Results / Silver Tiller Open Meeting and Regional SE

Brightlingsea S.C.
13/05/2023 - 14/05/2023
Silver Tiller: S
Multi-Day Silver Tiller: Both


Having earned the honour to write the report for this event we investigated the options to make this a quick process. Surely ChatGPT can come to our rescue. Here’s goes…

Ask: Write me a report for the 2023 Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event at Brightlingsea

ChatGPT: I’m sorry, but as an AI language, I don’t have access to current or future events, and my responses are based on my knowledge cutoff of 2021. I suggest checking with local news outlets or the event organizers for information about the 2023 Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event at Brightlingsea

The machines can’t take over yet then, back to plan B….

Event Report Written by Humans

Brightlingsea welcomed 33 boats for the 2 day Craftinsure Silver Tiller open meeting and Allen South East series over the weekend of 13/14th May.  On arrival it was fairly chilly with a north east wind direction and very overcast conditions.   Talk in the dinghy park was that the sun was coming out and it would be the hottest day of the year so far. Despite this most teams opted for warmer clothing options and there was even the odd dry suit spotted.

The fleet launched to a steady (in strength) 15 knots and sailed to the start line.  We were joined by the Hadron and GP14 classes which led to the occasional drama not too dissimilar from mixed grid GT racing – fewer boats in the tyre wall though.

The race team opted for a short line, approximately the width of 33 Merlin Rockets placed side-by-side plus a bit (~25cm) – well at least that’s what it felt like. Social distancing rules no longer apply, so all good. This put a premium on getting off the start line and general recalls became the theme of the day.

Race 1 Caroline Croft and Pete Gray sailing in their nice new ship were first round the windward mark followed by Chris Jennings and Pete Nicholson. In close pursuit were Dave Winder and Charlotte Stewart who had teamed up for the weekend, followed by a hungry pack. The leading two pulled away from the chasing pack.  A shifty wind led to some snakes and ladders throughout with Caroline and Pete taking the win from Chris and Pete. Dave and Charlotte survived the attention of the rest of the fleet to come third and take the award for first boat without a crew called Pete.

Race 2 was delayed due to a wind shift necessitating marks to be move by the alert the race team. After another recalled start the fleet got away. Multiple national champion Christian Birrell and guest crew Aaron Holman played the shifts well to storm into the lead from Jon Gorringe and Matt Currell. These two gained separation from the rest and were never troubled, the win going to Cristian and Aaron.  New team of Tim Saxton and Pete Matthew Dixon sailed well to claim 3rd.

For race 3 the much-anticipated sun decided to show up. Also on the scene was a tide pushing the fleet upwind which led to two things: even more pressure on the start line; and a developing chop (wind against tide). After another general recall, Chris and Pete rounded first followed by Christian and Aaron these two had a tight battle round the course. Christian and Aaron managed to take the lead on the last beat and claimed another bullet from Chris and Pete.  Jon and Matt were proving ever consistent and came 3rd

With some forecasts showing an average wind speed for Sunday of 3 knots (gusts as high as 3 knots) the race team made the wise decision to run a 4th race (the SI’s had been changed to accommodate this option).  By this point the breeze had built a little more, providing great (sparkling wine?) conditions although the wind against tide made for a tricky east coast chop. After another general recall the race team cracked out the black (BLACK!) flag and fleet set of for the final race.  With their mojo on boost Christian and Aaron revelled in the conditions posting another bullet.  This time dinghy sailing legend Will Henderson and son Rob were clearly warmed up now and claimed second. Caroline and Pete pulled through to take 3rd.

The fleet sailed home to a well-earned beer and refuelled with chilli con carne, although nobody seemed bothered that Eurovision wasn’t on the club TV.  Many people were heard saying best sailing had for a long time!

Sunday morning greeted us with ideal outdoor badminton conditions proving that it was the right decision to do 4 races on Saturday. After a short postponement racing was abandoned for the day allowing teams to pack up early.

This left Christian Birrell and Aaron Hollman as the event winners counting 3 bullets, Caroline Croft and Pete Gray 2nd, and Chris Jennings and Pete Nicholson in 3rd

Fleet prizes are awarded at all Silver Tiller events and the winners were:

Special mentions must go to our race officer Phil Rust aka Rusty and all club members who volunteered to help either on or off the water. 

Another mention must go to Tim Bees who has provided some fantastic photos of all the day’s action.  Thankyou Tim.

Hopefully we’ve got Brightlingsea pencilled in the calendar for next year with a strong turnout of 33 boats proving a popular venue.

Good luck to competitors in the Women’s Champs being held at Lymington Town S.C. over the weekend of 20/21 May.

The next Craftinsure Silver Tiller is at Hooe Point Sailing Club on 10th and 11th June and the Allen South East Series will take place on the Sunday at Shoreham Sailing Club on 18th June.

Thank you Chris Jennings and Pete Nicholson for the report.

