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Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week - Day 1

by Tim Fells 4 Jul 13:24 PDT 4-9 July 2021

Two years have passed since the Merlin fleet last descended on Salcombe for the Salcombe Gin sponsored Merlin Week, so it was with much excitement that the morning fleet set about the ritual of crossing the estuary to Mill Bay to prepare for the morning race.

Unfortunately, the weather gods were not in the same mood and delivered rain and little to no wind for the start.

RACE 1: RED v GREEN Flights, COURSE 1,7,1,3

With random bits of breeze from all points of the compass and a flood tide against, the start was always going to have a high degree of difficulty about it. With quite a scrum near the Portlemouth beach, defending champions Richard Whitworth and Jemima Scroggie carried on where they had ended in 2019, timing a perfect start 10 boats out from the beach in their own bit of pressure to steal away from the pack. They navigated the vagaries of the beat/reach/run to Blackstone to round well ahead and set off down tide on the long leg to Gerston. Duncan and Harriet Salmon along with Antony and Jo Gifford found some pressure by Biddle Rocks to round second and third.

As the leaders reached out to Gerston the forecast Westerly breeze started to fill in with Tim Fells and Fran Gifford coming through to be challenging Richard and Jemima as they re-entered the harbour into a strengthening, but still very gusty and shifty wind for the return beat to Blackstone.

On the breezy run down past Fisherman's Beach, Richard infringed a beating boat and did turns, allowing Tim and Fran to take the lead. However, on the final beat to the line, Tim and Fran sailed into a hole and Richard and Jemima sailed through their lee to take the first bullet by a nose. Subsequently, Tim and Fran took a points penalty for a pre-start infringement.

Storming up through the fleet after being caught out at the start, pre-event favourites Taxi Davis and Pippa Kilsby took a well-earned third on the line from Roger and Jane Gilbert, Tim Saxton and Mary Henderson and Anthony and Jo Gifford rounding out the top six.

RACE 2: BLUE v BLACK Flights, Course 1,4,6,5,7,1,3

For the afternoon start at 2.30 the South-westerly was fully in with some powerful gusts to make the runs exciting for sailors and spectators alike. Starting on the top of the tide with the sun out, competitors were treated to a classic tour of the harbour. A perfect Salcombe afternoon.

With a small bias to the Portlemouth end of the line, fleet newcomers Tom Gillard and Aaron Holman popped out and were able to get the first cross in and lead up to Blackstone, chased by Simon Potts and Holly McArthur and Chris Gould and Caroline Croft.

Simon and Holly managed to find the best lines down to Yalton and back up to take a good lead around Scoble Point and into The Bag, however it was Tom and Aaron who made the best of the tour of the upper reaches of the Ria to lead back into the harbour.

Although the racing was fast and furious there were no overtaking lanes unless someone made a big mistake. One such was Christian Birrell and new crew Ali Potts who dismounted on the run while challenging for second place.

Tom and Aaron controlled the race to the line to take their first bullet ahead of Simon and Holly, with Chris and Caroline just behind in third. Alex Jackson and Chris Kilsby came through strongly to take fourth ahead of Will and Arthur Henderson who just held Mike and Jane Calvert at bay to take fifth and sixth.

It was a day that saw many capsizes and one mast lost. The rescue team were put to good use and will probably have a busy week given the fruitiness of the forecast.

Results after day 1:

