61D‑One2Laurence MILTON RYA9718262(DNC)33177
6242054997Charlotte VIDELOCally TERKELSENFrensham Pond10864963(DNF)65177
63D‑Zero150Andrew SPENCER Burton10364860(DNC)70178
64Laser202539Kev ARMSTRONG Wembley1112‑76766142179
65RS Aero 72105Lily BARRETT Island Barn107378‑854655179
66Blaze661Ben Harden Burham10277250(DNC)61183
67RS Aero 72582Nick NEVE Rutland10737766(DNC)41184
68Fireball14388James CUXSONJames Neil ARNOTTNewhaven & Seaford9445951(DNF)74184
69200022353Andy DringSimon LakenRSC1109(DNC)4412DNC193
70Streaker1462Paul CARRINGTON Paxton Lakes115565‑876666197
7142053304Lucy HUGHESJoshua MANNINGPwllheli1086(DNC)476591203
7242055244David PEATYJude SINGLETONHollowell10865268(DNC)92212
73GP1413949Peter NUGENTCharles SAUNDERSStaunton Harold1131‑89816269212
74RS6008Richard SMITH Wilsonian9203649‑56DNC222
75Solo5138Patrick OVERS Paxton Lakes115283‑886477224
76Challenger281Jack ALDERDICE Rutland116241‑5547DNC225
77RS4001453Stu HALMANMartin SPENCERLeigh and Lowton952(DNC)UFD6722226
7842053645Scarlett CAWTHORNEFreya TERRYShustoke SC10866774(DNC)85226
79Lark2293Gareth RUSSELLAimee RUSSELLPaxton Lakes107080‑826878226
802.4m136Jazz TURNER Newhaven and Seaford1230‑87846987240
81OK3Simon Cowood RSC11153471(DNF)DNC242
8240004546Tim LITTTim LITTRSC917‑645957DNC253
83D‑Zero193Kevin MOLL Hunts 10368886(DNC)80254
84Supernova1083Serena STEWARDSON Emberton Park10758583(DNF)89257
85RS Aero 51964Alice LUCY Rutland112973‑8060DNC270
8642054536Charlie BAKERSam DyerMedway1086‑847563DNC275
8720002146Steve TYLECOTEBen TYLECOTERutland1109(DNC)DNCDNC2276
88Musto Skiff396Stuart HARRIS Banbury84886(DNF)DNC60283
89Osprey1234Terry CURTISPeter GREIGSutton Bingham939(DNC)DNCDNC11285
90Fireball14950Chris THORNEJono LOELyme Regis94458(DNF)DNC90285
91Osprey1356Ben HAWKESSimon HAWKESCastle Cove939(DNF)UFDDNC13287
92Blaze763Peter MCFARLANE Burghfield102775(DNS)DNF75287
9342054998Chloe FELTONBecky CROPLEYStaunton Harold10867478(DNF)DNC289
94Laser196556John CURRAN Wembley11127977(DNF)DNC293
95Fireball15150Angus HEMMINGSSteve CHESNEYRYA94421(UFD)DNCOCS295
96Osprey1322Matt BURGEVyv TOWNENDBough Beech939(DNF)22DNCDNC296
97Tornado 24m2 Spi404Bo DUKEBoss HOGGRutland County66461(DNC)DNC100298
98Musto Skiff80Harry MCVICAR Draycote Water84870(DNC)DNC95302
99Merlin Rocket3673Caroline CROFTTom LONSDALEBlithfeild96835(DNC)DNCDNC309
100Osprey1373Richard MARSHALLSteve WATSONPoole939(DNF)DNFDNC47321
101Int Moth45James SAINSBURY Rutland48581(DNC)DNC104322
102RS Feva XL2937Ben KNIGHTSTheo DEVERILLHunts1240(DNF)DNCDNC57331
103Contender2210Alex SHAW Chase969(DNF)DNFDNC63337
104Laser 4.7213524Jamie TYLECOTE Rutland1210(DNC)DNCDNC71345
105Flying 153726Bill RidlingtonDavid HodsonRSC1020(DNC)DNCDNC73347
10642056116Ellie CLARKDaisy DESORGHERRipon1086(DNF)DNCDNC79353
107RS500689Chris PemberyFreya PemberyRSC963(DNF)DNFDNC82356
108Streaker1519Angus BEYTS Newburgh1155(DNC)DNCDNC84358
109Spitfire106Max MCCARROLLRosie TURTLEWeston705(DNF)DNFDNC86360
110Solo4202Paul Burton Welland1152(DNC)DNCDNC93367
111B14755Kevin MOOREStuart MOORENetley857(DNF)DNCDNC96370
112Laser 4.7162883Solomon Wilby RSC1210(DNC)DNCDNC97371
113RS600647Martyn Barrett RSC920(DNF)DNCDNC98372
114RS600680George COLES Carsington920(DNC)DNCDNC99373
115Nacra 15 Spi DH19Hector BunclarkMaddy KirkNorth Devon740(DNF)DNCDNC101375
116Int Moth4544Matt Lea RSC485(DNC)DNCDNC102376
117Cherub2650Martyn DENCHFIELDOliver GOOLDENStaunton Harold890(DNF)DNCDNC103377
118Int Moth4072Tom Lambert Wilsonian485(DNC)DNCDNC105379
119=Norfolk Punt22Colin MURRAYOliver MURRAYRoyal Marines870(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Osprey1116Dj EDWARDSMike GREIGMBSC939(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Osprey1347Philip MEAKINSChris DODDSWarsash939(DNC)DNCDNCOCS411
119=Osprey1362Emma STEVENSONTim BOWDENWeymouth939(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=RS4001309Russ CLARKEmma CLARKERNSA952(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=D‑One21Vanessa WEEDON‑JONES Grafham971(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Int Moth ‑ No foils3029Paul HIGNETT Loch Lomond980(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=RS Aero 91298Richard WATSHAM Starcross1024(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Blaze811Pete BARLOW Burghfield 1027(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Blaze839Alex WALTON Chase1027(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Solo5649Steven BISHOP Girton1152(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=200022256David WigginsTom WigginsRSC1109(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Laser173520Andrew STEWART Notts County1112(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Laser198880Adam HAGUE Ogston1112(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=Enterprise23411Richard PRYKEMillie PRYKERipon1149(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=RS Aero 71068Charlie SANSOM Bowmoor1073(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=42047987James MACLACHLANKenny CHOULARTONGirton1086(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411
119=42053703Maisie HARKESSAnnabel HITCHMOUGHBowmoor1086(DNC)DNCDNCDNC411

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