Merlin Open 2023

Results are provisional as of 11:34 on May 14, 2023


Sailed: 4, Discards: 1, To count: 3, Entries: 33, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Tally Fleet Boat Class SailNo Club HelmName CrewName Rating R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett
1st 42 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3788 Parkstone SC Christian Birrell Aaron Holman 975 (9.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 12.0 3.0
2nd 36 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3820 Lymington Town SC Caroline Croft Pete Gray 975 1.0 4.0 (8.0) 3.0 16.0 8.0
3rd 9 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3775 Burghfield SC Chris Jennings Pete Nicholson 975 2.0 (6.0) 2.0 5.0 15.0 9.0
4th 45 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3791 Parkstone SC Jon Gorringe Matt Currel 975 (7.0) 2.0 3.0 4.0 16.0 9.0
5th 31 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3807 Itchenor SC Tim Saxton Pete Matthew-Dixon 975 5.0 3.0 4.0 (7.0) 19.0 12.0
6th 38 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3801 Bartley SC Matt Biggs Beka Jones 975 (16.0) 11.0 5.0 6.0 38.0 22.0
7th 24 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3796 Shoreham SC William Warren Megan Pascoe 975 6.0 (16.0) 7.0 9.0 38.0 22.0
8th 7 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3726 SalcombeYC Will Henderson Rob Henderson 975 (13.0) 10.0 11.0 2.0 36.0 23.0
9th 14 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3803 Lymington Town SC Chris Gould Sophis Mackley 975 (10.0) 5.0 9.0 10.0 34.0 24.0
10th 11 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3804 Brightlingsea SC Mary Henderson-White Rupert Henderson-White 975 4.0 8.0 13.0 (24.0) 49.0 25.0
11th 49 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3793 WEston SC James Goodfellow Rach Gray 975 (12.0) 7.0 6.0 12.0 37.0 25.0
12th 29 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3746 RYA James Wells Anna Aylward 975 8.0 9.0 (10.0) 8.0 35.0 25.0
13th 46 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3819 Hollingworth Lake David Winder Charlotte Stewart 975 3.0 (17.0) 12.0 13.0 45.0 28.0
14th 51 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3799 Fishers Green SC Paul Rayson Anna Rayson 975 18.0 12.0 (25.0) 15.0 70.0 45.0
15th 22 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3671 Brightlingsea SC David Conlon Sarah Conlon 975 14.0 (19.0) 14.0 17.0 64.0 45.0
16th 32 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3710 Burghfield SC Jon Ibbotson Robert Stewart 975 15.0 14.0 (16.0) 16.0 61.0 45.0
17th 51 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3817 Stone SC Geoff Kimber Tom Pygall 975 (27.0) 20.0 15.0 11.0 73.0 46.0
18th 4 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3747 Frensham Pond SC Lcive Epvett Rebecca Videlo 975 17.0 13.0 17.0 (18.0) 65.0 47.0
19th 18 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3702 Wembley SC Duncan Salmon Ruth Hanstater 975 19.0 15.0 19.0 (20.0) 73.0 53.0
20th 27 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3716 Blithfield SC Steven Leney Gillian Leney 975 21.0 18.0 18.0 (22.0) 79.0 57.0
21st 39 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3749 Bartley SC Colin Anderson Sean Anderson 975 (28.0) 23.5 20.0 14.0 85.5 57.5
22nd 34 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3794 Midland SC Julian Harms George Bender 975 20.0 21.0 (23.0) 19.0 83.0 60.0
23rd 20 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3753 Brightlingsea SC Andy Bines Rebecca Bines 975 (24.0) 22.0 21.0 21.0 88.0 64.0
24th 40 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3745 Wembley SC Paul Dean Hannah Burt 975 22.0 (30.0) 22.0 23.0 97.0 67.0
25th 35 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3770 Fishers Green SC Jon Steward Russell Hall 975 25.0 23.5 24.0 (34.0 DNC) 106.5 72.5
26th 10 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3805 Bartley SC Mark Reddington Lewis Fowler 975 23.0 28.0 26.0 (34.0 DNC) 111.0 77.0
27th 30 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3547 Blithfield SC Peter Male Tim Male 975 (29.0) 25.5 27.0 26.0 107.5 78.5
28th 41 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3782 LT SC Edward Chapman Anthony Chapman 975 11.0 (34.0 DNC) 34.0 DNC 34.0 DNC 113.0 79.0
29th 21 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3563 Blachusalen SC David Hall Emilie Hood 975 26.0 29.0 (29.5) 25.0 109.5 80.0
30th 47 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3695 Rutland SC Pete Slack Immy Brown 975 30.0 25.5 28.0 (34.0 DNC) 117.5 83.5
31st 44 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3633 Hampton SC Timothy Harms Millie Little 975 (31.0) 27.0 29.5 27.0 114.5 83.5
32nd 19 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3561 Wembley SC Joe Shaw Sophia Cecchi 975 32.0 32.0 31.0 (34.0 DNC) 129.0 95.0
33rd 6 Merlin   MERLIN-ROCKET 3677   Timothy Barr Chris Martin 975 33.0 31.0 (34.0 DNC) 34.0 DNC 132.0 98.0


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