Day two of the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championships at East Lothian Yacht Club, brought sunshine and even some warmth in the air, along with another 12-15 knots of breeze from the west. It took a while for it to settle, causing yet more headaches for the race officer and his team trying to lay a course, and after a bit of waiting around and one general recall under the U flag, the fleet started race three on the second attempt.
Those on the far left came in on the money with a great shift and pushing less tide, and it was Dave and Vicky Lenz who rounded the windward mark first ahead of Stu Bithell/Tom Pygall in second followed by Christian Birrell/Sam Brearey in third and Dan/Ben Alsop having a blinder in fourth. Unfortunately, Dave/Vicky caught a lobster pot on the second reach of the first triangle which allowed Stu/Tom to overtake underneath them and go on to establish a convincing lead, but by the next windward mark the places behind had changed yet again with Alex Jackson/Chris Kilsby in second just ahead of Christian/Sam and Dave/Vicky in fourth. On the final lap, Stu/Tom held on to take the bullet and the Clyde Quaich, but Alex/Chris were overhauled by Christian/Sam who took second, and Dave/Vicky also managed to claw back third place from Alex/Chris who ended up fourth. Caroline Croft/Chris Gould took fifth and Sophie Mackley/Oliver Meadowcroft finished in sixth. First silver fleet was James Wells/Anna Aylward who managed to sail past Dan Alsop/Ben Alsop, and first bronze fleet was Geoff and Helen Kimber.
During the start sequence for race four, a superyacht appeared by the windward mark and looked to be heading on down the racecourse before being diverted around. Apparently, it was Tom Cruise who had obviously come on over to watch some great Merlin Rocket racing and see what all the fuss was about.
This time, the first beat was all about the right hand side which Christian/Sam absolutely nailed to lead around the top mark followed by Taxi Davis/Pippa Kilsby in second, Stu/Tom in were third and Dave/Vicky in fourth, but alas both Stu and Dave were BFD, which has certainly shuffled up the leader board for now. So Christian/Sam ended up with the win, and taking the West Country Trophy, ahead of Taxi/Pippa in second. Tim Fells/Fran Gifford sailed a great race to take third ahead of Ben Saxton/George Yeoman in fourth, followed by Alex/Chris in fifth and Caroline/Chris in sixth. Fist Silver fleet was Dan/Ben Alsop finishing just outside of the top ten in his beautiful wooden boat, and first bronze fleet was Ben Archer/Olivia Bellini.
Christian/Sam are top of the leader board on day two with the first discard still not in play, Taxi/Pippa sit in second and Caroline/Chris are in third.
With thanks to our sponsors HD sails, SSE, NB Distillery, Fernhurst Books, Triggernaught Sportsglasses and our title sponsor Aspire Financial Advisers.
Photo from Day 2 courtesy of ELYC https://www.flickr.com/photos/caledonian-schlepper/sets/72157719743286145/
Tracking for Day 3 https://enter.sailracer.org/eventsites/live-screen-tracking-club.asp?eventid=221272&labels=S&templ=220014