Results :: Upper Thames S.C. Open Meeting Thames Series
|The Merlin Rocket Open at UTSC saw 13 Merlins racing in the DeMay Series on Saturday and Sunday saw 19 Merlins in the Thames Series. |
Light north easterly winds in the first two races on Saturday saw clean starts and the boats swapping positions as the breeze came and went but both races were won convincingly by Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris in Crescendo.
Race three which was raced for the Spade Oak Bowl saw the breeze begin to strengthen and shift more to the east but as the fleet came up to the first mark rounding it was hit by a freak gust and 90 degree wind shift, which saw four of the leading boats including Crescendo capsize and Kathryn Flanagan crewing in Tattyfalarious being knocked out of the boat. Crescendo and Exquisite subsequently retired and Pete and Debbie Walker in Wild Waters went on to comfortably win the race and the cup.
The evening saw a stunning sunset, a full club house and an impressive procession of decorated cruisers taking part in an illuminated parade down the Thames.
Sunday was a very different day and showed river sailing at its best; the sun was out again but the wind had come with it and with ideal conditions the fleet was able to sail a long beat and run course up towards Marlow. The bigger fleet led to very busy start lines on quite a narrow 'with the stream' start, which led to with a number of recalls and the race officer imposing a black flag start for the third race.
The first two races were convincingly won by Fran Gifford and Alex Warren who led both races from the start. With Hot Totty breaking away in both races this left the rest of the fleet to fight over second place with Pete and Debbie Walker winning out to place second in Race 1 and Pat and Jilly Blake second in race 2.
With the Allen Challenge cup won Fran and Alex retired from the third race for an early tea leaving the last race to be won by Pat and Jilly Blake in Tiercel and with second place going to Kevin Rose and Matt Percival Stein in Firestarter.
By Jeremy Stein