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76th Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships at Mount's Bay Sailing Club - Day 2

by Anna Aylward 1 Aug 2022 12:55 PDT 31 July - 4 August 2022
Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships at Mount's Bay - Day 2 © Lee Whitehead /

Day 2 of the Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships got off to a slow start, perhaps a welcome relief for some of the crews after last night's very well attended Crews Union. Launching was postponed for an hour while we waited for the wind to fill in, and when a light breeze duly arrived we were released at midday.

I confess, I was one of those crews feeling a little delicate so we gently floated out to the racecourse on a more southerly breeze than the day before.

The first start under the U flag was postponed with 8 seconds to go, as the eager Merlins had crowded over the line. The trusty black flag was put up for our second start and we were away. Where you started on the line didn't seem to have too much of an effect but a very swift start from Simon Potts and Lottie Fildes towards the committee boat end had them flying up the right hand side of the beat and rounding the windward mark in first place, which they maintained for the rest of the race.

They were closely followed round the windward mark by Mike and Jane Calvert in second and Tom Gillard and Rachael Gray in third place. These three boats all gybed off after the spreader mark while the rest of the fleet continued on.

Stu Bithell and Tom Pygall and James Goss and Chris White were the first two boats to continue on down the run, which paid off very well for James and Chris as they were able to get round the leeward gate in second place. They were closely followed by Tom and Rachael in third place and the top three were pretty much set after that.

The rest of the race unfolded quite calmly in light and shifty wind, with nice little gains to be found by reading the shifts well, but overall not a huge change of position.

Our on board catering service (aka me) provided some squashed sandwiches for lunch, which were enjoyed as we floated around for an hour with the AP back up. These are the moments that the width of the Merlin really pays off as it's more than enough space to lie down. We were awoken by the sound of the AP going down, swiftly followed by the AP over A going up to end racing for the day, as the race team weren't seeing the required five knots across the race course.

Practising for the real competition of the week - the Crew's Race - got under way as 99% of the fleet switched places and the crews flew back towards the beach. There was some frantic swapping back as we neared the beach but it all promises a very competitive Crew's Race on Wednesday!

So, our race winners were Simon and Lottie, bringing them up to second place overall after three races. Second place was James and Chris, also the first gold boat over the line, and third place was Tom and Rachael, keeping them in first place overall. The first silver boat was Mark Barwell and Lou Johnson meaning they can keep their silver jerseys on for tomorrow, and the first bronze boat was Andy and Aimee Dalby.

Thank you to our sponsors Aspire Financial Advisers, HD Sails, Mounts Bay Distillery, Fernhurst Books, West Systems, Triggernaut Sports Glasses, Robline/DinghyTec and GK Engineering.

Results after day 2:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stPlatinum3759Thomas GillardRachel GrayStaunton Harold1236
2ndPlatinum3802Simon PottsCharlotte FildesBurghfield103114
3rdPlatinum3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe55717
4thPlatinum3788Christian BirrellSam BreareyParkstone611522
5thPlatinum2137James GossChris WhiteSouth Staffs137222
6thPlatinum3764Tim FellsFrances GiffordSalcombe441624
7thPlatinum3803Caroline CroftFaye ChattertonLymington Town910625
8thGold3782Ed ChapmanChris KilsbyLymington Town3131935
9thPlatinum3807Tim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor209837
10thPlatinum3791Jon GorringePete GreyParkstone2311346
11thPlatinum3778David LenzVicky LenzLymington Town1225946
12thPlatinum3735Andy DavisJack HoldenSouth Staffs8241749
13thGold3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA16231150
14thPlatinum3676Antony GiffordJo GiffordRoyal Tay21171250
15thGold3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham18162155
16thPlatinum3758David HayesJonny RatcliffeLymington Town14143260
17thPlatinum3809John TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis3182261
18thGold3757Tim ParsonsAndrew ServiceLyme Regis24291063
19thGold3780Sarah RichardsNigel WakefieldLymington Town17113664
20thGold3799Paul RaysonChristian HillFishers Green11203364
21stGold3696Alexander WarrenJonty FreemanshShoreham22281464
22ndGold3716Steven LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield26211865
23rdGold3683Arthur HandersonLivvy BellSalcombe15332068
24thPlatinum3801Matthew BiggsBeka JonesBartley28152568
25thPlatinum3726Will HendersonRupert WhiteSalcombe30122870
26thPlatinum3719Ian MartinChris MartinBurghfieldUFD6577
27thSilver3815Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town37182378
28thPlatinum3775Chris JenningsPete NicholsonBurghfield19303180
29thGold3787Chris MartinJohn TailbyMidland7403582
30thGold3740Pat BlakeJilly BlakeLymington Town34263090
31stSilver3806Ben JonesHelen HilditchShoreham47192692
32ndPlatinum3666John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftUpper Thames33223994
33rdSilver3816Phil EmeryPhoebe PaineWhitstable25432795
34thGold3756Sophie MackleyJames WardShoreham35342998
35thSilver3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfield233840101
36thPlatinum3793James GoodfellowRick CornesBurghfield274534106
37thSilver3684Tom LowHannah BurtQueen Mary294145115
38thSilver3690Tim HarridgeRory GiffordHampton322757116
39thSilver3727Mark StockbridgeJames GiffordUpper Thames613224117
40thSilver3732Ben HollisGeorge BenderBlithfield403642118
41stSilver3772Dan HeatonTom GurneyMountbatten413941121
42ndGold3656Charlotte GoughDave GoughStarcross364246124
43rdBronze3695Peter SlackImmy BrownRYA433550128
44thBronze3813Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross483743128
45thSilver3779David LeeKirsten GlenStarcross464438128
46thSilver3790Colin BrockbankSue BroughWembley394744130
47thBronze3766Andy DalbyAimee DalbyBurghfield504637133
48thPlatinum3811Stu BithellTom PygallParkstoneDNSDNS4136
49thBronze3794Julian HarmsTimothy HarmsMidlands385048136
50thBronze3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone424852142
51stSilver3767Ben ArcherOlivia BelliniParkstone445347144
52ndSilver3682Ross BorneJohn BurnSalcombe455249146
53rdBronze3662Nigel HudsonFreya HudsonBartley494954152
54thBronze3785Robin CharlesOscar SimmonsStarcross515153155
55thBronze3770Jon StewardAnnabel StewardFishers Green525451157
56thBronze3619Guy BrowneAndy HunterTrent Valley545660170
57thBronze3561Joe ShawJulie CronshawWembley575858173
58thBronze3800Richard BramleyCalum TaitShoreham565563174
59thSilver3750Neal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteBurghfield586255175
60thBronze3742Howard EelesBradley EelesBartley5357DNF176
61stBronze3586Kieron MasonBelinda MasonBlithfield606059179
62ndBronze3449Carl WhitehillDani WhitehillRYADNS5956181
63rdBronze3567Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield55DNS62183
64thBronze3574Marc CandelasJohn DonoghueUpper Thames596164184
65thBronze3792Alistair McDonaldLydia BourneBerwickDNSDNS61193

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