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Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championship at Looe Sailing Club - Day 5

by Tim Fells 22 Aug 13:18 PDT 17-23 August 2019

The penultimate day of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships saw another two races and was again a glamorous day on the water. Winds from the SW around 8-12 knots with five degree shifts under mainly sunny skies was the order of the day.

The first race was for the Ranelagh Trophy, where the first 21 boats each receives a bottle of bubbly, very generously sponsored again by Winder Boats, the class's main builder.

The boats that started at the pin had some line bias and it was Taxi and Pippa who were able to get onto port to cross the fleet, while Christian and Sam carried on to almost the port lay line where they benefited from a bit of a left hander. Meanwhile on the right of the course Tim and Jodie Saxton were looking very good. As has been the story of the week, Christian and Sam did just enough to squeeze round ahead and were able to extend from Taxi and Pippa over the full five lap course.

By winning their fourth race of the week Christian and Sam had done enough to secure their second Merlin Rocket title with two races to spare. Their performance has been of the highest class combining consistent boat speed to just eke out those important boat lengths on the tight first beat, with great tactical positioning and boat handling. They are by far the most practiced team in the fleet and it is clear that despite the vast talent in the Merlin fleet at present, practice does make perfect.

Behind Christian and Sam, Taxi and Pippa were second ahead of Roger Gilbert and James Stewart who are putting together a typically strong set of top end results. Ben and Roz McGrane closed out another solid fourth ahead of Ian Sharps and Alex Warren who just got their noses in front of our correspondent at the final mark.

The second race for the Top Hat Trophy again saw a bout of second race fever. Just as on Wednesday the fleet were pulling the trigger early and the Black Flag was unfurled. The most prominent casualty were the Chrises Gould and Kilsby who were in line for a podium finish. Having lost a race to a broken mast they must now pray for the final race to be sailed and the second discard to come (which is not altogether certain with a light easterly forecast).

With Christian and Sam now sporting their yellow jerseys for the first time and clearly in a relaxed mood, the door was open for others to go for the win. Taxi and Pippa need no such invitation and turned on the after-burners to lead around the first mark and do a horizon job on the fleet. There was no looking back and the race was on for second place. Dave and Vicky Lenz were going extremely well but were not able to hold back Christian and Sam, taking a very well-earned third. Roger and James took another top five position ahead of Nick Craig and Tobytastic.

Overall, the battle for the podium positions is very tight between Taxi/Pippa, Roger/Stewart and Nick/Toby, all of who are previous Merlin champions.

In Silver Fleet, George and Sophie Yeoman have continued their excellent form, regularly appearing at the front end of the fleet. In Bronze John Cooper and Becki Wigley are keeping their noses in front.

The locals are not positive about the conditions for Friday but we are hopeful that the forecast Easterly will give us the chance for a final race with a lot up for grabs.

Results after Day 5:

