Taxi & Alex win at Brightlingsea

Andy "Taxi" Davis & Alex Warren took the win at Brightlingsea after showing every one the way round on a glorious Saturday, Competition was very close right through the fleet.
Sunday was very much a drifter, full race report to follow. 

Posted: 11/06/2018 10:23:29

National's Draft SIs Available

Check out the draft SIs - just click on the title above.
 Or visit the Champs site, Enter Page, Draft SI button
28 days left at Standard Entry Fee. 23 places available before we need a waiting list! 

Posted: 02/06/2018 10:49:16

Mike & Jane Calvert win at Midland

On a glouriously sunny day in Birmingham Mike & Jane Calvert showed everyone the way around a full Edgbaston reservoir in what were trying and shifty conditions in the light winds.
This event saw 5 teams achieve Midland Circuit qualification and Richard Dee & Nancy Gudgeon replace Steve & Gill Leney as leaders of the 2018 HD Sails Midland Circuit. 

Posted: 21/05/2018 10:30:07

Team Leney lead the HD Sails Midland Circuit

Last years bridesmaids Steve & Gill Leney are currently leading the 2018 HD Sails Midland Circuit after three events. 
This team have finished on the podium countless times in the last decade only landing the title once due to the dominance of Matt Biggs and his various crews.
This weekends sees the circuit visit Midland Sailing club will team Leney still be leading come Sunday tea time or will Chairman Chris sailing at his home club be grinning like a Cheshire cat?
Latest results in the results section. 

Posted: 16/05/2018 10:23:19

Wall to wall sunshine in Wales

Another fantastic weekend sailing at Plas Heli Sailing Centre with winds varying from light to champagne conditions..  The racing was hard faught by the whole fleet..  Saturday dawned over cast with glimces of sunshine and three excellent run races.  Matt Biggs and Becka won the first two races and Simon and Ally  Potts were second.  However in the last race Ally went to feed Nicole and so they did not sail.  This race turned out to be quite bizarre having a 100 degree wind shift on the second beat dumping all those on the lefthand side of the beat and saw two  boats flying their spinnakers in the last 200 yards to the windward mark.  This race was led by Steve & Gill leney all the way to finish however confusion on the finish resulted in Matt taking the win.
Sunday produced a cloudless day (In Wales) and the fleet floundered out to the committee boat just expecting to return to shore through lack of wind.  However, it filled in and it was champagne sailing conditions in glorious sunshine.  This time Simon and Ally stamped their authority on the fleet with two comfortable wins. 
Plas Heli layed on a supper on Saturday night and even kept the bar open late.  We must have a reputation.  We all had a great time.  A big thank you to all involved and the club
!st   Matt Biggs & Becka Jones
2nd Simon & Ally Potts
3rd Steve & Gill Leney

Posted: 14/05/2018 09:16:26

23 Boats brave the east coast Aldeburgh ST

There is literally nothing more refreshing than a weekend on the East Coast in a Northerly breeze and rain that varies between not very heavy, heavy and very occasionally not raining at all. Enticed by the bracing Siberian breeze and the beautiful brown water and sky, 24 boats hit the A12 with excitement, arriving to a warm welcome from the President of Aldeburgh Yacht Club, a club with no Merlin Rockets, but one that really likes having them to visit every now and then.

Race officer, Patrick Gifford gave a slightly less bamboozling briefing than in previous years, and everyone launched into the beautiful River Alde for one round the cans race followed by an intended two windward-leewards.

The start-line for race one was exemplary, the benefits of starting at the favoured port end being exactly outweighed (as it transpired) by the western shore being tidally favourable. So it was that Duncan and Harriet Salmon led when the fleet re-met and intermingled themselves together in a manner that indicated that it hadn't really made much difference which end one had started. Tom and Charlotte Stewart sailing a borrowed weapon snuck past and into the lead before the first major challenge of scooting back into the tide to get round the first buoy Q. It was a lead they held to the finish, through some light patches, against a strong ebb tide. This was despite a prolonged challenge from Tim Fells and Frances Gifford, who latterly snatched third from the jaws of second from Caroline Croft and Matt Lulham-Robinson who did the last part of the race better than their rivals.

