Results :: Parkstone Y.C. Open Meeting and Annual Dinner
|After a 14 year wait Mike and Jane Calvert recaptured the 2016 Merlin Rocket Craftinsure Silver Tiller Trophy. |
The final result of this iconic traveller series was still in doubt as 3 of the 39 competing teams were still able to win the series. The courses were planned as harbour tours but the 5-15knot NW played havoc with the first race starts. Series contenders Simon Potts and Ally Martin with 4 other boats were black flagged, so no pressure there then, but we got away on the 3rd attempt. To quote the legendary Jon Turner, the "Premier Event" was going to provide the fleet with something a bit different. PRO Graham Davis sent us to race off Brownsea Castle and then back to Wills cut. Stu Bithell and Tom Pygall led all the way with Taxi and Alex Warren charging into 2nd place.
The second start and the wind settled down (a bit) and the fleet decided to behave. Ultimately the right side paid up the first beat and Potts/Martin smashed it. Bithell/Pygall sailed nicely into second and Fran Gifford and Toby Lewis sailed an epic last beat to go from about 9th to 3rd.
So going into the last race, Bithell/Pygall were onto win with only Potts/Martin able to stop them, but if they managed to win the race they would not only snatch the event directly from Bithell, but also the Silver Tiller series from the Calverts.
The third race saw a proper use of the top triangle and a monster 2 mile last beat from Long Island back to the club marina. The start for Potts/Martin was not what was needed, and although theirs was a heroic come back, 3rd just wasn't enough to win the final race, open and Silver Tiller series.
Onshore the teams were welcomed with tea and doughnuts, fed an excellent Silver Tiller dinner followed by a wicked band which had young and old dancing. We ate, danced and drank hard, so much so the smoke machine set off the fire alarm which curtailed the evening allowing many to move on to the Bournemouth nightclubs - it was a great day to sail a Merlin, roll on the 2017 series!