The Merlin Rocket sailors arrived at Starcross to a friendly welcome and light SE winds carrying the delectable smell of bacon butties throughout the dinghy park for the Craftinsure Silver Tiller on 19th and 20th June.
With the tide flooding, Race 1 started well for some Henderson’s with Tim Saxton and Mary Henderson leading around the first windward, followed by Will and Arthur Henderson. Good decisions on the second beat by Tim Fells and Fran Gifford meant they snapped up the lead to finish 1st followed by Chris Gould and Caroline Croft, then Mike and Jane Calvert. James Wells and Anna Aylward had a great race and finished Race 1 as the first Starcross YC members and first silver fleet boat.
My overriding memory from Race 2 is the legendary pair of Dan Alsop and Jennie King gliding into the windward mark on a lovely port lift in Gangsta Paradise miiiles ahead of the rest of the left-hand pack and even further ahead of us in the hole on the right side of the course.
Sarah Richards and Nigel Wakefield linked the gusts together and read the changing tide well in this race to put in another solid result. Dan and Jennie held onto their lead until a few puffs and lulls compressed the fleet allowing Tim and Fran to sail into the lead with nip and tuck racing throughout the fleet behind. Olly Turner and Pete Nicholson finished 4th to clinch back the local rivalry from James and Anna.
The breeze had thankfully settled again slightly for race 3, and Tim and Mary hooked into some nice shifts on the mid-left of the first beat to lead throughout the race. Excited for a night of camping, the team of Rob “I don’t do camping” Henderson and Alice Markham sailed a fantastic Race 3 to finish 3rd just behind team consistent Chris Gould and Caroline Croft [Day 1: 2, 2, 2].
The sailors returned to shore and were greeted by food from the lovely galley team of Kate Lee, Sue Turner and Liz Charles – Thank you!
Sunday dawned with a slightly lighter wind than Saturday but from the more stable southerly direction. Tim and Fran again sailed a great Race 4 to finish 1st followed by Mike and Jane (2nd), then Will and Arthur (3rd). John and Mimi Gorringe arrived at Starcross on Sunday to put in an impressively consistent 4th and 6th.
Mike and Jane Calvert won race 5 comfortably, leading throughout. It also saw some weekend PBs amongst sailors from the S and SW. Mention goes to Sarah and Nigel (Lymington Town SC, 2nd), Mark Waterhouse and Mat Currell (Salcombe YC, 3rd), James and Anna (Starcross YC, 4th). Also scoring their best results of the weekend were Dave Lee sailing with Kirsten Glen/Clare Knight and Dan Heaton and Tom Gurney from Mount Batten who both finished in the top 10. Starcross fleet captain Dave Lee also deserves special mention for his help to organise the weekend.
A huge ‘thank you’ goes to race officer Russ Gibbs along with Tim Coombe and Lucy Loughton who did a great job running high quality races despite some seriously challenging and shifty conditions.
Next weekend is the class training at Lymington Town Sailing Club, followed by Salcombe Yacht Week. The next Craftinsure Silver Tiller for your diaries is at Mumbles Yacht Club on 17th and 18th July.