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Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Week - Day 1

by Tim Fells 3 Jul 11:19 PDT 3-8 July 2022

Over Friday and Saturday, 120 excited Merlin Rocket teams arrived in Salcombe, moved their boats across the harbour to Mill Bay, enjoyed a generous quantity of Salcombe Gin and Tonic courtesy of our sponsors and caught up with old friends on the sunny SYC terrace.

Sunday saw the first two races of this much anticipated week. Many a weather eye had been viewing the forecast NW wind with concern. This is the worse wind direction at Salcombe as it comes straight over the hill on the town side. There is typically wind down harbour around Mark 1 and good breeze up the harbour but a bomb site of huge holes and wind from every direction, including vertical, on the start line.

RACE 1: RED v GREEN Flights, COURSE 1,4,7,1

Race officer David Greening took the only sensible option and sent the fleet down harbour, even if that wasn't consistently where the wind was coming from. With the start of the ebb tide under them, the fleet were a bit line shy allowing Caroline Croft and Faye Chatterton to get onto port and lead in pressure up the town side, to round Blackstone ahead of Andy 'Taxi' Davis and Pippa Kilsby with Tim Fells and Fran Gifford giving chase.

On the run, the fleet compressed with the chasing pack riding gusts down to the leaders. By the Ferry landing there were about 15 boats fighting it out gunwale to gunwale. Ian Dobson and Ally Potts were the first into pressure coming out of Batson Creek to escape the pack and grab the lead at Yalton.

After a nice beat out of the Yalton, Ian and Ally got a bit low on the fetch out to Gerston, allowing Taxi and Pippa to hold height above them and take the lead which they extended, leading back to Blackstone ahead of Ian and Ally, Caroline and Faye, and Tim and Fran.

While Taxi and Pippa were far enough ahead to navigate their way through the minefield of the run/beat to the finish line and take their first bullet, the race was about to start again for those behind. With strong gusts bringing a chasing pack of 15 boats up there were some big winners and losers. Stu Bithell and Katherine Kimber hugged the shoreline to jump into second ahead of Ian and Ally. Jenny and Chris Dodds, Nick Heginbotham and Rory Gifford, and Steve Crook and Sally Townend all found their way through to take 4th to 6th. A strong representation of Hollingworth Lake in the top 6!

First Silver fleet in 16th were Mark Stockbridge and James Gifford, with 1976 Olympic Medallist Alan Warren and William Carroll in 20th.

Bronze fleet was led home by David and Frances Bursey in 40th.

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

The sun was out and the breeze a bit more round to the North West for the afternoon race. This meant that what breeze there was on the line was coming from the North and the start was set up harbour. Although the town side was heavily biased, the Portlemouth shore had more breeze and less tide. George and Sophie Yeoman nailed the start to lead on the fetch up to the Bag.

On the leg up to Gerston, Tom Gillard and Rachael Rhodes moved into the lead from Christian Birrell and superstar crew Luke Patience, with Matt Biggs and Becca Jones battling out with George and Sophie for third.

Despite the challenges of transitioning through the light airs zone at the start/finish line, these places remained the same although very tight. Christian and Luke briefly took the lead but Tom and Rachael re-established their control and came home comfortably ahead. Matt and Becca got the better of George and Sophie for third with Mike and Jane Calvert, despite a capsize on the last run past Smalls Beach, coming home fifth ahead of Simon Blake and Alex Jackson who had been climbing all race.

Top Silver Fleet performers in an excellent 7th place were Duncan Salmon (who won the week as a crew in 1986 and 87) and Ruth Hanstater. There was another top performance in Bronze fleet from Julian Harms and Richard Adams who came home 18th.

So, at the end of day one when conditions have been very challenging, the cream has already risen to the top. The top four are the teams who would be considered the top four in the fleet.

Worryingly, the forecast looks like much the same for the next few days. A Race Officer's nightmare, and not exactly what the sailors are dreaming of. At least it will be sunny!

