Results / River Championships - Bourne End Week

Upper Thames S.C.
25/05/2024 - 27/05/2024
Silver Tiller:
Multi-Day Silver Tiller:

Thank you to Ollie Meadowcroft for the incoming report, Tony Ketley for the photos and Mick Haigh for the video.

As is now becoming tradition, the coveted Merlin Rocket River championships were once again held across a sunny May bank holiday at Bourne End Week, Upper Thames Sailing Club’s premier event of the year. While often known for its exuberant gin party and late night bar closures, this year saw some excellent racing on the widest non-tidal stretch of the Thames.

Saturday saw returning champions Alex Jackson and Anna Blake in renowned wooden rocket ship 1493 ‘Katy Lou’ stretch out to take the first race win, with frequent event favourites Chris and Pippa Kilsby in 1996 ‘Queen Philippa’ taking 2nd. While it may have looked set for the standard Bourne end winning machines to run away with it, race two saw Mark Barwell and Lou Johnson pick the first gust to perfection and lead all the way round to win. Chris and Pippa, and Alex and Anna fought back through a heavy pack to snatch the podium places.

Following a dark and stormy Saturday night, the fleet tentatively returned to the club line to start the back to back races on day 2. John and Katy Meadowcroft in 799 ‘Keto’ had clearly had enough messing around and came flying in on starboard to throw the fleet off, necessitating a general recall. The second start came away clean, and it was once again Alex and Anna leading off into the sunset, with this time Rob Cage and Jemma Horwood in the gorgeous 1692 ‘Hulabaloo’ chasing them down. Ollie Houseman and Engle Tumosa took 3rd to jump them up close to the top of the leaderboard. Race 2 of the day saw another Jackson/Blake domination, with Jen and Chris Dodds in their wide boat putting in a great showing to take 2nd, and Chris and Pip 3rd, making it a full family affair at the front.

Sunday night’s cocktail party was an excellent celebration, but sadly caused some collateral damage in the form of some heavy heads on day two. One such man was Alex Pausey, who despite saying ‘I’m not going sailing today’ an hour prior, found himself nailing the start and leading round the first mark. It was all to catch up with him though, as he and crew Ollie Meadowcroft in 2040 ‘Robin Hood’ rounded the home mark the wrong way, losing Alex/Anna and Chris/Pip. They fought back with everything to take Chris and Pippa back on the next beat and consolidated 2nd, while Rob and Jemma snuck up in to third. Alex and Anna were already ashore having their lunch by this stage.

In the final race showdown, it was time for Jen and Chris to stretch their legs off the startline as the wind increased and let loose their wide boat speed, taking an early lead up the first beat. Alex and Ollie, seeking to sneak into 3rd overall chased them down, but in the ensuing battle, it was no other than Alex Jackson and Anna Blake threading their way up the bank to take another sizeable lead. The fight for second was brutal, with Rob/Jemma and Chris/Pippa also joining the fray. The race finished with Rob and Jemma squeezing through into 2nd on the finish line, with Jen and Chris taking a well deserved third.

Overall, this left Alex Jackson and Anna Blake to once again take a dominating victory in the Merlin Rocket River Championships with 5 out of 6 races won. The Kilsby family took a well earned 2nd place, with Rob Cage and Jemma Horwood in 3rd, and Alex Pausey and Ollie Meadowcroft in 4th.

Thank you to Upper Thames Sailing Club for putting on a great event, Richard Pausey Commodore and our PRO for the event for some excellent racing, John Meadowcroft Vice Commodore at Upper Thames for helping keep everything running smoothly, to David Batty our on the water judge and to Craftinsure for the lovely water bottles supplied to the fleet.

At prize giving Stuart Jenkins from the Merlin Rocket Owners Association presented Rob Cage with a framed photograph of Rob sailing with his daughter Hattie in ‘Hulabaloo’ to thank him and Craftinsure for their long term and continued support for Silver Tiller, Silver Pole and Vintage Merlin Series’.

Merlin Rocket River Championship 2024

Upper Thames Sailing Club


Results are final as of 20:42 on May 28, 2024


Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Rating system: PY, Entries: 20, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Boat SailNo HelmName CrewName Club Saturday Race One Saturday Race Two R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Nett
1st Katy Lou 1493 Alex Jackson Anna Blake Hampton 1.0 (3.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 8.0 5.0
2nd Queen Philippa 1996 Chris Kilsby Pippa Kilsby Thames 2.0 2.0 (9.0) 3.0 3.0 4.0 23.0 14.0
3rd Hullabaloo 1692 Rob Cage Jemma Horwood Thames 3.0 (11.0) 2.0 5.0 4.0 2.0 27.0 16.0
4th Robin Hood 2040 Alex Pausey Ollie Meadowcroft UTSC 6.0 4.0 (10.0) 4.0 2.0 5.0 31.0 21.0
5th Phantom Menace 3611 Jen Dodds Chris Dodds Nottingham SC (12.0) 5.0 11.0 2.0 5.0 3.0 38.0 26.0
6th Luka 3560 Oliver Houseman Egle Tumosa Tamesis 4.0 (10.0) 3.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 37.0 27.0
7th Keto 799 John Meadowcroft Katy Meadowcroft UTSC 8.0 8.0 4.0 8.0 7.0 (21.0 DNF) 56.0 35.0
8th Flinkidink 1097 Stuart Jenkins Nicola Scaddan UTSC (11.0) 6.0 5.0 11.0 9.0 9.0 51.0 40.0
9th Cindy 723 Mark Barwell Lou Johnson Lymington Town SC 9.0 1.0 (21.0 OCS) 15.0 8.0 8.0 62.0 41.0
10th Katy Lou 1212 Tim Harridge Robbie / Josh Leroy   (14.0) 7.0 6.0 6.0 11.0 11.0 55.0 41.0
11th Wild Waters 1700 Peter Walker Debbie Walker UTSC 10.0 (12.0) 12.0 9.0 10.0 6.0 59.0 47.0
12th Masquerade 995 Matthew Jones Arthur Jones Tamesis 5.0 (21.0 DNC) 7.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 75.0 54.0
13th Chindit 578 Peter Slack Immy Brown Trent Valley Sailing Club (17.0) 16.0 8.0 10.0 13.0 13.0 77.0 60.0
14th Rocketeer 1661 Kevin Rose Tim Williams UTSC 13.0 9.0 (21.0 DNF) 21.0 DNC 12.0 10.0 86.0 65.0
15th Pooh 1189 Carl Mayhew Mayra Vivo-Torres   (21.0 DNC) 15.0 13.0 12.0 21.0 DNF 12.0 94.0 73.0
16th Tiercel 901 Pat Blake Jill Blake Cookham Reach 16.0 13.0 14.0 14.0 (21.0 DNC) 21.0 DNC 99.0 78.0
17th Bottle Rocket 1951 Tre Jacobs Guy Jacobs UTSC (21.0 DNF) 18.0 16.0 21.0 DNC 15.0 14.0 105.0 84.0
18th September Girl 2734 Paul Atwell Mike Steele Llangors 18.0 17.0 17.0 16.0 16.0 (21.0 DNC) 105.0 84.0
19th Exequisite 2266 Chris Rathbone Sonia Rathbone UTSC 15.0 14.0 15.0 (21.0 DNC) 21.0 DNC 21.0 DNC 107.0 86.0
20th Splatter 1631 Simon Girven Claude Wheeler UTSC 7.0 (21.0 DNC) 21.0 DNC 21.0 DNC 21.0 DNC 21.0 DNC 112.0 91.0


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