Results :: Upper Thames S.C. River Championships - Bourne End Week
For the first day of the annual Bourne End Week Merlin Rocket River Championships at Upper Thames we arrived to glorious sunshine and moderate but very shifty breeze. We headed up the river for an upstream start, and 15 Merlins started on a very packed start line - a couple of boats drifted over the line on the stream and a dying breeze. For the first couple of legs it was neck and neck but Rob Cage and Nicky Erskine Tulloch popped out from the windward mark and led to the finish. Jon and Dan Meadowcroft finished second and Pete and Debbie Walker came third.
The second race was slightly breezier but just as shifty! After a general recall and second attempt, Rob and Nicky and Caroline Croft and Beka Jones pulled away and battled it out at the front finishing first and second. Alex Jones and Konrad Weaver started over the line but managed to pick their way through the fleet to sail around on their own and finish third.
A hog roast and sunshine was very much appreciated to finish off the day!
A northerly wind this morning brought cold cloudy weather and the Merlins started with a general recall!
The second start got away cleanly and we headed off on a shifty run in a big clump. After the first leg, Caroline and Beka, Rob and Nicky and Jon and his wife Katy were fighting it out at the front all race and finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
The wind got up slightly and the sun came out for the second race where there was another general recall - this time the RO deployed the black flag to keep us in line.
The same frustrating, shifty wind held for the race and Caroline and Beka claimed a second victory, after shooting off with Rob and Nicky again who finished second. Chris Kilsby and Pippa Taylor sailed their own race to finish in third.
Now for the legendary cocktail party!
Sailors awoke to cold, grey skies this morning with a few worse for wear after the cocktail party - namely Konrad who arrived to the boat in his shirt and jeans to go sailing at the 5 minute gun!
Although strong winds with 25kt gusts were expected, the reality was light and shifty once again from the north. Caroline and Beka quickly disappeared out of the pack to lead all the way round and take the win. Chris and Pippa finished in second and Jon and Dan Meadowcroft came third.
The second race followed quickly, in order that all the racing would be done in time to watch the Thames A Rater Queens Cup in the afternoon. It was a similar story but gusts were building all the time.
The whole fleet seemed to bunch together and it was only at the first mark that Caroline and Beka, and Rob and Nicky, popped out the front to battle it out. Rob and Nicky took the win and Caroline and Beka finished second. Jon and Dan Meadowcroft finished in third again.
Then we were all off the water in time to watch a very exciting Queens Cup race! Last day of racing tomorrow will decide the winners!
After little sleep due to tents flapping wildly and howling winds all night we woke up to a very cold, grey day. Lots of people had had to leave to get back to work so only 8 Merlins started this morning's race.
Although the wind seemed to be howling on shore, it was gusty and shifty on the river with calm patches of creeping up the bank and sudden slamming gusts threatening to take you in to windward! The heavens opened halfway through the race killing a lot of the wind as well. All of the boats were switching places throughout the race but it was won by Rob and Nicky with Chris and Pippa in second and Pete and Debbie Walker in third.
The final race was even further depleted with only 5 boats - the pouring rain and huge gusts had put many off. Conditions were similar to the first race and Rob and Nicky won again, with Pete and Debbie in second and Alex Jones and Jilly Blake in third.
By Alice Markham