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Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Series at Lymington Town Sailing Club

by Ollie Meadowcroft 15 Jun 08:22 PDT 12 June 2022

20 Merlin Rockets showed up to the start-line for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller at the hospitable Lymington Town Sailing Club on Sunday 12 June. With the forecast initially showing a calmer contrast to the wild day of training on Saturday, the strong south-westerly was a surprise to many.

With tide flowing against the breeze, it was a race to the left-hand side to get into the middle of the channel. Chris Gould and Rob Allen got the jump on the rest with a good pin end start and led round the windward mark, only to shoot off downwind without acknowledging the spreader mark! The remaining fleet converged largely at once, with Simon Potts and Holly McArthur getting an early gybe out in to breeze, closely followed by Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey. This leading pair continued to stretch away, with Simon and Holly holding their lead to the end. The chasing pack fought between them until the end, with David and Vicky Lenz taking third.

The wind had now truly built, and the large chop was beginning to form across the course. Race Two saw another drag race to the left, which saw Dave and Vicky shoot off into a lead round the top mark. They were followed by Chris and Rob, with a large pack behind them looming. By the following windward mark, Christian and Sam had pulled into the lead, and a collision with the buoy left Dave and Vicky spinning, letting Caroline Croft and Ollie Meadowcroft move in to second, with Chris Jennings and Pete Nicholson hunting them down. No further changes occurred in the top three before the finish, with the overpowered reaches allowing the leaders to stretch away.

Race three began with a general recall - something the Merlin fleet is very much accustomed to. This familiarity was not enough however, to stop a group of trigger-happy sailors racing all the way to the windward mark before returning back to the line. The restart was successful, with James Goodfellow and Richard Comes making an excellent committee end start and flying across the fleet to the left of them. They led round the windward mark ahead of Dave and Vicky, with William Warren and Megan Pascoe, who had spent the day so far being brilliantly consistent. Dave and Vicky soon took the lead, with the ever present Christian and Sam giving everything to catch them, and James and Richard falling down to third. The fleet spread out and came home in this order, with only eleven finishers by the final race caused by the stiff 20 knots that had built throughout the day.

Christian and Sam took the win with a 1,2 scoreline to count. The bullet in the final race from Dave and Vicky got them up in to second ahead of Simon and Holly, who ended up retiring in the final race. First Gold fleet boat was Will and Megan whose new sails showed real boat speed, giving them a 4,5 scoreline. First Silver Fleet was Mark Stockbridge and Rupert Stock, and First Bronze Fleet was Geoff and Helen Kimber, in 12th and 13th respectively.

Thank you to Lymington Town Sailing Club for putting on a great day on the water and for the tea and doughnuts off the water! Next up the Craftinsure Silver Tiller heads to Shoreham Sailing Club on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3Pts
1st3788Christian BirrellSam Brearey‑2123
2nd3778David LenzVictoria Lenz3‑614
3rd3802Simon PottsHolly McArthur14(DNC)5
4th3803Caroline CroftOllie Meadowcroft52‑67
5th3775Chris JenningsPete Nicholson43(DNC)7
6th3796William WarrenMegan Pascoe‑6549
7th3793James GoodfellowRichard Comes‑138311
8th3691Mike CalvertJane Calvert‑77512
9th3780Sarah RichardsNigel Wakefield9‑12817
10th3782Ed ChapmanHannah Peters‑1611718
11th3812Chris GouldRob Allen119(DNC)20
12th3727Mark StockbridgeRupert Stock‑1413922
13th3817Geoff KimberHelen Kimber1210(DNC)22
14th3756Sophie MackleyJames Ward1014(DNC)24
15th3815Mark BarwellLouise Johnson‑15151025
16th3745Wing Cdr Paul DeanHannah Burt‑17161127
17th3758David HayesJonny Ratcliffe8(RET)DNC33
18th3748Nigel BrookeSuzie Brooke1817(DNC)35
19th3602Martin EvansChris Evans2018(DNC)38
20th3619Guy BrowneGreg Martin19(RET)DNC44
21st3650Gareth Griffiths (DNC)DNCDNC50
21st3719Ian MartinRob Martin(RET)RETDNC50
21st3750Neal LillywhiteFreya Lillywhite(DNC)DNCDNC50

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