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Merlin Rocket De May & Thames Series at Hampton Sailing Club

by Livvy Bell 27 Oct 22:56 PDT 24 October 2020

A heavy wind was forecast for the Hampton De May & Thames Series Merlin Event. The duty officer made the decision to run 3 back-to-back races as the wind was set to build throughout the day. Craftinsure sponsored the event and generously supplied water bottles for all competitors.

After a busy start line, the first race got away with Stuart Jenkins and Nicola Scaddan taking the lead round the windward mark, closely followed by Hywel Perkins & James Warren, with Simon Girven and Rob Parslow in third.

Alex Jackson & Arthur Henderson took the lead downwind sailing underneath the top three and went on to win the first race, hotly chased by Phil Dalby & Suzi Bell in second and with Ben Palmer and Bruna de Queiroz in third.

The rescue team had a busy morning with multiple capsizes as strong gusts blew down the river, John & Livvy Bell fell victim to them amongst others.

A Hampton Open wouldn't be complete without a home member (unnamed) crashing into the infamous willow tree whilst trying to hug the windward shore upwind.

The second race started with Alex and Arthur taking the lead around the windward mark with John & Livvy hot on their heels and Phil & Suzi in third. Unfortunately on the second run a big gust hit Alex and Arthur and their rudder ripped itself from the back of the boat, ending up with them having to take down their sails and retire for the day, opening the door for Phil, Suzi, John & Livvy who sailed on to 1st and 2nd and Simon Girven and Richard Parslow in 3rd.

As the wind picked up for the third race, John & Livvy managed an early lead round the windward mark with Andrew Mills & Ben Peerless close behind. The fleet had some cracking planing reaches with their spinnakers up outside the clubhouse, a great watch for spectators.

With John & Livvy taking a comfortable lead, Phil & Suzi emerged from the back of the fleet and managed to sneak into the lead of the chasing pack. The third race finished just in time before the wind really picked up. John & Livvy took first, Phil & Suzi in second and Ben & Bruna in third.

Hampton Results:

1st John & Livvy Bell - 1201
2nd Phil Dalby & Suzi Bell - 1761
3rd Ben Palmer & Bruna de Queiroz - 2152

De May & Thames Series 2020

The 2020 De May & Thames Series' were kindly sponsored by Craftinsure. The Hampton event was the last in the De May & Thames Series with prize-giving held after racing.

The De May & Thames Series Calendar was greatly reduced this year with just four events taking place due to the pandemic. The four events that took place were Ranelagh, Upper Thames, Tamesis and Hampton with three events from four counting towards the final series results. Over the four events 40 crews competed in both series.

The racing with close throughout with two crews being able to win the series at the last event.

Congratulations to all the prize winners and a big thank you to all four clubs for hosting events in these challenging times.

Thames Series Overall:

1. John & Livvy Bell - 1201
2. Alex Jackson and Alex Warren/Arthur Henderson - 1493
3. Pat and Jilly Blake - 901

De May Series Overall:

1st- John & Livvy Bell - 1201
2nd- Alex Jackson & Arthur Henderson/ Alex Warren - 1493
3rd- Andrew Mills & Ellie Mills/ Ben Peerless - 3088

Individual Awards:

Most Improved Sailor - Andrew Mills - 3088
Most Original Boat Competing - Pat & Jilly Blake - 901

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