Results ::


The 20th and 21st of May saw 21 Merlin Rockets racing at Starcross Yacht Club for the 2017 Exe Sails Silver Tiller. Once greeted by club members, sailors had a briefing with PRO Russell Gibbs who informed everyone of the windward-leeward course for the 3 races of the day.

Out on the race course, competitors found the conditions distinctly changeable. Pressure ranged from 5knots up to 25 knots in the squalls and the wind was shifting unpredictably from the WSW with the occasional outburst of blue sky sunshine, swiftly followed by heavy downpours making everyone's sailing kit of choice correct at some point-be it a drysuit or long john wetsuit! This was great for the windward-leeward course as it provided plenty of opportunity to overtake with many people taking different lines and angles downwind to stay in pressure and on shift. Upwind was much harder with boats finding gains on all corners of the course, making it tough for leaders to cover and any break away from the fleet a risky one.

In testament to the sometimes wacky conditions of the day and the close racing that is ever present in the Merlin Rocket Class, there were three different race winners, each having a different winning tactic and story to tell that night.

The overnight leaders were Sam and Megan Pascoe, of International 14 and 2.4 Metre fame.

Saturday evening the fleet enjoyed an Indian takeaway and plenty of drinks at the well stocked and cheap bar. Outside games were planned but everyone was found to be somewhat tired and weary after a hard day's racing.

Sunday dawned and greeted everyone with blue skies, sunshine and 15knots of breeze from the South-it doesn't get any better at Starcross! Glamour! With two races in a stable wind and against tide, speed and grunt was the order of the day. Having moved the race course to another part of the river, a "P" course was set, making for conditions vastly different to that of the day before.

Given the change of conditions, numerous new faces were seen contesting at the front of the fleet, including birthday Boy Will Henderson, another 14 name of fame. However, there was only one boat who dominated the day. Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby won both races in emphatic style and by quite some distance, clearly faster upwind and never appearing to put a foot wrong. This gave them the win and the hard earned Craft Insure Silver Tiller Series points!

A special mention has to be made to SYC members-James and Liz Wells who finished a fantastic second in the last race in their 17 year old wooden Merlin Rocket.

At the prize giving, bottles of Prosecco were given to:

  • Furthest travelled-Dan Willet and Pete Nicholson of Brightlingsea
  • Closest to 30 points-Chris Martin and Jared Lewis
  • Lucky dip-Sam and Megan Pascoe

A new Exe Sails Jib was also raffled to all competitors, presented by Sam Woolner of Exe Sails and was won by Dan and Pete again, a good haul given the long distance that they travelled.

Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby thanked SYC, its galley team, race management and rescue boats for putting on a great event at this idyllic Yacht Club.


Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3778Chris GouldChris KilsbyBartley SC‑441117
2nd3759Sam PascoeMegan PascoeCastle Cove SC12‑54411
3rd3691Mike CalvertJane CalvertAxe YC613‑7717
4th3754Jon GorringeNikki BassParkstone YC5‑882621
5th3746Dan WillettPete NicholsonBrightlingsea‑9345921
6th3673Caroline CrodtBeka JonesBartley SC352‑141222
7th3656Olly TurnerMiss Holly ScottStarcross YC267‑9823
8th3787Chris MartinJared LewisMidland SC‑127612530
9th3566James WellsLizzie WellsStarcross YC119‑1210232
10th3726Will HendersonArthur HendersonSalcombe YC14‑17133333
11th3763Mark BarnesAlex HorlockWhitstable YC71098‑1134
12th3711Sam ThompsonTheo HarrisRNSA81211(DNF)1041
13th3784Mark BarwellLouise JohnsonLymington Town SC1013‑14131349
14th3718Mark ElkingtonSarah RobertsStarcross YC131110(DNF)DNC56
15th3779Dave LeeJuliet PealingStarcross YC15161511(DNC)57
16th3721Nick TurnerCarly GurrStarcross YC16‑1816151461
17th3734Phil AshworthAli AshworthWeymouth SC‑171417171563
18th3713Steve HarlingEleanor ThomasStarcross YC1815‑19161665
19th3777Simon PottsAlex JacksonBurghfield SC(DNC)DNCDNC6DNF72
20th3693Colin LeeDavid ParryStarcross YC‑201918181873
21st3576Vyv GameMike TuckettStarcross YC19‑202019177


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