Please select your home edition
SW newsletters (top)

Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Felucca Trophy at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Jasper Bramwell & Richard Whitworth 19 Oct 05:03 PDT 6-7 October 2018

The view from the crew

I normally sail my Topper but when I got asked to crew in a Merlin how could I refuse the offer to have a go in yet another boat? It's not that complicated compared to a Topper. What could go wrong - apart from smashing my face on the lowers? They're definitely a bit bigger than a Topper!

Saturday R1: light airs. Matt Biggs and Beka Jones took an early lead and managed to sail to a solid race victory whilst the fleet behind had a battle for second (Arran Holman and Pippa Kilsby) and third (Tim Saxton and Mary Henderson).

R2: After a change of course Matt and Beka took the lead at mark 1 closely purused by James Goss and Chris Kilsby and the new team on the block Richard Whitworth and Jasper Bramwell (aged 13). A split on the downwind saw Richard and Jasper take a spot to move up to second still hot on the heels of Matt and Beka. On the second lap Richard and Jasper split the run again and managed to overtake Matt and Beka giving them the win in race 2 with second to Matt and Beka and third to James and Chris.

R3: At mark 1 three obvious leaders Arran and Pippa, Matt and Beka and Dave Wade and Ben Rayner had escaped the main pack and got away into the lead whilst the rest of the fleet continued to battle in drifting conditions. The conditions suited some of the more experienced partnerships but was frustrating for all.

Sunday brought more breeze but rain as well. This seemed to slow down the rigging process.

R4: Matt and Beka take the lead followed by Tim and Mary second, then Steve Crook and Sally Townend in third. These position held until the last beat where Richard and Jasper managed to sneak into third place ahead of Steve and Sally to take third.

R5: Matt and Beka had another flier to win the event closely chased by James and Chris. Second overall went to Arron and Pippa after finishing third in the last race. Richard and Jasper managed to take Tim and Mary on the last beat to secure third overall.

I really enjoyed the weekend, learnt lots from Richard, and can finally fly a spinnaker properly. I am now counting the bruises from stepping over the centreboard case. I hope I can get back in a Merlin Rocket again soon. But for now I'll stick to my Topper!

Thanks for the warm welcome into the fleet, I hope to be back soon

From the nut on the tiller

So, to the legendary Felucca evening...

An excellent Spanish tapas buffet was laid on for the fleet and at £2 per pint the local ale was flowing nicely.

After enjoying the food and being invigorated by the laughter from the 'locals' table, mainly led by Boris and Debs Hegginbotham the fun really began.

The Port Hole was opened with disorganised helper inners and catchers projecting the victims through the window without injury. Job done, going through the Hollingworth Lake port hole ticked off the bucket list!

Pippa then somehow managed to coerce about six other people from her 'short' list into the wendy house. No mean feat.

Oh and then some more drinking and socialising in the bar.

Many thanks to Nick Hornsby and his team for the race management plus John Groves for organising the Tapas. Thank you also to several other last minute local helpers who pulled together to make things such a success.

Finally, Jasper what a fun weekend, thanks for stepping in at the last minute. Blumin' well sailed given it was your first time in a Rocket and no doubt you're well under way to emulate your hero a certain Mr Stu Bithell.

It was another crackin' Felucca, see you all there next year.

Next up the Craftinsure Silver Tiller heads to Wembley Sailing Club on 24th October 2021.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3801Matt BiggsBeka JonesBartley SC1‑22115
2nd3735Arran HolmanPippa KilsbyShoreham SC & Thames SC241‑5310
3rd3703Richard WhitworthJasper BramwellHLSC61‑93414
4th3807Tim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor SC3‑642514
5th3814James GossChris KilsbySSSC53‑86216
6th3678Steve CrookSally TownendHLSC75‑104622
7th3786Dave WadeBen RaynerDraycote SC412312‑1331
8th3746James WellsAnna Aylward 99‑117732
9th3615Stuart BatesRyan RichardsHLSC‑1077101034
10th3603Les BithellEmma TurnerHLSC11(DNC)611836
11th3659Julian ParryAnna BlakeHLSC88(DNF)8.511.536
12th3596Martin WattsIrene WatteHLSC12115‑13937
13th3740Patrick BlakeJilly BlakeCookham Reach SC1410(DNF)8.511.544
14th3792Alistair McDonaldSteve McCannBerwick SC1614(DNF)141458
15th3557Matthew WinderTom WinderMorcambe SC & HLSC1313(DNF)DNCDNC60
16th3414Ian LaingAndrew HuntHLSC1515(DNF)151560

Related Articles

Merlin Rockets at Brightlingsea
The entry list read like an Endeavour line up The extended Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller moved to Brightlingsea which attracted a high-quality fleet of 18 boats with few fleet racing opens on. The entry list read like an Endeavour line up with Olympians, World and National champions. Posted on 24 Nov
Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Blithfield
17 boats turned up, only to 'sail' in 0 to 2 knots 17 boats gathered at Blithfield Sailing Club for the latest round of the Craftinsure sponsored Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller 2021. Unfortunately, the wind forgot to come and play, 0 to 2 knots! Posted on 18 Nov
Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Chichester
A prompt start on one of the springiest tides of the year PRO Pete Harrison welcomed the fleet to Chichester Yacht Club on Saturday for their 2021 Craftinsure Silver Tiller, with a quick briefing before a prompt start on one of the springiest tides of the year. Posted on 9 Nov
Interview with Hyde Sails' Ben McGrane
A life-long sailor and champion at national and world level in many classes Ben McGrane is a life-long sailor and champion at national and world level in many classes. With wide experience within the industry, he has recently joined Hyde Sails as the new One Design Manager. Posted on 29 Oct
Merlin Rockets at Wembley
18 boats for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller open event Eighteen Merlin Rockets assembled at Wembley Sailing Club for the 2021 Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller Open Meeting sponsored by Craftinsure. Posted on 26 Oct
Merlins at Paignton
The English Riviera at its best for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller series event Fifteen Merlins arrived in Paignton for the 2 day Craftinsure Silver Tiller Open Meeting hosted by Paignton Sailing Club. They enjoyed a very friendly reception from the club's members, with blue skies, blue seas, warm temperatures and a lack of crowds. Posted on 14 Oct
Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Hampton
Thames Series concludes with dark clouds rolling in fast On Sunday morning the Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller & Thames Series fleet were welcomed with glorious sunshine and a fresh SW breeze blowing straight down the river. Posted on 8 Oct
Merlin Rocket De May Series at Hampton
Vintage racing followed by the annual curry and rum evening Ten boats were entered for the Hampton Vintage Merlin Open and De May final despite the forecast for heavy winds and a lot of rain. The race officer took the sensible decision to run two races back-to-back before the wind was due to pick up. Posted on 8 Oct
Nautilus Yachting Merlin Rocket Inlands at Bala
25 teams make the trip over the hills 25 Merlin Rockets made the trip over the hills to reach Bala Sailing Club for the Nautilus Yachting Inland Championships on a gloriously mild, and surprisingly dry late September weekend. Posted on 28 Sep
Merlin Rockets at Bartley
Latest round of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series The latest round of the Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller took place at Bartley Sailing Club on Sunday 19th September. Posted on 20 Sep
MBW newsletters (top)