PosSail NoFlightBoat nameHelmCrewClubR1R2
1st3759BlackRed MistressThomas GillardAaron HolmanSheffield Viking SC 1
2nd3703GreenFaithlessRichard WhitworthJemima ScroggieParkstone Yacht Club1 
3rd3802BlackKhalessiSimon PottsHolly McArthurBurghfield Sailing Club 2
4th3803BlueBlack SwanChris GouldCaroline CroftLymington Town Sailing Club 3
5th3735GreenAttack of the ClonesAndy DavisPippa KilsbySouth Staffs Sailing Club3 
6th3795BlueGoonAlex JacksonMary HendersonShoreham Sailing Club 4
7th3722RedStealthRoger GilbertJane GilbertFrensham Pond Sailing Club4 
8th3726BlueArwenWill HendersonArthur HendersonSalcombe Yacht Club 5
9th3807GreenBalooTim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor Sailing Club5 
10th3691BlackQuick FixMike CalvertJane CalvertAxe Sailing Club 6
11th3676GreenHot TottyAntony GiffordJo GiffordRoyal Tay Yacht Club6 
12th3788BlueBlue my mindChristian BirrellAli PottsWeymouth and Portland Sailing Academy 7
13th3804GreenRockatrossIan Dobson**Charlotte FildesRYA7 
14th3678BlackNoraSteve CrookWill SmithHollingworth Lake Sailing Club 8
15th3611RedThe Phantom MenaceJenny DoddsChris DoddsNottingham Sailing Club8 
16th3749BlackStanleyColin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfield Sailing Club 9
17th3812RedMaumaharaPeter BallantineRob AllenSalcombe Yacht Club9 
18th3799BlueSimply ScrumptiousPaul RaysonChristian HillSalcombe Yacht Club 10
19th3687GreenMellow YellowMatt GreenfieldHannah GreenfieldChew Valley Lake Sailing Club10 
20th3679BlueDaddy's BoatNicholas Heginbotham Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club 11
21st3787GreenQuicksilverChris MartinSamuel BaileyMidland Sailing Club11 
22nd3746BlackPoint 'n' squirtJames Wells Starcross Sailing Club 12
23rd3645GreenBlue VelvetSteve HallAlison HallRoyal Corinthian Yacht Club12 
24th3690BlackGeneral LeeTim HarridgeLucy HarridgeHampton Sailing Club 13
25th3702GreenSalmon en crouteDuncan SalmonHarriet SalmonSalcombe Yacht Club13 
26th3801BlackPokeyMatt BiggsBeka JonesBlithfield Sailing Club 14
27th3716RedCarbon FootprintSteve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield Sailing Club14 
28th3715BlueTruly ScrumptiousRichard CookeRussell HallWembley Sailing Club 15
29th3709GreenWild at heartRob HendersonAlice MarkhamLymington Town Sailing Club15 
30th3658BlueBernardChris JenningsRich CornesBurghfield Sailing Club 16
31st3696GreenTiger TigerAlex WarrenJonty FreemanShoreham Sailing Club16 
32nd3641BluePuff the magic dragonMark WaterhouseMat CurrelParkstone Yacht Club 17
33rd3705RedTwo pints of lagerGeoff WrightKatie NkugwaBlithfield Sailing Club17 
34th3665BlueStill not overRoss JacksonDave ReidShoreham Sailing Club 18
35th3794RedIcthysJulian HarmsTimothy HarmsMidland Sailing Club18 
36th3731BlueMayhemAndy Jones Burghfield Sailing Club 19
37th3652GreenTime and tideJohn BellSuzi BellHampton Sailing Club19 
38th3730BlackBlood sweat and beersPaul HollisMichelle EvansBlithfield Sailing Club 20
39th3598RedBar HumbugRobert SmithLuke MoorsSalcombe Yacht Club20 
40th3773BlackNumber 34.Alan K WarrenWilliam CarrollShoreham Sailing Club 21
41st3659RedZenoJulian ParryJohn BurnHollingworth Lake Sailing Club21 
42nd3563Black David HallClaire MillsBlackwater Sailing Club 22
43rd3622RedThe EdgeChristian HamiltonJacintha Hamilton‑LoveDatchet Sailing Clab22 
44th3769BlackThe Mighty DiscipleGraham Cranford SmithFiona Cranford SmithSalcombe Yacht Club 23
45th3740RedWhy AskPatrick BlakeJilly BlakeCookham Reach Sailing Club23 
46th3697BlackToo dark and stormyRichard PageLucy CooperHampton Sailing Club 24
47th3784GreenStrung alongTony JohnsonLou JohnsonLymington Town Sailing Club24 
48th3745BlackOutnumberedPaul DeanHannah BurtWembley Sailing Club 25
49th3724RedSublimeJoe MclaughlinSean RobertsTamesis Club25 
49th3764RedFancy LiquorTim FellsFrances GiffordSalcombe Yacht ClubSCP 
51st3725BlackIsland GirlAndrew SquireLiz NorthSalcombe Yacht Club 26
52nd2663RedTyrannosaurus RexChris HowarthMichael HamiltonBlackpool and Fleetwood Sailing Club26 
53rd3625BlackPoint BreakAndrew HarrisSarah WarrenTamesis Club 27
54th3602GreenAmbienceMartin EvansChris EvansCookham Reach Sailing Club27 
55th3657BlackRevolutionAnthony LoftsFrancesca RolinSalcombe Yacht Club 28
56th3796RedROBERTAWilliam WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham Sailing Club28 
57th3704BlackFactory maidJemma HorwoodNikki BassThames Sailing Club 29
58th3683GreenBlue BirdAlex HaymenChloe GeorgeLymington Town Sailing Club29 
