Topic : Trophy cleaning kit for sale

As a result of Shoreham Sailing Club's decision to allocate a PY of 1000 to Merlins Ross has for sale a complete set of redundant trophy cleaning gear ;

Two tins of silver polish
Three dusters
Four chamois polishing cloths

Offers invited

Posted: 15/02/2005 14:02:48
By: whitstable pro
Mint condition I assume.....

Posted: 15/02/2005 16:14:12
By: Second That
I may have a home for those

Posted: 15/02/2005 16:22:03
By: Mrs A Harris
My Butler may be interested...

Posted: 15/02/2005 16:35:23
By: Interested Observer
My butler already has all he needs, but I could suggest from a last inspection of its Trophy Cupboards that the royal Thames YC should and thus may be interested!

Posted: 15/02/2005 16:51:54
Shouldn't get rid of the kit too quickly - 24 points is only 2 points under the old system (for those of us of a certain age) - it might not make nearly as much difference as you might think.

Posted: 15/02/2005 21:00:21
By: JimC
19 points under the system used at the Tiger so only 1.9 points under old system, round it down to 1 point - no worth thinking about!

Posted: 15/02/2005 21:05:24
By: Alan
That's what I like about sailing a development class - faster every year.

Posted: 16/02/2005 08:48:20
By: Bill
i know we are not meant to talk about it but if we could get the lead out we would be even faster
still believe the class should have a 4-5 year plan for reducing the weight. i know all the arguments about the older boats but as i said there should be a clear forward plan

Posted: 16/02/2005 09:14:21
By: Col B
For Gods sake stop fiddling! The class is the class it should be like the old Conservative Party - "Forward but not too fast!" If you want a lighter faster boat get onbe there are plenty to choose from. Is the Int' 14 a better boat than it was in 1965 - NO it bloody isn't. 60 year olds can't win any more and there are lot of bus pass nominees and holders in the MR Class. Remember Lord Weatherill's law of unintended results from rapiod transition.

Posted: 16/02/2005 09:32:56
By: Sail Maker
looking at the 14 to me its a far better more exciting boat than it was in the 60s

wots the definition of fiddling and wots the definition of developement

Posted: 16/02/2005 10:18:10
By: Col B
Alan you're getting more sarcastic in your old age, maybe something to do with becoming grandfather the other week (congrats to Lucy and Rowan). It seems that I'll just have to try a little harder this year, and so will you to beat Bill :)

Only a month now to start of sea racing and the Easter Cup, so not long to wait and try out the new PY.


Posted: 16/02/2005 10:22:00
By: Ross
If you do things like this you are voting for your own extinction.

Posted: 16/02/2005 10:30:17
By: Sail Maker
There is no way that there is going to be a reduction in weight as Chairman Graham wrote in the Autumn/Winter 04 Magazine and he also said "Avoid banging pet drums for a while...."

Posted: 16/02/2005 11:07:48
By: -
Shoreham committee acted to try new handicap because the Merlin one is a joke (actually went from 1018 to 1024 few years back!). I know from RYA that it is not changing again this year as they never get enough returns. In handicap races last year at Shoreham there was only one race in which Merlins took part that a Merlin didn't win! The committee voted to try this new PY of 1000 to see if it addresses the balance. There are many clubs that use local/personal handicaps, that is what Shoreham are doing. I'm not saying I voted for it as I like winning (don't we all). However I do understand why the decision was made, and it will be popular with many other classes.

As above I am just going to have to try to sail a bit better this year, no harm there.

Best regards, Ross

PS I agree, stop taking about weight for once!

Posted: 16/02/2005 13:15:29
By: Ross
Ross - how much do you want for this silver polishing kit...?

Posted: 16/02/2005 13:45:22
By: Interested Observer
I'll give you £5....   (my housekeeping for the month)

Posted: 16/02/2005 14:18:42
By: Mrs A Harris
ps - the front porch is a mess so could you please include the yard stick - many thanks

Posted: 16/02/2005 14:32:16
By: Mrs A Harris
Ross i think you may have to sail more than a bit better.

Posted: 16/02/2005 14:41:54
By: willie warren
Thanks Will for those kind words:) I have a new crew this year of the 'Dangerous' variety so we will be going for it.

Posted: 16/02/2005 16:05:09
By: Ross
Hey Brocklebanks - before ur merlin gets lighter, you'll be more worried about which cushions are comfiest on the day boat.. How about getting Martin on a weight loss plan instead.. 

Happy 60th! May one comment that you don't look too shabby. (Must be all that creme you slap on.)

Posted: 16/02/2005 16:16:53
By: Oil of Ugly
The only 'wait' that is being reduced here is the time between bitchy comments !

Posted: 17/02/2005 16:01:32
By: Rhoda Gorrocks
Shorham's experience is that the Merlin handicap is over generous, and yet we rarely hear of Merlins winnng the big multi-class events like Bloody Mary.
Is it really the handicap, or are the Merlin Sailors at Shoreham just better than those who sail other classes?

Posted: 19/02/2005 01:00:34
By: Curious
Or conversly are the other classes sailed at Shorham just not that good (or on the committee) or both, or the usual mixture of RS & Laser types who were told all they have to do is to get in to win!!

Posted: 19/02/2005 07:22:20
Hang on, rarely hear of Merlins winning big multi-class events!!!!

Last year Bloody Mary I think 3 were in the top 5 or 6.
This year the Tiger Trophy, 1st & 2nd.

Posted: 19/02/2005 09:50:40
By: Alan Fuller
had one of these fancy merlins on my lawn this afternoon.  very nice it was too.  took two of us to move it around on its trailer though.  maybe the lead should be easily moveable for ashore handling if it is required.  almost broke my back.

