Please select your home edition

76th Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships at Mount's Bay Sailing Club - Day 3

by Chris Jennings 2 Aug 2022 14:43 PDT 31 July - 4 August 2022

Day 3 of the Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships arrived with competitors waking to the sound of some wind in the trees. Day one's shifty conditions had some teams dazed and confused, while the light winds of Monday proved a heartbreaker for several of the heavier pairings. Would day three see something new? How many more times would it pay to go right?

As we arrived in the dinghy park conditions looked positive with an apparently nice moderate breeze on the race course. One top crew was heard reporting of white caps out to sea, however these turned out to be the headgear of the race team. It seems there was more wind in the dinghy park than in the bay. Nevertheless, the fleet launched on time and headed out for another two-race day.

Race four started under a black flag with a light breeze and awkward chop. In the final two minutes of the start sequence the line appeared to be port biased, with Stu Bithell and Tom Pygall winning the pin. However, usual service resumed with the right hand side of the first beat being favoured.

Tim Saxton and Mary Henderson led at the first mark and seemed in an awful hurry leading from start to finish, they were never really challenged. Behind them saw a tight tussle, with Ian and Chris Martin taking second. Mike and Jane Calvert finishing third ahead of Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey.

The race officer opted to postpone the start of race five, perhaps hoping for the rumoured 20 knots to kick in.Unfortunately, conditions were pretty similar to race four, only less stable. For once it was the left that paid on the first beat. Andy 'Taxi' Davis and Jack Holden showed no quarter by rounding first ahead of a chasing pack.

The race turned into a game of snakes and ladders with Merlin Rockets with lots of holes in the pressure. After a highly stressful race it was Dave and Vicky Lenz who took the bullet. Second went to Sarah Richards and Nigel Wakefield, making it a celebration day for Lymington Sailing Club. Third were the ever-consistent Mike and Jane Calvert.

The fleet returned to shore for counselling.

This evening's social involves one of the many highlights of a championship week at Mount's Bay: a visit to St. Michael's Mount. Thank you to Lord and Lady St Levan for hosting us.

Wednesday's forecast is a moderate wind from the west, however let's just ignore that and wait to see what happens. What we do know is that the plan is for two championship races followed by the most anticipated race of the week, the Crew's Race.

The overall championship remains wide open and only time will tell which team will bring it on home.

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.

Videos courtesty of Lee Whitehead are on Youtube.

Results after day 3:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R5R6Pts
1stPlatinum3759Thomas GillardRachel GrayStaunton Harold12351411
2ndPlatinum3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe5573316
3rdPlatinum3788Christian BirrellSam BreareyParkstone61154617
4thPlatinum3719Ian MartinChris MartinBurghfieldUFD652417
5thPlatinum3802Simon PottsCharlotte FildesBurghfield103181922
6thPlatinum3764Tim FellsFrances GiffordSalcombe441611827
7thPlatinum3807Tim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor209811028
8thPlatinum3778David LenzVicky LenzLymington Town122599131
9thPlatinum3803Caroline CroftFaye ChattertonLymington Town910612934
10thPlatinum2137James GossChris WhiteSouth Staffs1372152937
11thPlatinum3735Andy DavisJack HoldenSouth Staffs8241710540
12thGold3782Ed ChapmanChris KilsbyLymington Town31319332156
13thGold3780Sarah RichardsNigel WakefieldLymington Town17113627257
14thPlatinum3801Matthew BiggsBeka JonesBartley28152571562
15thPlatinum3758David HayesJonny RatcliffeLymington Town141432241163
16thPlatinum3676Antony GiffordJo GiffordRoyal Tay211712221767
17thPlatinum3791Jon GorringePete GreyParkstone23113342369
18thGold3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA162311232070
19thGold3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham181621251671
20thPlatinum3775Chris JenningsPete NicholsonBurghfield193031141376
21stPlatinum3809John TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis3182217DNF78
22ndPlatinum3726Will HendersonRupert WhiteSalcombe301228162581
23rdPlatinum3811Stu BithellTom PygallParkstoneDNSDNS46783
24thGold3757Tim ParsonsAndrew ServiceLyme Regis242910213384
25thGold3716Steven LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield26211820DNF85
26thGold3696Alexander WarrenJonty FreemanshShoreham222814263490
27thGold3683Arthur HandersonLivvy BellSalcombe153320292791
28thSilver3806Ben JonesHelen HilditchShoreham471926192892
29thSilver3815Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town371823461896
30thGold3787Chris MartinJohn TailbyMidland74035183999
31stSilver3727Mark StockbridgeJames GiffordUpper Thames613224311299
32ndSilver3816Phil EmeryPhoebe PaineWhitstable2543271337102
33rdGold3799Paul RaysonChristian HillFishers Green1120333941103
34thPlatinum3666John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftUpper Thames3322392835118
35thGold3756Sophie MackleyJames WardShoreham3534293522120
36thGold3740Pat BlakeJilly BlakeLymington Town3426303244122
37thSilver3772Dan HeatonTom GurneyMountbatten4139414326147
38thSilver3690Tim HarridgeRory GiffordHampton3227573850147
39thPlatinum3793James GoodfellowRick CornesBurghfield27453442BFD148
40thSilver3790Colin BrockbankSue BroughWembley3947443036149
41stSilver3732Ben HollisGeorge BenderBlithfield4036424132149
42ndGold3656Charlotte GoughDave GoughStarcross3642464038156
43rdSilver3779David LeeKirsten GlenStarcross464438DNS30158
44thGold3766Andy DalbyAimee DalbyBurghfield5046373742162
45thSilver3684Tom LowHannah BurtQueen Mary2941454848163
46thBronze3813Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross4837433649164
47thSilver3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfield233840DNCDNC167
48thBronze3770Jon StewardAnnabel StewardFishers Green5254514524172
49thBronze3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone4248524440174
50thSilver3767Ben ArcherOlivia BelliniParkstone445347DNF31175
51stBronze3695Peter SlackImmy BrownRYA4335505047175
52ndBronze3794Julian HarmsTimothy HarmsMidlands3850485443179
53rdSilver3682Ross BorneJohn BurnSalcombe4552495346192
54thBronze3785Robin CharlesOscar SimmonsStarcross5151534945196
55thBronze3662Nigel HudsonFreya HudsonBartley49495452DNF204
56thBronze3561Joe ShawJulie CronshawWembley5758584751213
57thBronze3742Howard EelesBradley EelesBartley5357DNF5152213
58thBronze3619Guy BrowneAndy HunterTrent Valley5456605653219
59thBronze3800Richard BramleyCalum TaitShoreham5655635755223
60thBronze3567Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield55DNS625554226
61stBronze3574Marc CandelasJohn DonoghueUpper Thames5961645856234
62ndSilver3750Neal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteBurghfield586255DNCDNC241
63rdBronze3586Kieron MasonBelinda MasonBlithfield606059DNCDNC245
64thBronze3449Carl WhitehillDani WhitehillRYADNS5956DNCDNC247
65thBronze3792Alistair McDonaldLydia BourneBerwickDNSDNS61DNCDNC259

