Results :: Wembley S.C. Open meeting
|Wembley Sailing Club hosted the Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller meeting on 17th April 2016. |
In contrast to the cold and windy meetings of the last two years, 33 competitors, with visitors from Axe, Blithfield, Brightlingsea, Chew Valley, Hollingworth, Lyme Regis Midland, Nothampton, Redditch Salcombe, Starcross, together with our friends from the Thames Valley Clubs were met by a sunny Spring day but with a light variable northerly wind.
Following the welcome of free bacon butties, John and Judy Gill and their race team ran three back to back races in challenging wind conditions. As several sailors pointed out it was good practice for Salcombe.
Race 1 got underway just after 11.30 and Olly Turner and Graham Sexton started as they meant to go on by nailing the port end of the line start and then leading the entire race. They were followed – but never really challenged by - Caroline Croft and Beka Jones and coming in third Mike and Jane Calvert. The rest of the fleet were experiencing snakes and ladders racing in the shifty conditions which required a considerable sense of humour to endure. Following the end of the race rescue boats delivered bottles of water and mars bars – as is the Wembley tradition.
The warning for Race 2 was sounded shortly after the last boat had finished and the fleet was off, this time with a three way battle between Olly and Graham, Mike and Jane, with Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis in hot pursuit. Mike and Jane got into the lead for a while but Olly and Graham held their nerve to master the shifty truculent breeze to win from Matt and Ben with Mike and Jane again in third.
Olly and Graham, having won the meeting decided to sit out race three, which was not a bad call as the wind first disappeared then went around to the east and then tantalisingly seemed to fill in and swing to the north west as forecast. The RO set a course accordingly, only for there to be a general recall. The subsequent black flag start caught out four teams including Jon Turner and Richard Parslow. Just after the re-start the wind shifted first back to the east – causing some to try spinnakers (!)– and then back the north which left those to windward reaching into the windward mark. Matt and Hannah Greenfield led and looked like they were off to win until a large shift caught them out letting through Matt and Ben, Jen Dodds and Chris Kilsby and Mike and Jane.
Following racing the 66 competitors sat down to eat the complimentary Wembley chilli con carne, before the prize giving. Olly and Graham were first, Matt and Ben second, Mike and Jane third, Jen and Chris fourth and Caroline and Beka fifth. Mike and Jane also picked up the Century Cup for the team whose combined ages hit one hundred.
Having relaxed, 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.
By Anthony Rickaby