Please select your home edition

76th Aspire Merlin Rocket National Championships at Mount's Bay Sailing Club - Day 4

by Mary Henderson 3 Aug 2022 14:22 PDT 31 July - 4 August 2022

Day 4 of the 2022 Merlin Rocket Nationals was a long one. Light and shifting breeze in the morning caused a 2 hour postponement ashore. To test the waters, it was decided that the Crews' Race would be sailed during the postponement.

Rallied by a record turnout for the Crews' Union on Sunday, a large fleet launched early to compete for the coveted trophy. Their keenness prevailed and the first start was a general recall. As the breeze settled into a nice 10knts, the fleet got away under a black flag.

Pete Gray, crewed well at times by Jon Gorringe, slotted first around the windward following a successful "leftward" strategy. Fran Gifford had carefully found all the shifts up the middle of the beat although some slippery footwork by Tim Fells threatened to jeopardise her podium position as they tacked onto the starboard lay line. Chris White continued his Team's Wednesday thirding streak to take the final podium position.

It was tightly packed in the mid-fleet with a multitude of family, friend and National 12 rivalries.

For the first championship race of the day (Race 7) James Goss & Chris White made another appearance at front at mark one, joined by Jon Turner & Richard "Animal" Parslow and Taxi & Jack Holden. However Tom Gillard & Rachel Gray stormed up the left of the second beat to lead, with Christian Birrell & Sam Brearey also making gains to sneak into second.

Goss & White held third, and the top three extended and finished in that order.

In the final race of the day (actually Race 4) Will Warren & Megan Pascoe led at mark one. On the first run pressure down the right of the run allowed Mark Stockbridge & James Gifford and Tim Saxton & Mary Henderson to gain significantly at the expense of those who gybed early (including Birrell & Brearey).

Stockbridge & Gifford and Saxton & Henderson then chose the right leeward mark, and gained left early on the beat, with Goss & White again going well leading the pack from the right. On the final beat Gillard & Gray showed their pace to close in and pull up to third.

Unfortunately for Goss & White an early gybe allowed Saxton & Henderson and Gillard & Gray to sneak past on the final run to take first and second, with Goss & White holding on for a third, third place of the day.

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.

Racing concludes on Thursday 4th August 2022.

Videos courtesty of Lee Whitehead are on Youtube.

Results after day 4: (races shown in numerical order, not chronological)

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1stPlatinum3759Thomas GillardRachel GrayStaunton Harold1232514114
2ndPlatinum3788Christian BirrellSam BreareyParkstone6115446223
3rdPlatinum3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe5571933932
4thPlatinum3802Simon PottsCharlotte FildesBurghfield10319819637
5thPlatinum2137James GossChris WhiteSouth Staffs137231529343
6thPlatinum3719Ian MartinChris MartinBurghfieldUFD657242044
7thPlatinum3764Tim FellsFrances GiffordSalcombe441681181247
8thPlatinum3807Tim SaxtonMary HendersonItchenor209811102349
9thPlatinum3778David LenzVicky LenzLymington Town122592091758
10thPlatinum3803Caroline CroftFaye ChattertonLymington Town9106251291561
11thPlatinum3735Andy DavisJack HoldenSouth Staffs8241726105569
12thPlatinum3758David HayesJonny RatcliffeLymington Town1414321324111187
13thPlatinum3791Jon GorringePete GreyParkstone23113173423490
14thGold3782Ed ChapmanChris KilsbyLymington Town31319283321892
15thGold3780Sarah RichardsNigel WakefieldLymington Town171136102722895
16thGold3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham181621625161996
17thPlatinum3801Matthew BiggsBeka JonesBartley281525227151498
18thPlatinum3775Chris JenningsPete NicholsonBurghfield19303112141313101
19thGold3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA16231116232026109
20thPlatinum3811Stu BithellTom PygallParkstoneDNSDNS4246710117
21stPlatinum3726Will HendersonRupert WhiteSalcombe30122823162516120
22ndPlatinum3676Antony GiffordJo GiffordRoyal Tay21171238221732121
23rdGold3683Arthur HandersonLivvy BellSalcombe15332018292717126
24thGold3696Alexander WarrenJonty FreemanshShoreham22281415263422127
25thSilver3727Mark StockbridgeJames GiffordUpper Thames6132245311230134
26thGold3787Chris MartinJohn TailbyMidland7403511183931141
27thGold3757Tim ParsonsAndrew ServiceLyme Regis24291029213334146
28thGold3716Steven LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield2621183220DNF38155
29thSilver3815Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town37182335461825156
30thGold3799Paul RaysonChristian HillFishers Green11203333394129165
31stGold3756Sophie MackleyJames WardShoreham35342921352224165
32ndSilver3806Ben JonesHelen HilditchShoreham47192640192835167
33rdPlatinum3809John TurnerRichard ParslowLyme Regis318223117DNFBFD175
34thSilver3816Phil EmeryPhoebe PaineWhitstable25432747133736181
35thPlatinum3666John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftUpper Thames33223937283527182
36thPlatinum3793James GoodfellowRick CornesBurghfield2745341442BFD21183
37thSilver3690Tim HarridgeRory GiffordHampton32275739385018204
38thGold3740Pat BlakeJilly BlakeLymington Town342630DNF324446212
39thSilver3749Colin AndersonSean AndersonBlithfield23384027DNCDNC33227
40thSilver3772Dan HeatonTom GurneyMountbatten41394144432637227
41stSilver3732Ben HollisGeorge BenderBlithfield40364241413239229
42ndSilver3790Colin BrockbankSue BroughWembley39474436303649232
43rdSilver3684Tom LowHannah BurtQueen Mary29414534484843240
44thBronze3813Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross48374330364950243
45thSilver3779David LeeKirsten GlenStarcross46443843DNS3042243
46thGold3656Charlotte GoughDave GoughStarcross36424645403848247
47thBronze3770Jon StewardAnnabel StewardFishers Green52545142452445259
48thGold3766Andy DalbyAimee Dalby/Sean AndersonBurghfield50463749374256261
49thBronze3794Julian HarmsTimothy HarmsMidlands38504853544340272
50thBronze3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone42485252444047273
51stSilver3767Ben ArcherOlivia BelliniParkstone44534755DNF3153283
52ndBronze3695Peter SlackImmy BrownRYA433550DNC5047DNC291
53rdSilver3682Ross BorneJohn BurnSalcombe45524950534651293
54thBronze3662Nigel HudsonFreya HudsonBartley4949545152DNF41296
55thBronze3785Robin CharlesOscar SimmonsStarcross51515348494552296
56thBronze3742Howard EelesBradley EelesBartley5357DNF46515244303
57thBronze3561Joe ShawJulie CronshawWembley57585858475157328
58thBronze3619Guy BrowneAndy HunterTrent Valley54566054565355328
59thBronze3800Richard BramleyCalum TaitShoreham56556356575559338
60thBronze3567Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield55DNS6259555458343
61stBronze3574Marc CandelasJohn DonoghueUpper Thames59616457585654345
62ndSilver3750Neal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteBurghfield586255DNCDNCDNCDNF373
63rdBronze3586Kieron MasonBelinda MasonBlithfield606059DNCDNCDNCDNC377
64thBronze3449Carl WhitehillDani WhitehillRYADNS5956DNCDNCDNCDNF379
65thBronze3792Alistair McDonaldLydia BourneBerwickDNSDNS61DNCDNCDNCDNC391

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 on 28 Mar
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