Topic : West Country Trophy

I'm hoping that some of our forum surfers who have long memories on Merlin matters might be able to help out with letting me know the history of the West Country Trophy.  This is the only one of our trophies that I've never managed to find out anything about.  It's a beautiful silver rose bowl (presented for the 4th race at the Champs) and the only engraving on it is "West Country Trophy" - no info about who presented it or the date.

Any info gratefully received!

Posted: 13/09/2005 14:37:42
By: Keeper of the Class Records
I have Yachting World Annuals which include major dinghy class results up to and including 1955. The West Country trophy does not appear in any of the results up to then. It's probably not widely known that in those days only three races on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were Championship races, Monday being a practice race and Friday a spare day. Maybe when the class changed to five day Champs one of the host club at either Torquay (1957) or Plymouth (1958) presented the trophy.

Posted: 15/09/2005 21:31:09
By: Robert Harris
I have the MROA year book for 1951 which shows 1950 was a 3 race Champs (Beecher Cup, Founders Trophy and Royal Corinthian (Cowes)Cup)but unfortunately no more MROA year books until 1962 (1961 Champs certainly had 5 races including the West Country Trophy)
The 1957 Yachting World Annual reports on a 3 race Champs in 56 (Founders Cup,Beecher Cup and Clyde Quaich).
I am missing the 1958 YW Annual but the 1959 edition only reports the overall results of the National Merlin Rocket Week from June 22nd to 27th at Plymouth. It may still have been only 3 races but I think Robert is right. The West Country Trophy was almost certainly first presented at Torquay in 57 or Plymouth in 58. I sailed in the 1959 Champs at Whitstable and am fairly sure it was 5 races then.
Whilst researching this issue, I found an excellent 4 page article by Ian Proctor entitled "Development of the Merlin Rocket Class" in the YW Annual 1959. I might be able to scan and e-mail it if anyone else wants to read the ancient history.
And the cover price of the MROA 1951 year book was 2 shillings and 6 pence post free. The boat numbers were up to 340 Wisp by April 1st of that year. Rule 12 stated "The selling price of the complete boat without sails is not to exceed £160 including the designer's royalty" !!

Posted: 22/09/2005 17:50:42
By: Tony Lane
Suggest a peek at the trophy, if it still has its original base, that will have the winners names, and for the purposes of this exercise the year! The source was almost certainly the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Y. C. But the year might prove that wrong.

Posted: 22/09/2005 19:14:51
By: Ancient Geek


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