Posted: 20/02/2005 18:39:23
By: it aint heavy its a merlin
Shoreham has National champions in two other classes plus other sailors who have won trophies in other classes - it's the PY  that is wrong - it hasn't been changed to reflect bigger spi's and carbon spars

Posted: 20/02/2005 18:55:42
By: whitstable pro
The PY is not necessarily "wrong" - it reflects average performance for the "average" Merlin involved in club handicap racing.  In many cases the returns provided by clubs to the RYA will reflect older Merlins rather than the latest machines.  In common with many highly competitive classes, the top sailors with the latest boats tend to concentrate on fleet racing on the circuit rather than club handicap racing.  This means that the latest boats probably don't influence club returns that much, unless there is a high percentage of club sailors using the same kit. 

At a club such as Shoreham where there is a strong fleet of competitive modern boats (i.e. faster than average!), the current PY may well seem to be too generous, in which case the local sailing committee may decide to use a locally adjusted number. This is exactly what clubs should be doing and is a fundamental part of the PY system - if every club blindly adopts the national published number, PYs never get updated......

Carbon spars started to appear on Merlins about 10 years ago and the larger kites have been around a few seasons now, but these changes probably haven't made much difference to the average club boats performance, hence the PY has stayed about the same. Another interesting question is whether the Merlin PY was "right" before these rule changes!

Posted: 20/02/2005 20:12:24
By: Whippersnapper
Don't forget that many Clubs have accepted and are using the 'age allowance' numbers published in the year book realising this helps keep the 15-20+ year old boats sailing at club level, quite how the PY returns panel read these would be interesting.

Posted: 21/02/2005 07:12:38
By: Barry Watkin
Some solid and well informed discussion here!  To take Watters point first, the RYA Handicap panel are fully aware of the sliding scale the Merlins use, and fully endorse it.  It was discussed several times during my time on the panel.

Other point ot consider here is that while it is clear that the Merlin has benefitted from development , so have many of the other classes over the last four or five years- many of them "one design". These developments have improved performance for them without affecting handicaps either, try this list for starters:
Fireball, kevlar hulls and raking rigs, carbon spinnaker poles
Solo; amendment to mast tip weight rule, introduction of optimised FRP hulls.
Laser; introduction of kicker system lead back side decks - much quicker and easier to adjust.
Topper; introduction of centre mainsheet and improved kicker system
505; introduction of larger spinnaker (need to check facts here, but I don't recall a PY change)
Phantom: adoption of carbon spars
GP14; introduction of double bottoms

could think of more if I didn't have work to do, but it is important to get the whole picture in context.

It is true that the Merlin handicap is perceived as being beneficial in some quarters, but this counteracts the period in which it was unfeasibly harsh. According to the strict application of the PY panel criteria, our handicap should have become more generous on at least two occasions in the last five years, however commonsense prevailed and it was pegged.

With regard to the comment about winning the big open events - both comments are correct; Tricky Dicky and Matthew W's performance at the Tiger was ground breaking, it is very many years since a win by a Merlin has been achieved at an event like that. A culmination perhaps of great kit, great skill and a great amount of practice - it would be very narrow minded to attribute this to a quirk of the handicap wouldn't it?


Posted: 21/02/2005 08:30:40
By: Chairman GGGGG
Tom Stewart wins Grafham Grand Prix in Merlin Rocket (if he does not turn up in a 12).

Merlins regularly hit the front at the Bloody Mary

Merlins get a 1,2 at Tiger Trophy

maybe there is something there..........

Posted: 22/02/2005 14:50:12
By: big event success
The Grafham grand prix result is not just a result of the PY, as indeed most handicap racing isn't  There are many other factors involved, and that which made the GGP slightly advantageous to a merlin is that we were the quickest boat in the fleet on PY - the same as the flying fifteens I think - but they can't live with a Merlin upwind.  If you go around the windward mark in the top couple and you're sailing in clear breeze all the way round then that is definitely an advantage.

Similarly I won the Student Nationals in a Merlin this year, but that was because it was generally light winds and we were arriving with the RS 800s and 14s at the windward mark.

Handicapping is a non-ideal way of providing average boats with a race in average conditions. If enough races are sailed with equal kit and skill then every type of boat should win.

Maybe we'd have had more difficulty at the Grafham GP had there been 15 other merlins to race against, similarly for Tom in the 12, which he is National Champ of by the way!

Posted: 22/02/2005 22:34:47
By: Chris D
Handicaps - a necessary evil!

Anyone moaning about the Merlin PY should try sailing against International Moths! Urine is extracted on a pretty large scale here as the boats seem either well sailed and extremely fast or poorly sailed and retire often. I sailed against a few at Coppet week last year, mass start handicap race. The moth passed us on the third out of four and still beat us on handicap.

The thing about handicapping a Merlin is that relative to other boats there is no really discernable condition where a Merlin performs poorly. It will perform to whatever number is assigned to it across pretty much all conditions. Not many other classes do, especially assymetric boats - this was very apparant at the Tiger, overtaking a 4000 on a 3 sail reach is a new experience for me!

At Midland our club pursuit racing is also dominated by Merlins, but it must be said our better yotters sail them.

We find our results to be very course dependant. If there is no 3 sail reach, apart from being deathly boring and a lynch mob being dispatched to the race box on finishing, it is very possible to cripple the Merlins. Personally my pursuit result is less important to me than my class race result, and we extract class results from the pursuit race.

There is no ideal way to settle handicap arguments. One national champion may be better than one from another class, while whoever finished 48th at the 505 champs might turn up at Midland and slaughter the lot of us.

Posted: 23/02/2005 18:28:56
By: Chris M


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