Results after Day 1:

PosSail NoHull colourFleetFlightBoat nameHelmCrewClubR1R2
1st3759RedGoldBlackRed MistressThomas GillardRachael GraySheffield Viking Sailing Club(DNC)1
2nd3735Grey WhiteGoldGreenLasagne dishAndy DavisPippa KilsbySouth Staffs Sailing Club1(DNC)
3rd3788BlueGoldBlueBlue my mindChristian BirrellLuke PatienceParkstone Yacht Club(DNC)2
4th3811GreyGoldGreenBruceStuart BithellKatherine KimberParkstone Yacht Club2(DNC)
5th3801BlackGoldBluePokeyMatt BiggsBecca JonesBartley Sailing Club(DNC)3
6th3784BlueGoldRedStrung upIan DobsonAlly PottsHayling Island Sailing Club3(DNC)
7th3777GreyGoldBlackMockingjayGeorge YeomanSophie YeomanItchenor Sailing Club(DNC)4
8th3611Grey WhiteGoldGreenThe Phantom MenaceJenny DoddsChris DoddsRYA4(DNC)
9th3691BlueGoldBlackQuick FixMike CalvertJane CalvertAxe Sailing Club(DNC)5
10th3679Green WhiteGoldRedDaddys boatNick HeginbothamRory GiffordHollingworth Lake Sailing Club5(DNC)
11th3795Elf Gulf liveryGoldBlackGoonSimon BlakeAlex JacksonRoyal Brighton Yacht Club(DNC)6
12th3678Black WhiteGoldRedNoraSteve CrookSally TownendHollingworth Lake Sailing Club6(DNC)
13th3702Blue/pinkSilverBlueSalmon en crouteDuncan SalmonRuth HanstaterSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)7
14th3799Grey WhiteGoldGreenSimply ScrumptiousPaul RaysonChris HillSalcombe Yacht Club7(DNC)
15th3775GreyGoldBlackNight FuryChris JenningsPeter NicholsonBurghfield Sailing Club(DNC)8
16th3687YellowGoldGreenMellow YellowMatt GreenfieldHannah GreenfieldChew Valley Lake Sailing Club8(DNC)
17th3746White GreyGoldBluePoint n squirtJames WellsAnna AylwardRYA(DNC)9
18th3645BlueGoldGreenBlue VelvetSteve HallSimon HaightonRoyal Corinthian Yacht Club9(DNC)
19th3703Black/whiteGoldBlueFaithlessRichard WhitworthJemima ScroggieParkstone Yacht Club(DNC)10
20th3803WhiteGoldRedBlack SwanCaroline CroftFaye ChattertonLymington Town Sailing Club10(DNC)
21st3753WhiteGoldBlueAppetite for DestructionDavid ConlonSarah ConlonBrightlingsea SC(DNC)11
22nd3812BlackGoldRedMaumaharaChris GouldRob AllenSalcombe Yacht Club11(DNC)
23rd3700BlueGoldBlueBrazilianRob KennaughAndrew ProsserMidland Sailing Club(DNC)12
24th3764BlueGoldRedFancy LiqourTim FellsFrances GiffordSalcombe Yacht Club12(DNC)
25th3730BlueSilverBlueBlood Sweat and BeersPaul HollisBen HollisBlithfield Sailing Club(DNC)13
26th3802GreyGoldGreenKhalesiSimon PottsHolly McArthurBurghfield Sailing Club13(DNC)
27th3726BlueGoldBlackArwenWill HendersonRob HendersonSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)14
28th3787RedGoldGreenQuicksilverChris MartinSamuel BaileyMidland Sailing Club14(DNC)
29th3807BlueGoldBlueBalooTim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor Sailing Club(DNC)15
30th3666GreyGoldRed…ted…John MeadowcroftOllie MeadowcroftUpper Thames Sailing Club15(DNC)
31st3696WhiteGoldBlueTiger TigerAlex WarrenJonty FreemanShoreham Sailing Club(DNC)16
32nd3727GreySilverGreenFragileMark StockbridgeJames GiffordUpper Thames Sailing Club16(DNC)
33rd3709BlueSilverBlueWild at HeartJack NortonDave RoyceRanelagh Sailing Club(DNC)17
34th3710White/blueGoldRedParadigm ShiftJon IbbotsonRobert StewartBurghfield Sailing Club17(DNC)
35th3794Grey/organgeBronzeBlueIcthysJulian HarmsRichard AdamsMidland Sailing Club(DNC)18
36th3791BlueGoldGreenDidley SquatJon GorringeMimi GorringeParkstone Yacht Club18(DNC)
37th3731GreySilverBlueMayhemAndy JonesMaddie JonesBurghfield Sailing Club(DNC)19
38th3781GreyGoldRedThe Force AwakensDavid WinderAnna BlakeHollingworth Lake Sailing Club19(DNC)
39th3715Black WhiteSilverBlackTruly ScrumptiousRichard CookeRussell HallWembley Sailing Club(DNC)20
40th3773WhiteSilverRedNo. 34Alan WarrenWilliam CarrollShoreham Sailing Club20(DNC)
