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Merlin Rocket Open Meeting at Upper Thames Sailing Club

by Richard Pausey, UTSC 16 Sep 07:14 PDT 12 September 2020
Upper Thames Merlin Rocket Open © Tony Ketley

Upper Thames Sailing Club was pleased to host a single day Merlin Rocket De May and Thames Series event on Saturday 12th September 2020. With the races run from the frontage due to the current restrictions, we were blessed with a beautiful day and a fairly steady breeze from the west, blowing straight down the river.

Race one got under way with a clean start, although a little line shy for the fleet of 15, but with the added complication of a fleet of rowing sculls returning from downstream, heading for Marlow. The course, a straight windward and leeward mark, saw the fleet beat for a third of a mile upstream in a consistent breeze across the whole of the river. John and Olivia Bell sailing Grand Teton led for two laps, closely followed by Alex Jackson and Arthur Henderson sailing Katy Lou, with John and Ollie Meadowcroft sailing Keto in third. On the third lap, Alex and Arthur took the lead, and won the race, with John and Olivia second and John and Ollie in third. There were similar battles in the middle of the fleet, which provided an entertaining race for the competitors.

Race two was back-to-back and with the fleet being a little more confident, three boats were over at the starting signal. Unfortunately, Rob and Georgie Cage sailing Hullabalou decided not to come back and were scored OCS. Grand Teton led from Keto in second, with Pat and Jilly Blake sailing Tiercel in third. Katy Lou, having returned at the start, pulled off some impressive moves to claw their way back from fifth on the first lap to first on the second. Alex and Arthur maintained their lead on the final lap to take their second win of the day, with John and Olivia in second, and John and Ollie in third.

After lunch the race committee decided to have a course change for the Spade Oak Bowl trophy race, with the inclusion of two additional marks to provide a chicane. Having already won the Thames and De May, Alex decided to watch from the bank with his family, and Arthur took the helm with Chris Kilsby crewing. They read the shifts well and maintained a substantial lead throughout the race. Grand Teton followed in second and Martin Hunter and Tim Williams, having decided to change boat for the final race, finished third sailing Quiver. Unfortunately, it was clearly not Rob and Georgie's day, having been in the leading group throughout the day. They retired from the first race after two laps and then had spinnaker issues in the final race, which also resulted in them retiring on the second lap.

Our thanks go to all the competitors for attending the meeting, the race team, safety boat crews and bar team. The club looks forward to welcoming the fleet back next year, when we hope we are able to host a more normal Covid-free two-day event.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1stKaty Lou1493Alex JacksonArthur Henderson11(DNC)2
2ndGrand Teton1201John BellOlivia Bell‑2213
3rdTiercel901Pat BlakeJilly Blake‑4426
4thKeto10John MeadowcroftOllie Meadowcroft33‑46
5thExequiisite2266Chris RathboneSonia Rathbone55‑710
6thSatisfaction2604J SteinNicki Binks‑109312
7thAfter Myth3054Martin HunterTim Williams66(DNC)12
8thSamanda596Tim MetcalfValerie Hamill‑97613
9thFlinkidink1097Stuart JenkinsNcola Scadden‑1110515
10thFirestarter3548Kevin RoseSue Mackenzie88(DNF)16
11thLady Hyperion2037Richard BurtonMiles Phillips711(DNF)18
12thShindig3502S SmithTheo Smith12(DNF)820
13thHullabalou1692R CageG Cage(DNF)OCSDNF32
14thDeep Thought3451Martin WhitworthCarol WhitworthDNF(DNC)DSQ32
15thGently723Mervyn AllenLaura StockDNF(DNC)DNC33

Spade Oak Bowl Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewR1
1stKaty Lou1493Arthur HendersonChris Kilsby1
2ndGrand Teton1201John BellOlivia Bell2
3rdQuiver774Martin HunterTim Williams3
4thTiercel901Pat BlakeJilly Blake4
5thSatisfaction2604J SteinNicki Binks5
6thKeto10John MeadowcroftOllie Meadowcroft6
7thFlinkidink1097Stuart JenkinsNcola Scadden7
8thSamanda596Tim MetcalfValerie Hamill8
9thExequiisite2266Chris RathboneSonia Rathbone9
10thShindig3502S SmithTheo Smith10
11thFirestarter3548Kevin RoseSue MackenzieDNF
11thDeep Thought3451Martin WhitworthCarol WhitworthDSQ
11thHullabalou1692R CageG CageDNF
11thLady Hyperion2037Richard BurtonMiles PhillipsDNF
DNQAfter Myth3054Martin HunterTim WilliamsDNC
DNQGently723Mervyn AllenLaura StockDNC

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