Related Articles

Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller at Midland
Any wind direction with an N in it is likely to make a very taxing Midland Mug The second round of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller series took place at Midland SC on Sunday 26th March. 23 boats braved a cold north easterly breeze which promised to be gusty and shifty as ever. Edgbaston Reservoir is well known for its wind shifts! Posted today at 10:20 am
Merlin Rocket Allen South East Series Round 1
An excellent turnout of 27 boats at Wembley Sunday 19th March 2023, was the first event in the Merlin Rocket Allen South East regional series for the modern, classic and vintage fleets. Posted on 21 Mar
Battle of the Hikers preview
No trapeze? Get to Rutland this May! The very popular Battle of the Hikers will take place on the 27th and 28th May 2023. 30+ boats are expected. The Graduates were the biggest class last time. Nick Craig sailing his OK was the overall winner. Posted on 18 Mar
Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Round 1
SW Regional and HD Midland Circuits opener at South Cerney 15 boats turned up to a cold blustery South Cerney Sailing Club, hosting their first Merlin Rocket Open and the season opener for the 2023 Craftinsure Silver Tiller, SW Regional and HD Midland Circuits. Posted on 15 Mar
MROA announce sponsorship agreement with Allen
As the title sponsor of the 2023 Inland Championships and the new South East Series The Merlin Rocket Owners' Association is delighted to announce Allen Brothers as the title sponsor of the 2023 Inland Championships and the new South East Series launching this year. Posted on 7 Mar
What was intriguing at the RYA Dinghy Show 2023?
Remote operated self-bailers set one man's heart a flutter Determined not to let moving house (the day before) put him off,'s website developer, Magnus Smith, attended his favourite boat show during the last weekend in February. Posted on 6 Mar
Exe Sails & Covers Starcross Steamer
78 boats greeted by a beautiful morning without a breath of wind 78 boats were greeted by a beautiful morning at Starcross Yacht Club without a breath of wind for the annual pursuit race. Patience prevailed however and after a delay of an hour and ten minutes, the fleet eagerly took to the water in a building breeze. Posted on 31 Jan
Blithfield Barrel week 3
23 starters had almost perfect wind The wind was perfect for most competitors, staying constant from the SW at 15-20 knots without any major gusts or headers to trouble most, but dropping off towards the end of race 6. Posted on 25 Jan
Tom Gillard's (almost) perfect 2022
25 events, 23 wins, one World title, four National titles, and one that got away! It's hard to win a major championship, fine tuning your boat, your sailing skills, knowing the venue, and putting in that vital time on the water, but sometimes you get a sailor who puts together a season which on paper looks nearly impossible. Posted on 9 Nov 2022
Merlin Rocket Inland Championship at Burton
A whole day without black flags?! 23 Merlin Rockets travelled to Burton Sailing Club for the rescheduled Inland Championship with a much depleted Foremark reservoir and a forecast for wind and rain. The well-organised race team got everything under way on time, without even a black flag. Posted on 8 Nov 2022