41st3615RedSilverBlueEdgarStuart BatesLouise ArcherHollingworth Lake Sailing Club(DNC)21
42nd3711BlueGoldGreenSylviaChris KilsbyTom MorrisUpper Thames Sailing Club21(DNC)
43rd3806BlueSilverBlackBlue TitBen JonesHelen HilditchShoreham Sailing Club(DNC)22
44th3790BlueSilverGreenPointerColin BrockbankVana VlastakiWembley Sailing Club22(DNC)
45th3714BlueSilverBlackKevinAlan MarkhamSue MarkhamLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)23
46th3796BlueGoldRedROBERTAWilliam WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham Sailing Club23(DNC)
47th3684Black GreySilverBlackKeyser SozeTom LowEd LowWest Hoe Sailing Club(DNC)24
48th3647BlueSilverRedLiquid DreamsHywel Bowen‑PerkinsLucy PenwardenSalcombe Yacht Club24(DNC)
49th3748WhiteSilverBlackWhite TigerNigel BrookeSuzie BrookeLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)25
50th3665BlueSilverGreenStill not overRoss JacksonDave ReidShoreham Sailing Club25(DNC)
51st3768WhiteGoldBlueHulla BalooRob CageHatty CageThames Sailing Club(DNC)26
52nd3740Blue YellowGoldGreenWhy askPatrick BlakeJill BlakeCookham Reach Sailing Club26(DNC)
53rd3670Black WhiteBronzeBlueFilthy GorgeousMark McKeeverGracie McKeeverMidland Sailing Club(DNC)27
54th2663BlueSilverRedTyrrannosaurus RexChristopher HaworthJo HaworthBlackpool and Fleetwood Sailing Club27(DNC)
55th3539GreyGoldBlueGangsta ParadiseDan AlsopJennie KingLyme Regis Sailing Club(DNC)28
56th3625BlueSilverRedCarbon AdventuresAndy HarrisSara WarrenTamesis Club28(DNC)
57th3518RedBronzeBlueSmoked SalmonTimothy HarmsAmelia LittleHampton Sailing Club(DNC)29
58th3705BlueSilverRedTwo pints of lagerGeoff WrightTom GurneyBlithfield Sailing Club29(DNC)
59th3789Blue GreySilverBlackOff‑pisteNick ScroggieEdward ScroggieParkstone Yacht Club(DNC)30
60th3648Blue whiteSilverRedBang TidyAntonia WrightJamie WrightShoreham Sailing Club30(DNC)
61st3704GreyBronzeBlackFactory MaidJemma HorwoodNicola BassThames Sailing Club(DNC)31
62nd3690OrangeSilverGreenGeneral LeeLucy HarridgeAndrea DownhamHampton Sailing Club31(DNC)
63rd3602Green WhiteSilverBlueAmbienceMartin EvansChris EvansHampton Sailing Club(DNC)32
64th3745GreySilverRedOutnumberedPaul DeanHannah BurtWembley Sailing Club32(DNC)
65th3555Light FantasticSilverBlackSam BlocksidgeSam BlocksidgeWill WilkinsonTamar River Sailing Club(DNC)33
66th3607Black WhiteSilverGreenThe Fifth ElementSteve ConroyAnna RaysonSalcombe Yacht Club33(DNC)
67th3706GreyBronzeBlueMonkey PuzzleKevin AndersonSadie AndersonSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)34
68th3756BlueGoldGreenROBERTSophie MackleyJames WardShoreham Sailing Club34(DNC)
69th3736BlueBronzeBlackMetachrosisJon BloicePhilippa BloiceWhitstable Yacht Club(DNC)35
70th3659MintGoldGreenZenoJulian ParryLeise ScottHollingworth Lake Sailing Club35(DNC)
71st3598Black WhiteSilverBlueBar HumbugRobert SmithSuzy BroughSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)36
72nd3724BlueSilverRedSublimeJoe McLaughlinSean RobertsTamesis Club36(DNC)
73rd3675Blue WhiteBronzeBlueWhite Sauce er erRob HatleyJoe HatleyTamesis Club(DNC)37
74th3671Black PurpleSilverGreenSnakey BPiers LambertAndy BinesBrightlingsea SC37(DNC)
75th3749WhiteSilverBlueStanleyColin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfield Sailing Club(DNC)38
76th3657BlueSilverGreenRevolutionAnthony LoftsSophie PenwardenSalcombe Yacht Club38(DNC)
77th3530YellowBronzeBlackSir TopazMike CollesGeorge BenderMidland Sailing Club(DNC)39
78th3750GreyGoldRedIndiscretionNeal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteSalcombe Yacht Club39(DNC)
79th3621BlueBronzeBlackRaunchyTristram SquirePeter SlackSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)40
80th3761GreyBronzeRedBeast QuestDavid BurseyFrances BurseyParkstone Yacht Club40(DNC)
