Topic : Raters V Merlins??

So who won the John Merricks trophy?? Congrats to ???? Close run thing?? "Advertising" Monsignoir K???

Posted: 06/02/2007 01:46:13
Yes Guy I think you summed it up perfectly as usual

Posted: 07/02/2007 23:11:13
By: Pat Blake
Hi Folks
The Merlins as ever showed their metal. Think the Handicap will be getting a hammering at the review at the end of the year along with the I14, B14 and a few other classes that have undergone developments in the last few years.
The A Rater though, has a very dodgy handicap as on Saturday they sailed without spinnaker (rig wrongly prior to first race so did not bother!!) and finished behind the 49ers on handicap. If in the right hands and sailed to full potential would have murdered us all on handicap. Good atempt by the gaggle of Merlins to win though.
Bye for now

Posted: 08/02/2007 14:02:31
By: Barnsie
What is hard to explain to the rest of the world is how high the standard of Merlin sailing is now.
Both Martin Hunter and Mark Barnes have been racing Merlins in the last year - and very welcome they are. So that is the top 5 in the pursuit race to Merlin sailors.

Posted: 08/02/2007 14:40:56
By: Pat Blake
No argument that the standard in Merlins is very high but hasn't that always been the case ?
Maybe if you look right back to the days of 200 boats at a Champs , perhaps even more difficult ?
Pat do you think you would beat yourself aged 30 ?

Posted: 08/02/2007 16:06:24
By: Hasbeen
I must add a comment here Barnsie.  Although the handicap of a boat such as an A-rater is always going to be controversial, in part because so few exist and are sailed at open events, the insinuation that it could have been better sailed is a dangerous one.  Although admittedly failure to rig a boat correctly is rather an handicap, I think I'm correct is saying that Martin is the most successful A-rater helmsman in the history of the class, a history which is well over 100 years old and has included many of the movers and shakers of the dinghy and yacht racing world.

I don't in any way mean to detract from all of your achievements - top notch!

Posted: 08/02/2007 17:51:45
By: deepy
Absolutely right Hasbeen - I am very aware that I was much sharper years ago.
But I am not winning!
For me it is a privilege to race in the Merlin fleet now and though I don't win I always learn something.
So - I know a lot more than I did at 30 - but can I remember it?

By the way Barnsie and Shunter are top yachters - but they didn't win in Merlins either.

Posted: 08/02/2007 19:55:09
By: Pat Blake
It is a terrible shame that merlin rockets have become a small persons boat not only in stature but also in mind.  The rater has been around since 1860, in fact i am sailing a design of rater originally built in 1896 but, unlike the merlins, we are only just catching up with some of the technology.
It has always been an extreme boat. If any of you wish to sail a proper boat rather than the tender please give me a call! - I am always looking for new competition!!!

Posted: 08/02/2007 23:24:10
By: Martin TT Spindrift
I want an A-rater just so i can look at it. Lovely but scary looking things!  Dont think i could afford one though.

Posted: 09/02/2007 09:38:45
By: Envy
Not scary at all. I remember racing against Martin in a borrowed Rater at the Hampton regatta many years ago. My daughter Jane and another girl crewed me. We were the only two Raters sailing so we had an interesting match race upriver to Sunbury and back. Nip and tuck all the way but Martin was in front at the finish. They handle beautifully and with that tall rig reaching above the trees they are ideal for sailing on the upper Thames.

Posted: 09/02/2007 12:19:18
By: Robert Harris
I think you will all find that if you sail a Rater in breeze over a force 3-4 then it will get hammered on handicap. It's handicap equates to a 505 and I know which one I would choose in a blow.. This is espcially marked now there are loads of assymenttrics around. Having sailed them for 4 years now and never beaten Martin Hunter I don't think we have to worry about it being in the right hands...

Posted: 09/02/2007 13:32:49
By: Mark Ampleford
Hi, not questioning Martin's sailing ability but could not help observing the A Rater was nearly a minute late to start and hoisting and setting of the kite on Sunday took a long time. However, if a top flight crew did turn out on the day in the A Rater, was not insinuating they would be any quicker only that the team sailing the boat on the day did not sail to their full potential as could possibly be said for some other leaders in other classes of boat. To watch one going upwind is an impressive site but think the handicap for flat water racing is far from correct. We have raced against Martin several times over the winter, admittedly in lighter rather than windier conditions and would say they are very quick on all points other than running where we are quicker. Our handicap is 880 and may well drop to 870 - 875 next year to be in line with the Musto Skiff but will the A Rater's drop as it should. It would seem that the returns issue, as is the case where some clubs no longer do returns due to problems in process, means that the quality/reality of handicaps is diluting and grossly effecting the outcame of some high profile events. If a class has major developments such as the I14, the handicap should reflect this. At 6 knots or above they sail way above their 853 handicap as does the moth when Simon and co are sailing. Not to mention the onging developments in the Merlin fleet where to speed potential is still going up.
Anyway back to painting, bye for now

Posted: 09/02/2007 13:57:27
By: Barnsie
I don't think there is much wrong with the Rater handicap. Its an extreme boat and so self limits itself to a small % of the racing breeze. I've never seen one do any good on open water in 10+ knots of breeze? The Merlins, Fireball, 29ers are good all round performers, then 420's are at the other end of the scale who need 25+ knots. Guess it just depends on the forecast! Face it Barnsie, you need to get a proper yacht! 

Anyway, back to essay writing. Rugby tommorow! (watching not playing!)

Posted: 09/02/2007 20:01:07
By: Matt Mee
I totally agree with Matt's comments here, he has really hit the nail on the head - it would appear that at last some common sense is emerging on this particular thread.

Meanwhile - looking forward to the next LIGHT AIRS pursuit race!!

Posted: 10/02/2007 09:15:58
By: Professional Rater Crew
Yeah matt is right the fact the A rater obviously performs well in certain conditions and water types and not in others thus equalling itself out.  The same can be said for loads of classes.  The PY system can never be perfect, and this is the perils of sailing in handicap events.

Posted: 10/02/2007 10:16:38
By: Russ
The has been a large number of moans about PYs on this forum (and probably many others)....but this year already we've had 150+ boats for both the Steve Nicholson Memorial Trophy, and the Tiger Tophy, and 196 at the Bloody Mary!

Actions speak louder than words!

Posted: 10/02/2007 22:47:55
By: Mags
We are trying to set up an open day in Raters on open water!!!!!!!!!!!! Please respond to anybody who can cope with these waters?? If possible we can arrange two boat team racing??

Posted: 11/02/2007 02:36:51
By: martin hunter
Not sure if anyone is really interested but if you look at the time of Martin`s post?? Well Mr H! AAAALLLLEEEZZZZ and a certain Monsignour Dunn "A Rater Crew" maybe imbibed in a drop or two of Mr Collens (Race officer BEW past aka BOSS) lil brew ie SCOTCH!!I know that when I finally laid my weary head the clock said 5.57 oops??

Posted: 13/02/2007 01:29:58


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