Race one having been shortened up river at Brickdock, race two was started in the same vicinity with a windward leeward up towards Barbers Point, in the higher reaches of the Alde. Alan Krailing and Matt Read sailing an orange wooden boat, 3494, won the start but promptly hit some mud which held them back enough for Fells and Gifford to sneak through to lead at the first mark. Crafty Crofty and Matt looked briefly like they might pull off another heist but found no way through. The Stewarts held back the mighty Hot Totty in third, to give an overnight three way tie for the lead.

The promised sundowners on the terrace will have to wait for another year, the sun not having come up, but an evening of fish pie (with egg) and chicken curry ensued, followed by the now traditional trip to the very lovely White Hart.

Sunday dawned even browner, colder and a lot windier. 20-25 knots blowing against a 2 knot tide made life challenging for an intended three short windward-leewards in Home Reach. The river was rough, the U flag in operation and 17 boats (with two new entries), ventured out for whatever fate was to bestow them. The run proved challenging, and sadly the centreboard didn't prove a great vantage point from which to watch the racing unfold, but Ian and Ellie Sharps clearly sailed like legends to take the victory from Tim Saxton and Jodie Green. Various people demonstrated their three quarter eskimo rolls with mud hindering their full execution.

The second and ultimately final race of the day with the open meeting now wide open, saw a jib fall up as the start gun went, which was annoying and put paid to any hopes of Fells retaining his title. Some more legendary sailing from Saxton and Green saw them take the win and the open, with Dan Willett and Pete Nicholson completing a great day to add a second to an earlier third, and Colin Brockbank purging his Aldeburgh demons taking third with Russell Hall.

There were no major human injuries, a few minor boat injuries and it genuinely seemed like everyone had a great weekend, with lots of talk of coming back next time. Commodore, Patrick Hill travelled a one day 250 mile round trip to exercise his positional privilege of presenting the prizes, and indeed emphasised that we must return. The sun does shine on the east coast and the wind does blow from warmer directions. Thanks particularly to Wembley Sailing Club for choosing to come en-masse for their coastal break, we look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2020 assuming we once again get the coveted honour of hosting a Craftinsure Silver Tiller.

Posted: 01/05/2018 14:33:56

Early Entry Discount - Aspire 2018 Nationals

Early Entry Discount expires in 5 days. If you have sent an entry but are not listed on the Champs Entries list, please email your details to the address on the Champs Entry page.

Posted: 25/04/2018 09:41:42

11 Merlins sail HD Sails Midland Circuit at Banbury

This year the Banbury open did not hold ST status so this the second event of the  HD Sails 2018 Midland Circuit was mixed in with normal club racing and this proved to work very well for both the open event and the club sailors who did not loose a days sailing by hosting the visiting Merlins. 

A prompt start to first race saw majority of the fleet making the first start. However someone who will remain nameless locked their boat on the front drive in order to make a prompt get away in the morning but (accidently) threw the key into the bushes for safe keeping and failed to make it to the first race. 

The first race was a short course using only half of the reservoir whilst the OD waited for the breeze to settle, this proved to make it difficult to pass, making a great start very important in deciding overall positions.  Race 1 was led by Paul Hollis and Paula Mason until a freak gust propelled Steve and Gill Leney down the run and past Paul & Paula and on to win.

The second race was back to back over an extended course and eventually won by Richard Dee and Nancy Gudgeon, followed by Chris Martin and Jamie Mason then Steve & Gill Leney.  

This left the whole meeting down to the last race with potentially 4 boats that could win.  

After some discussion with the O.D. over lunch, the fleet (and OD) decided on a windward, leeward course using the full length of the reservoir.  

From a scrambled start, the windward mark saw a lot of surprised competitors finding themselves unusually far up the fleet. 

Chris Martin rounded the leeward mark the wrong way and then tried to unwind and threw the whole fleet into disarray.  

Martin Smith & Karen Beston thus found themselves leading race 3.

Richard Dee then took the lead but was himself tracked down by Paul Hollis who held the lead to the end to take the race and the meeting.

Racing was close and competitive all through the fleet with places changing on a regular basis on every leg, this meant that not only was the event winner decided in the final race but also the very minor places at the rear of fleet providing just as much fun for the lower order competitors as those at the front.


