Results :: Wembley S.C. Open Meeting
|Wembley Sailing Club hosted the first open meeting of the 2015 Silver Tiller series on 15th March. |
A brisk 10 – 20 knot north easterly (one of best directions for the Welsh Harp) greeted the 40 competitors, including Nick Craig fresh from his victory at the Sail Juice Series. The enthusiasm for getting going with the Merlin circuit encouraged visitors from Hollingworth, Salcombe, Northampton, Frensham, Whitstable, Parkstone, Blithfield, Midland, Redditch, Brightlingsea and Snettisham Beach, together with our friends from the Thames Valley clubs – there was quite a traffic jam of Merlins on the club approach road.
Such was the enthusiasm that Olly Turner had travelled up from Exmouth on Saturday to spend the afternoon practising (don't let on but he was tuning up against GP14s).
John and Judy Gill and their hardy race team ran three back to back races with a long beat up and run down the full length of the Harp, with big shifts and gusts, to tax the range of crews – some of whom had clearly not spent the winter practising!
Race 1 got underway promptly at 11.30 and Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor showed the fleet around chased by Tom Stewart and James Dawes and Andy Davis with Caroline Croft. Tom and James got into the lead on the final run with Andy and Caroline third.
The warning for Race 2 was sounded shortly after the last boat had finished and the fleet was off to be called back on a General Recall. On the second attempt under a black flag they were away with Nick Craig and Tom Pygall leading the fleet until the penultimate beat when the persistent Tom and James took the lead with Andy and Caroline again finishing third.
As competitors finished Race 2, rescue boats delivered bottles of water and mars bars – as is the Wembley tradition (also with as usual Colin Brockbank complaining they should have been deep fried). Tom admitted afterwards he had a shocking start for Race 3 (not as bad as your correspondent who was over the line) and 'cruised' around in 5th. Nick and Tom led the fleet around to take first with Dave and Pippa second and ever consistent Andy and Caroline third.
80 tired but exhilarated Merlin sailors were supplied with the Wembley chilli con carne before the prize giving which included sailing kit from Rooster Sailing. Tom and James were first; Nick and Tom second; Dave and Pippa third; Andy and Caroline fourth; and the well practiced Olly Turner and Hamish Kilburn fifth.
Alan and Sue Markham won the Century Cup and Dave and Abigail Croft the prize for the highest placed old boat.
Having warmed up the fleet went home having enjoyed a great day's racing thanks to the RS200 and Laser fleets at Wembley who ran the day and Anthony Rickaby the Merlin Captain who organised it.