Results :: Lymington Town Sailing Club Open Meeting
|A total of 39 boats competed in the Craftinsure Silver Tiller over a balmy weekend or close racing, where the water has an idyllic backdrop of the Isle of Wight, Hurst Castle and the New Forest. |
Suntan cream liberally applied, the fleet launched in to the river for a short sail out to the start. Shortly after the start, the Northerly 5-8knot gradient wind began to drop and veer first to the NE, then NW and then disappeared completely as we turned the corner at the gybe mark. Early leaders William Warren and Mark Oakey had hoped for the sea breeze to come in and headed seaward.
Pondies Taxi Davis and David Winder stuck to their roots and headed for the closest edge they could find. With a faint breeze running along the shore line those that headed for the shoreline took the lead, running, then reaching and finally beating to the leeward mark. The race officer realised the sea breeze was filling in and made a wise decision to finish the race early, with just one sausage loop to go it was rather inevitable that crafty Dan Alsop & Jennie King, and river supremo Caroline Croft and Beka Jones made their way back to the front of the fleet.
Eventually these two were pipped at the post by Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby sailing their newly christened craft called Chris.
Now a pleasant SW force 2, sun still shining and tide slack. Roger Gilbert showed his intentions from the off, first around the windward mark and extended throughout the race to take an emphatic victory. Silver Tiller overall contenders Mike and Jane Calvert were revelling in the moderate airs with blistering pace to snatch second place ahead of William Warren and Mark Oakey.
The sea breeze continued to build and was now a steady and very pleasant 15 knots. With the tide now at its slackest it was no longer a case of simply punching it out to sea. Steve Hall crewed by Simon Haighton worked the right hand side of the course and were rewarded with a 10-degree lift in to the windward mark.
Sailing their 10-year-old Winder with 5-year-old sails they proved that you don't need the latest kit to be race winners by holding off the Chris's, Endeavour Champs Gilbert and Stewart and recently crowned GP14 World Champion Andy 'Taxi' Davis.
The fleet returned to shore and we were greeted by the best trolley service ever experienced, free tea and doughnuts and a bar within a 30 second walk to quench our thirst while unpacking. The club laid on an excellent dinner for the entire fleet and the bar did a cracking job at keeping up with the orders until they eventually called closing time at late o'clock.
Full champagne sailing conditions with blazing sunshine and solid 15-20knot breeze. The closest race of the weekend with a leading pack of Jon Gorringe, Mike Calvert, Roger Gilbert and Simon Potts all within a 100yds of each other for the duration of the race. Reaches were spot on with the tide running out allowing you to soak in fully powered up mode.
On the final beat Tim Fells and Oli Wells dug their heels in and were the boat on the move showing excellent boat speed and tactical control, not taking risks but playing the shifts perfectly. They worked up to second leap frogging the pack with the exception of Simon and Ally Potts who were able to hold their nerve to take the win.
At this point both Roger Gilbert crewed by James Stewart and the Chris's had put together the strongest series of results and it was between them in the last race for overall glory.
The Chris's took the left hand corner up the first beat and along with Alex Jackson and Chris Downham were able to plane down the waves upwind on the ebb tide in the channel. They rounded the windward mark together but the Chris's soon showed their skills by pulling away from the chasing pack. As the race progressed the Chris's did their best to cover Roger and James, however, in doing so let Andy Davis and crew Alex Warren sneak through to take the bullet.
Overall victory went to Roger and James, showing consistency is key with three thirds and a bullet on the score card. The Chris's took second, and Taxi Davis and Alex Warren in third.
A fantastic weekends racing and one of the best opens I've attended in the past 5 years. Well done Lymington Town Sailing Club!
Former Merlin Rocket Champion and Mayor of Lymington, Barry Dunning, presented the overall prizes and also additional prizes donated by Craftinsure to celebrate the special occasion of 70 years of Lymington Town Sailing Club and 70 years of the Merlin Rocket Class.
Dan Alsop and Jennie King – highest placed Classic Boat and highest place helm or crew over 70.
Simon Potts and Ally Martin – highest placed boat to finish outside the top 3 with a combined age nearest to 70.
Colin Anderson and Rob Kenough – boat to finish with 70 points.
Alex Jackson and Chris Downham – highest placed boat outside the top 3 with 70 in the sail number.
By Alex Jackson