Tea and cakes were served after the event as per the usual Banbury hospitality.


Posted: 16/04/2018 10:30:41

Big fleet at Salcombe

The Salcombe Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller on 7th and 8th April comprised of 59 entries, making it one of the largest open meetings of the year and causing the usual mayhem on the start line we normally see from Merlin Week!

On the Friday before the meeting, many of the sailors celebrated the marriage of James and Gina Warren, which was also the cause for some very sore heads on the Saturday morning! Along with the fuzzy heads, there were some very light sailing conditions forecast creating some very challenging racing. The first race went underway with a blistering start from Tim Fells and Fran Gifford close to the Portlemouth shore, followed closely by Chris Jennings and Oli Wells. There was a close battle throughout the race, which saw Chris and Oli nip past to take the win followed by Tim and Fran. In 3rd place were sisters Pippa Taylor and Jen Dodds.

The breeze filled in slightly for the start of the second race and after shaking their hangovers, Andy 'Taxi' Davis and Alex Warren got off to a cracking start. They extended their lead by quite a margin, however with a lack of breeze through the bag, Christian Birrell and Ian Dobson managed to creep their way back to them and claim the win. 2nd place was Taxi and Alex followed by Simon and Ally Potts.

On the Sunday morning there was a strong lack of wind, but the sailors were hopeful and were greeted with a slight increase in pressure on the way out to the start. Matt Biggs and Becka Jones lead round the windward mark followed by Taxi and Alex, who dropped back to fourth place. A fierce duel between the Calvert's, Mike and Jane, the Henderson's, Will and Mary and Matt and Becka commenced throughout the majority of the race. Mike and Jane managed to come out on top, followed by Matt and Becka and in 3rd were Will and Mary.

It was all to play for in the final race and with another great start, Matt and Becka took the lead early on. Rob Henderson and Alice Markham, with the theme tune to strictly come dancing humming in their heads, made the tactical decision to cross over to Salcombe side, against the current and the odds. This paid for them massively, which saw them pile the pressure onto Matt and Becka. They managed to keep cool heads to remain in the lead and take the win, 2nd was Rob and Alice and in 3rd was Caroline Croft and Matt Lullham-Robinson.

The final results of this relatively high scoring weekend were in 3rd Taxi and Alex, 2nd Mike and Jane and the winners of Salcombe Open Meeting 2018 were Christian and Ian. Many thanks from all the Merlin sailors to Salcombe Yacht Club for a superb event!

Thank you to sponsors Doombar, Salcombe Gin, Magic Marine and Craftinsure.

Posted: 10/04/2018 15:35:51

28 Merlins sail Chicester ST

Chichester Yacht Club's first open event of the "Summer" season was a combined event for the Merlins and the Hadron H2. The day started with many travelling boats being assembled in the car park of the sailing club on a cold and overcast morning with a light to medium wind from the west.

The Race Officer, Richard Anderton, set a triangle-sausage course across the lake, trying to maximise the length of the beat in the westerly wind. The racing started at 11am as soon as the water was deep enough for the Merlins to sail over Monkey Island in the middle of the lake.

There was a good turn out of 28 Merlins to attend the first race in their Silver Tiller series. At quality of the fleet was demonstrated by half the fleet claiming a top 5 result in one or more races. In Race 1, the winner was Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby. The course had to be relaid before race two due to a southerly shift in the wind, Race 2 was won by Christian Birrell and Sam Bevoy. Race three was won by Ben and Roz McGrane from Netley SC.

When the series results were calculated Ben and Roz McGrane were the winners with 4 points, then three boats had 5 points, with Christian Birrel and Sam Bevoy taking second place, Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby taking third and Roger and Jane Gilbert fourth.

For the second year, the event was shared with the Hadron H2 open meeting. This year 7 boats travelled to the event. The clear winner with three first places was Ian Dawson from Warsash SC, Second was Simon Hipkin from Walton and Frinton SC and third was Richard Holden from Arun YC. At the prize giving the designer of the Hadron boats, Keith Callaghan, donated prizes to award to each of the competitors.

Posted: 03/04/2018 09:17:09