81st3805GreySilverBlueNermalMark ReddingtonMichelle EvansBartley Sailing Club(DNC)41
82nd3622GreenSilverGreenThe EdgeChristian HamiltonJacintha Hamilton‑LoveItchenor Sailing Club41(DNC)
83rd3771BlueBronzeBlackSkipAlex PauseyMatthew PercivalUpper Thames Sailing Club(DNC)42
84th3697PurpleBronzeRedToo Dark and StormyRichard PageNicola ScaddanHampton Sailing Club42(DNC)
85th3502Blue whiteBronzeBlueShindigScott SmithChristopher SmithUpper Thames Sailing Club(DNC)43
86th3686GreyBronzeGreenIfKevin RoseEmily CharlesUpper Thames Sailing Club43(DNC)
87th3606Light blueBronzeBlueTake it EasyJoseph WoodsJonathan WoodsTamesis Club(DNC)44
88th3511RedBronzeRedHeaven SentAndrew MillsEllie MillsHampton Sailing Club44(DNC)
89th3586GreyBronzeBlackShadowplayKieron MasonBelinda MasonBlithfield Sailing Club(DNC)45
90th3569PurpleSilverRedTime ZuluBen LulhamSam LulhamBlakeney Sailing Club45(DNC)
91st3800BlueBronzeBlackBramblesRichard BramleyTony ChealShoreham Sailing Club(DNC)46
92nd3563WhiteGoldGreenLeaderDavid HallIsobel StewartBlackwater Sailing Club46(DNC)
93rd3463PinkSilverRedSmoke on the waterJon CowperAbby FreelyHunts Sailing Club47(DNC)
94th3707BlueBronzeRedMonkey BusinessStuart JenkinsImogen JenkinsHampton Sailing Club48(DNC)
95th2604RedBronzeGreenSatisfactionJeremy SteinSarah PercivalUpper Thames Sailing Club49(DNC)
96th3599RedBronzeGreenHarryNigel CooperJohn HollandsSalcombe Yacht Club50(DNC)
97th3813BlueBronzeRedPace MakerSteve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross Sailing Club51(DNC)
98th3547BlueBronzeRedMoondance AssasinPeter MaleTim MaleBlithfield Sailing Club52(DNC)
99th3333WhiteBronzeGreenPreciousJohn AdamsRosalind Warwick‑HallerTamesis Club53(DNC)
100th3561WhiteBronzeRedSnortingJoe ShawPatricia HickeyWembley Sailing Club54(DNC)
101st3762Dark BlueBronzeGreenRimonimMalcolm HyamsDan BarrettMidland Sailing Club55(DNC)
102nd3766Blue YellowGoldBlackThe BearAndy DalbyMark OakeyBurghfield Sailing Club(DNC)BFD
102nd3815BlueSilverBlueThe KrakenTony JohnsonLouise JohnsonLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)DNF
102nd3751BlueBronzeBlackNarniaHuw ReynoldsPhilip ScottWhitstable Yacht Club(DNC)DNF
102nd3589Red/WhiteBronzeGreenFat Bottom GirlJohn HollandsAlexandra ParkerHampton Sailing Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3733GreyGoldBlueThe DarksideSteve MitchellJulie NutallPorthpean Sailing Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3809BlueGoldBlackEcstacyJon TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis Sailing Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3814BlueGoldGreenAfter youJames GossChris WhiteSouth Staffs Sailing Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3816Blue WhiteSilverBlackWild HorsesPhil EmeryKaren EmeryWhitstable Yacht Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3368Red WhiteBronzeBlackDebutantIan LaingAndrew HuntHollingworth Lake Sailing Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3725BlueSilverBlackIsland GirlAndrew SquireLaura SquireSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)DNF
102nd3769GreySilverBlackDiscipleGraham Cranford SmithFiona Cranford SmithSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3654BlackBronzeBlueTales of AcapulcoGeoffrey CoxMonika PapiezSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)DNF
102nd3683BlueGoldBlackBluebirdArthur HendersonOlivia BellSalcombe Yacht Club(DNC)BFD
102nd3652PurpleSilverRedTime and tideJohn BellSuzi BellHampton Sailing Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3672WhiteSilverBlackBola BolaJohn CooperHilary BradshawWhitstable Yacht Club(DNC)DNC
102nd3676Blue WhiteGoldBlueHot TottyAntony GiffordJo GiffordRoyal Tay YC(DNC)DNC

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