PosSail NoFleetHelmCrewFounders CupBeechers CupClyde QuaichWest Country TrophyHoward TrophyWinter TrophyRanelagh TrophyTop Hat TrophyPts
1st3788GoldChristian BirrellSam Brearey1212‑311210
2nd3722GoldRoger GilbertJames Stewart‑13645153428
3rd3684GoldAndy DavisPippa Kilsby55745(BFD)2129
4th3776GoldNick CraigTobytastic Lewis31617‑1811534
5th3739GoldBen McGraneRoz McGrane14312‑191044754
6th3764GoldTim FellsFran Gifford11‑16813486858
7th3786GoldDavid WadeBen Rayner128(RET)119614666
8th3712GoldIan SharpsAlex Warren71110918(BFD)51575
9th3802GoldSimon PottsAlly Potts61358241012(DNF)78
10th3726GoldWill HendersonArthur Henderson420‑241615391885
11th3803GoldChris GouldChris Kilsby(DNF)4332118BFD97
12th3658GoldChris JenningsChris Martin8‑2415231121159102
13th3795GoldAlex JacksonMary Henderson15192315617‑2611106
14th3691GoldMike CalvertJane Calvert2518‑3714252717108
15th3778GoldDavid LenzVicky Lenz(RET)2811122813133108
16th3807GoldTim SaxtonJodie Saxton(RET)720729231013109
17th3736GoldRoger PhillipsWill Crocker914192123722(BFD)115
18th3777SilverGeorge YeomanSophie Yeoman2421‑261019121614116
19th3742GoldPete BallantineRob AllenL05251822229‑2710121
20th3759GoldSam BarkerMegan Pascoe‑3112162812152320126
21st3791GoldJon GorringePete Gray2102621(BFD)21DNF128
22nd3673GoldCaroline CroftTom Lonsdale16221726131433(DNS)141
23rd3796GoldWilliam WarrenRachel Rhodes2292727142518‑28142
24th3756SilverSophie MackleyJames Ward29‑5192516271923148
25th3801GoldMatt BiggsBeka Jones1826‑35318223016151
26th3781GoldDavid WinderLiv Bell17‑34302020192821155
27th3709SilverRob HendersonJames Ellis21232824‑30262019161
28th3775GoldDan WillettPete Nicholson233825(BFD)27242512174
29th3711SilverSam ThompsonLeanne Thompson‑3229211826303122177
30th3787SilverChris MartinSamuel Bailey1930‑392932353424203
31st3774GoldJon TurnerRichard Parslow2617223531(BFD)17DNC214
32nd3641SilverMark WaterhouseMat Currell3033‑503634163829216
33rd3804SilverAndrea BrewsterCharlotte Fildes‑4537293935203525220
34th3690SilverTim HarridgeClaire Mills27‑40343338282932221
35th3735GoldDave HallPaul Constable(RET)32331717BFD3226223
36th3784SilverMark BarwellLouise Johnson333614344336(DNF)33229
37th3582SilverBen PickeringNathan King343531‑4339333727236
38th3766SilverAndy DalbyPete Horn2015133033(RET)DNFDNC243
39th3666SilverJohn MeadowcroftOliver Meadowcroft44313237L05(BFD)2430244
40th3732BronzeJohn CooperBecci Wigley‑4227423237324237249
41st3749SilverBen HollisColin Anderson28413838‑53404034259
42nd3719BronzeRob MartinJan Martin3543(RET)4642293631262
43rd3790SilverColin BrockbankSuzy Brough404646423631‑4739280
44th3745SilverPaul DeanRussell Hall374745‑5440344138282
45th3769SilverGraham Cranford SmithRob Langley384840(DNF)44384435287
46th3706BronzeLawrence ToshJack Tosh(RET)56414046375036306
47th3772SilverPhil EmeryPhoebe Paine494448‑5151394341315
48th3794BronzeJulian HarmsTimothy Harms4154434448(BFD)4642318
49th3767BronzeBen ArcherOlivia Bellini4850‑565350425546344
50th3442BronzeMatt SmithJared Lewis(DNC)4247DNCRET414540347
51st3740SilverPatrick BlakeJilly Blake36393641(DNC)DNCDNCDNC350
52nd3555BronzeEmma RobertsonCarl Weighill53‑61515745485145350
53rd3695BronzePete SlackConnor Langan54(DNF)RET4747464943352
54th3639BronzeDan HeatonRory Hunter39(RET)DNS5052BFD3944356
55th3800BronzeRichard BramleyLiam Weighill47525256‑61515447359
56th3577BronzeJoe ToshWill Lowe(UFD)4544455445DNCDNC365
57th3704BronzeJemma HorwoodSel Shah515549‑5858475750367
58th3668BronzeMark SmythJulie Cronshaw4653(RET)55564353DNS372
59th3723BronzeGeoff KimberHelen Kimber4349554862(DNC)52BFD375
60th3511BronzeAndrew MillsEllie Mills50‑59535957505949377
61st3449BronzeCarl WhitehillSamuel Whitehill(DNC)57546059495648383
62nd3751BronzeHuw ReynoldsPhil Scott(RET)RETRET49494448DNC388
63rd3619BronzeGuy BrowneGreg Martin52(DNF)DNC525553DNFDNC410
64th3482BronzeRichard BurtonPatrick Burton55585761(UFD)54DNCDNC417
65th3561BronzeJoe ShawHannah Burt(RET)60RET62605258DNC424

Find out more at merlinrocketchamps.com

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