Results :: (Final Results)
|At last the long-awaited Nautilus Yachting Merlin Rocket Inland Championship took place at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, after a postponement due to adverse weather. |
To add a little extra spice, it was also the last event of the Merlin Rocket class 'Grand Slam' series (consisting of the Inlands, Nationals, Salcombe Week and Silver Tiller), which was a two-horse race between Mike and Jane Calvert and, Andy 'Taxi' Davis and Alex Warren. The former needing to beat the latter by three places to take the crown.
Saturday was a variable day on most accounts, only two things were consistent.... the temperature (COLD!!) and the excellent race management. With the wind varying from 12-20 knots in strength and about 60 degrees in direction it kept both the sailors and the race team on their toes.
Race 1 saw the Calvert's leading around the second windward mark, only to find they had misunderstood the course and had to retire after missing the spreader on the top reach. This opened the door for Taxi and Alex to cruise to victory in possibly the most stable of wind conditions of the day.
The breeze died slightly for the second race, making the difference between gust and lull even more extreme. Caroline Croft and Tom Lonsdale started first and stayed there for the duration. Behind Caroline and Tom there was a lot more changing going on. The race behind between Taxi and Alex, the Calvert's and Matt Biggs and Beka Jones saw lots of place changing, with the Calvert's getting lucky last to take second from Taxi and Alex.
The breeze picked back up again for race 3. The start saw Will Warren and Rachel Rhodes execute a beautiful tack off the pin to win the start, but it was Taxi and Alex that led round the first windward mark. Showing their class, they proceeded to sail away from the rest of the fleet, to win the day and tighten their grip on the Grand Slam. Mike and Jane were clinging on to their hopes in second, until a cheeky gust and shift down the last run saw Simon and Ally Potts sneak through to second.
Taxi and Alex led overnight, with Caroline and Tom second and Simon and Ally third.
Saturday evening was spent enjoying the great food and hospitality provided by Cardiff Bay Yacht Club.
Sunday morning was beautiful, if a tad chilly. The teams were greeted by bright sunshine, clear skies and a lovely 18-20 knots. We were assured by our expert race officer that the wind would be more stable as it was further round to the right. Just as it got to getting changed time, the breeze kicked in to a constant 25 knots, but it was decided that as it was the inlands and the last event of the year, there should be an attempt to race. A handful of boats made it out onto the water, but after a bit of gear failure it was decided it was not to be and the teams were sent back ashore.
Congratulation to Taxi and Alex on winning this year's Nautilus Yachting Inland Championships and for claiming the seasons Grand Slam.
Nautilus Merlin Rocket Inland Championships
Results are final as of 10:55 Sunday 28th October