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Merlin Rocket Open at Lymington Town Sailing Club

by Lou Johnson & David Lenz 2 Sep 05:50 PDT 29-30 August 2020

The spirit of the Merlin Rocket Sailor - what the pandemic hasn't changed

Back in January the Merlin Rocket class announced their Silver Tiller dates for 2020, Lymington Town Sailing Club, was set to host the class on 29th and 30th August, and they did just that. Albeit not a Silver Tiller it was an open where 20 visiting boats joined the local fleet of 12 with a goal to put on a fun and safe weekend aimed to get people back on the water in what is establishing itself as the 'new normal'.

On the water it was business as usual with some carefully thought out measures on land; including a walk around the club talking through the Covid-19 social distancing measures in place (you can watch the video here) and a pre-recorded briefing, both of which were emailed to all competitors before arrival in Lymington.

Over the weekend, Lymington delivered some very shifty northerly conditions keeping everyone on their toes, with plenty of interesting moments across the fleet. Andy 'Taxi' Davis and Pippa Kilsby took the overall win, with Simon Potts and Holly McArthur in second and locals David and Victoria Lenz in third.

It was not plain sailing, and across the fleet boats were poised and ready to take advantage of any rusty manoeuvres along the way as people found their racing gear. New Southerners Chris Gould and Caroline Croft put their mark on the results table, taking the win in race 1. Jon and Mimi Gorringe, Ian Dobson and Charlotte Fildes, Matt Biggs and Beka Jones, Will and Arthur Henderson, Chris Jennings and James Stewart all got in the mix.

What can be taken away from the event:

  • Despite nearly five months out the boat, Andy Davis and Pippa Kilsby have not lost their ability to show the fleet the way around the course, even when navigating around the local marks.

  • The first male crew finished in 7th place, showing that Merlin Rockets are suitable for the ladies and well as the gents.

  • James Wells and Anna Aylward stormed to victory in the Silver Fleet leaving the competition in their wake finishing an incredible 5th overall.

  • A northerly breeze at Lymington is very shifty and will keep the crew on their toes.

  • Post sailing doughnuts can still happen during a pandemic.

  • A club with volunteers and a 'can do' attitude can get a group of sailors together for a fun and safe weekend on and off the water in 2020.

  • Navigational courses proved popular, and sailors would like to see more of them when visiting in the future.

  • Online briefings and videos about the club in advance take the pressure off sailors on the day.

Overall, it is hard to ask for a better weekend and we're pretty sure there were plenty of tired bodies on Monday as sailing muscles were rediscovered - thank goodness for Bank Holiday Monday's! A huge thanks to all the volunteers who made the event possible, to the visitors who made the journey and to Hayman Marine who supplied spot Marlow Ropes prizes for the event.

The club looks forward to welcoming the fleet back in 2021.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stGold3735Andy DavisPippa Kilsby 3‑4141110
2ndGold3802Simon PottsHolly McArthurBurghfield4321‑14313
3rdGold3778David LenzVictoria LenzLymington Town SC‑121383217
4thGold3791Jon GorringeMimi GorringeParkstone YC27‑1395730
5thSilver3746James WellsAnna AylwardStarcross SC‑2081074534
6thGold3804Ian DobsonCharlotte Fildes 72153(DNC)936
7thGold3726Will HendersonArthur Henderson 9‑168152438
8thGold3658Chris JenningsTBCBurghfield115(DNC)2101240
9thGold3801Matt BiggsBeka Jones 5144(DNC)9840
10thGold3736Roger PhillipsChris KilsbyBurghfield699126(DNC)42
11thGold3709Rob HendersonAlice MarhamLymington Town SC‑131171071045
12thGold3670Tim ParsonsSarah Parsons 1010‑1713131157
13thGold3585Peter GrayRachael RhodesStaunton Harold21131268(DNC)60
14thBronze3719Rob MartinJan MartinLymington Town SC15‑19111612660
15thGold3683Alex HaymanBen GeorgeLymington Town SC1412161111(DNC)64
16thGold3775Daniel WilletPete NicholsonBrightlingsea81865(DNC)DNC70
17thSilver3784Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town SC‑24171414151373
18thGold3803Chris GouldCaroline CroftMidland SC165(DNC)DNCDNC78
19thSilver3731Andy JonesMaddie JonesBurghfield171518‑20171481
20thBronze3583Ben EavesColin Anderson 18‑211918191589
21stBronze3704Jemma HorwoodSel SharThames SC16‑252122181996
22ndBronze3604Robbie BoydRebecca ColesLymington Town SC(DNC)2020DNC2118112
23rdBronze3450Ben GreenKrysti GalpinLymington Town SC‑262622232320114
24thSilver3805Mark ReddingtonColin StaiteBartley2322(DNC)1920DNC117
25thBronze3748Nigel BrookeSuzie BrookeLymington Town SC(DNC)23DNCDNC1616121
26thBronze3485Barry DunningTBCRoyal Lymington YC2524(DNC)21DNCDNC136
27thBronze3650Gareth GriffithsTono MartinezLymington Town SC(DNF)DNCDNCDNC2217138
28thSilver3732John CooperBecci WigleyLymington Town SC(DNC)DNCDNC17DNCDNC149
29thSilver3711Sam ThompsonLean Thompson 19(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC151
30thSilver3740Pat BlakeJilly BlakeLymington Town SC22(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC154
31st 3478Colin SimmondsTBC (DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC165
31st 3750Neal LillywhiteFreya Lillywhite (DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC165

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