59th3761BlueBeast QuestDavid BurseyFrances BurseyParkstone Yacht Club 30
60th3707RedSuperfast JellyfishPhil Dalby**Oliver JenkinsCookham Reach Sailing Club/RYC30 
61st3692BlackNemoAndy Dalby*Julie NuttallThames Sailing Club 31
62nd3569GreenTime ZuluBen LulhamSamantha LulhamRutland Water Sailing Club31 
63rd3648BlueBang TidyAntonia WrightJamie WrightShoreham Sailing Club 32
64th3756GreenROBERT (Loan authority received.)Sophie MackleyJames WardShoreham Sailing Club32 
65th3607BlueFifth ElementSteve ConroyAnna RaysonFishers Green Sailing Club 33
66th3698RedTwinkle ToesDavid DownsEmily TaylorTata Steel Sailing Club33 
67th3547BlackMoondance AssasinPeter MaleTim MaleBlithfield Sailing Club 34
68th3757GreenSpace HopperTim ParsonsAlan RitchieLyme Regis Sailing Club34 
69th3675BlueWhite Sauce er er (Loan authority receivDavid CroftRosemary CroftRYA 35
70th3714RedKevinAlan MarkhamSue MarkhamUpper Thames Sailing Club35 
71st3710BlackParadigm ShiftJon IbbotsonIsobel StewartBurghfield Sailing Club 36
72nd3748RedWhite TigerNigel BrookeLou HoskenLymington Town Sailing Club36 
73rd3511BlueHeaven SentAndrew MillsEllie MillsHampton Sailing Club 37
74th3589GreenFat bottom girlJohn HollandsAlexandra ParkerHampton Sailing Club37 
75th3485BlueAshlingBarry DunningJerry RookRoyal Lymington Yacht Club 38
76th3706RedMonkey PuzzleKevin AndersonSadie AndersonSalcombe Yacht Club38 
77th3647BlackLiquid dreamsHywel Bowen PerkinsTBCSalcombe Yacht Club 39
78th3789GreenOff‑pisteNick ScroggieEdward ScroggieParkstone Yacht Club39 
79th3567BlueFat Boy SlimMartin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield Sailing Club 40
80th3753RedAppetite for destructionAndy BinesRebecca BinesBrightlingsea Sailing Club40 
81st3672GreenBola BolaJohn CooperHilary BradshawWhitstable Yacht Club41 
82nd3548RedFirestarterKevin RoseTim WilliamsUpper Thames Sailing Club42 
83rd3734RedThe Black BoatPhilip AshworthAlison AshworthWeymouth Sailing Club43 
84th3583GreenBack to the futureBen EavesOliie MacleanRedditch Sailing Club44 
85th3644GreenMarleenJon BloicePhilippa BloiceWhitstable Yacht Club45 
86th3813RedPacemakerSteve HarlingSam WillsStarcross Sailing Club46 
87th3463RedSmoke on the waterJonathan CowperTBCHunts Sailing Club47 
88th3751GreenNarniaPhil EmeryPhoebe PayneWhitstable Yacht Club48 
89th3747BlueNed (Loan authority received.)Jason AndrewsSandy RamusEastbourne Sailing Club WAY
89th3750BlackIndiscretionNeal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteBurghfield Sailing Club DNF
89th3727GreenFragileMark StockbridgeJames GiffordBurghfield Sailing Club(BFD)DNC
89th3805BlackNermalDavid WinderLiv BellHollingworth Lake Sailing Club DNF
89th3806BlueBlue TitBen JonesHelen HilditchShoreham Sailing Club DNC
89th3797RedFata MorganMark ElkingtonSarah RobertsStarcross Sailing Club(DNF)DNC
89th3800BlueBramblesRichard BramleyTony ChealShoreham Sailing Club DNF
89th3790BluePointerColin BrockbankVana VlastakiWembley Sailing Club DNF
89th3767BlueOne LoveBen ArcherOlivia BelliniParkstone Yacht Club DNC
89th3770BlackShinyJon StewardAnnabel StewardFishers Green Sailing Club DNF
89th3771RedSkip (Loan authority received).Laurie SmartAlex PauseyUpper Thames Sailing Club DNC
89th1097BlackFlinkidinkStuart JenkinsImogen JenkinsHampton Sailing Club DNF
89th2604BlueSatisfactionJeremy SteinSarah PercivalUpper Thames Sailing Club DNC
89th3333GreenPreciousJohn AdamsZoe AdamsTamesis Club DNC
89th3341BlackAvalancheJohn HeathNicola ScaddonHampton Sailing Club DNF
89th3368RedDebutantIan LaingAndrew HuntHollingworth Lake Sailing Club(DNF)DNC
89th3502GreenShindigScott SmithChristopher SmithUpper Thames Sailing Club DNC
89th3530GreenSir TopazMike CollesNigel DenchfieldMidland Sailing Club(DNF)DNC
89th3539BlackGansta ParadiseDan AlsopTBCLyme Regis Sailing Club DNF
89th3561BlueSnortingJoe ShawPatricia HickeyWembley Sailing Club DNC
89th3578BlueWhite RabbitGodfrey ClarkTim WilliamsFishers Green Sailing Club DNC
89th3586BlueShadowplayKieron MasonGeorge MasonBlithfield Sailing Club DNF
89th3587BlueMistralHenry MasonJack ToshBlithfield Sailing Club DNF
89th3599BlueHarryNigel CooperAnnabel CooperHampton Sailing Club DNF
89th3621BlackRaunchyTristram SquirePeter SlackSalcombe Yacht Club DNF
89th3650RedHead CaseGareth GriffithsKrysti GalpinLymington Town Sailing Club(DNF)DNC
89th3654RedTales of AcapulcoGeoffrey CoxTBCParkstone Yacht Club(DNF)DNC
89th3673GreenThe OldieEddy AtkinsJack NortonChew Valley Lake Sailing Club(WAY)DNC

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