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Merlin Rocket Inland Championship at Burton Sailing Club

by Mike & Jane Calvert 8 Nov 2022 03:58 PST 5-6 November 2022

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, just as the wind was beginning to build to a gusty 10-15knots south westerly. The course was a relatively short sausage/triangle for five rounds.

Matt Mee, making a welcome return to Merlins with Tom Pygall crewing, nailed the first beat only to miss the spacer mark, taking several other boats with him. Caroline Croft crewed by Rob Henderson took advantage and lead for some time, only to be overhauled on the final round by Tom Gillard & Rachael Gray. Matt Biggs crewed by Chris Gould came in third, just ahead of Rob Kennaugh & Andrew Prosser in fourth.

With the wind becoming ever more turbulent race 2 was away really quickly, and remarkably first time again, with Andy 'Taxi' Davis crewed by Pete Gray making the early running, and James Goss & Chris Kilsby also in the frame. However, it was Tom & Rachael who pulled through to another win, with Taxi & Pete in second and James & Chris third.

Race 3 started cleanly too, surely a record for the Merlin Inlands!

With the ever-increasing gusts, large gains could be made offwind. Three boats broke clear: Tim Saxton & Lottie Fildes, Mike & Jane Calvert, and Tom & Rachael who again picked their way through to the front. Tim & Lottie slipped past Mike & Jane to take second in the last round.

It was a tired and emotional fleet that came ashore after three hard races.

Sunday morning dawned with lighter winds so the fleet had a 40 minute postponement to allow the morning after Bonfire Night fog to clear enough to see across the lake.

Race 4 again got away cleanly in a much more stable 8-10 knots wind that had backed slightly from Saturday. With now limited lake space available the Race Officer set a windward-leeward course of seven rounds.

Taxi & Pete and Tom & Rachael made the early running, but on the second round were passed by Mike & Jane who extended their lead to win the race. Taxi & Pete retained second, and Tom & Rachael were third meaning they had won the event with a race to spare.

Normal service was resumed for the final race, with a general recall then a black flag. James Goss & Chris Kilsby took the win, Matt Mee & Tom Pygall were second, with Matt Biggs & Chris Gould in third.

Tom & Rachel took the Championships, completing a fantastic season and were crowned Grand Slam Champions 2022 having won the big four of Salcombe Week, the Craftinsure Silver Tiller and the Aspire National Championships.

The next three places all tied on points, separated on count-back, meant that James Goss & Chris Kilsby were second, Mike & Jane Calvert third and Taxi & Pete were fourth.

The Gold fleet was won by Rob Kennaugh & Andrew Prosser, the Silver by Colin & Sean Anderson and the Bronze by Nigel & Freya Hudson.

Many thanks to Burton Sailing Club for stepping up to run a really great end of season Inlands!

That concludes the 2022 Merlin Rocket season. There's a bit of an exciting shake-up coming in 2023, with more local events and changes to how we qualify for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller. All fixtures can be found on the MR website and please keep an eye out in the next class magazine for more information.

Overall Results:

PosSail No. HelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Net
13759Tom GillardRachael Gray111346
23814James GossChris Kilsby73DNF5116
33691Mike CalvertJane Calvert10731516
43735Andy DavisPete Gray6262716
53801Matt BiggsChris Gould3847317
63803Caroline CroftRob Henderson21058621
73791Jon GorringeMat Currel5476622
83811Matt MeeTom Pygall9DNF84223
93807Tim SaxtonLottie Fildes175291127
103700Rob KennaughAndrew Prossser46DNF101232
113765Richard AdamsGeorge Bender8DNC10111039
123793James goodfellowPoppy James1599121444
133716Steve LeneyGill Leney13151115948
143749Colin AndersonSean Anderson151214141555
153732Ben HollisAlex Pausey11DNF12162059
163815Mark BarwellLouise Johnson141115192159
173730Paul HollisPaula Mason121417161760
183772Dan HeatonBilly WIlkinson201316132262
193747Clive EplettRebecca Videlo21DNF13171364
203662Nigel HudsonFreya Hudson181619211972
213547Peter MaleTim Male191720201874
223686Kevin RoseEmily CharlesDNFDNCDNC221686
233367Tim BirdTom HootonDNFDNC18RET2389

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