|pastingThirty Merlins made the journey to Brightlingsea for the Crafitinsure Silver Tiller on the weekend of the 9/10 June. |
Although the start was looking very light the wind filled in from the south east at around 10-14knots and then even sun came out! For a glorious day to sail the Merlins had an inglorious start, well three actually, with the black flag pulled out to bring the 30 boat fleet to heel. With the ebbing tide and left-hand side favoured the pin end was congested and a few boats were pulled out at the windward mark. Jon Turner and Richard Parslow sailed a great beat and took advantage of the shifts at the end of the beat to round ahead of Jon Gorringe and Pete Gray. Taxi and Alex Warren along with Tim fells and Fran Gifford took full advantage of a colourfully poor hoist by Gorringe.
Taxi slipped past JT down the run and the leading three held position to the end of the race. The next race and the wind increased a little kicking up a little more chop. Although the left side was still favoured there were shifts that the brave could take and could pull forward, but it was fraught with danger. Taxi sneaked around in first with Gorringe/Gray and Caroline Croft and Matt Lulham in third. Taxi held the lead despite being pushed for the first two laps, Gorringe/Gray held second with Croft/Lulham holding onto third.
Sunday dawned and as the forecast was sadly spot on. Still we enjoyed breakfast and launched into the vacuum of the race course. It took two goes to get the fleet off in the 5kt NE. Well it was a NE for a couple of minutes then an Easterly, nope it was Northerly and an Easterly, well whatever, the local fleet showed us the art of staying in wind, and also going hard, hard left for the wind, Andy and Rebecca Bines rounded first with Christian Birrell/Anna McKenzie, Dan Willitt and Pete Nicholson following very close behind. These three held their positions in the only lap of the race, which was no mean feat with such a variable wind speed and direction.
The PRO patiently waited for the wind to make an un-forecast appearance but most of the fleet headed for home by midday. Sadly, only the one race was sailed of the three planned. This left Taxi and Alex as deserved winners with two bullets from day one.
The race team did a great job and the clubs catering and bar team were great. Special mention needs to be made for the delicious home-made bakewell tart, well done BSC.
Thank you to Crafinsure, Silver Tiller sponsors in 2018, and Magic Marine the class clothing partner.