|28 Merlin Rockets gathered at Midland Sailing Club in Edgbaston for the sixth Craftinsure Silver Tiller of the year. The wind gods were not playing 'full force' with a light c.5 knots blowing left to right down the lake (East North Easterly).|
Following a quick bacon butty and briefing we were off with one race before lunch. With two good beats set by the race officer, he'd done all he could to ensure good racing in the shifty conditions. The first start was clean with most of the top boats central or port of the line. Taxi and Pip were quick off the blocks, taking a good lift on port towards the windward mark, with the Calvert's close on their heels. By the middle of the race, the Calvert's had passed Taxi & Pip and had a good lead and with one beat to go it seemed inevitable that they'd take the bullet. But in some kind of Midland wonder, they'd gone left and had hit a patch of not very much, allowing Matt Biggs and Beka Jones through at the last minute. The Calvert's finished second and Taxi and Pip third. Back to the hard for some much-needed grub.
Following a chicken and veg lunch, we were back out with a 13.15 / 13.20hrs start time for the second race. This time the fleet were more in tune with the wind, principally knowing that it could not be trusted. The start was again clear, and the fleet jumped to action, firing in all directions and seemingly not knowing quite what's going on. Steve & Gill Leney rounded first, following a blinder on the right, but the Calvert's sniggled through on the first down wind leg. After the first few laps there had been a lot of separation from the top three, fourth (on our own) and the rest of the pack battling it out. The Calvert's kept their nerve and took the bullet with Biggsy and Beka in second and Taxi and Pip in third.
With the Calvert's and Biggsy / Beka both carrying a 1 and 2, it was down to them to confirm the Silver Tiller winner.
The third and final race started with the Calvert's, Taxi / Pip and the Chris' coming off the starboard side and Biggsy / Beka hitting the port end. At first, the right side looked pretty miserable, but soon became superb with better breeze and some handy shifts. At the top mark Biggsy and a few of the port end boats came in with pace, with Biggsy around in fourth, the Chris's in third, Mark Stockbridge and Edward Atkins in second and the Calvert's leading. The following few laps included a lot of changes at the top but by the last half of the last lap Chris Gould / Chris Kilsby were a little way in front and could nurse their way to the final race win, allowing Mike & Jane Calvert to take another Midland well deserved win.
The Silver Fleet was won by Veteran Richard Dee and Nancy Gudgeon from Midland who made 5th overall, and Matt Smith and Jared Lewis (also from Midland) took the Bronze Fleet win.
Many thanks to Midland Sailing Club for a good Silver Tiller We're looking forward to some more of the same next year! The Silver Tiller 2019 is sponsored by Craftinsure with Magic Marine as the class clothing partner. Photos are on the Midland Facebook page.