Hayling Open 2005

Glyn Charles Pursuit Race and Silver Tiller Open

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The weekend of 11-12th June saw Merlin-Rockets return to Hayling Island for the first time in many years. Following on from William Warren and Robbie Sampson’s success at last year’s Glyn Charles pursuit race, 15 Merlin’s competed in this year’s event. Dan Alsop and Jenny King sailed very well in the force 1-2 to come in 3rd, with Alan Warren/Liam Dempsey and Tom Stewart/Chris Downham vying for 5th and 6th, and Paul Davies/Jilly Blake coming in 8th.

Following an entertaining evening in the bar and making shapes to the disco (which the other 200 competitors decided not to join in with) there were a few sore heads on the Sunday morning. With the fleet swollen to well over 30 boats, Hayling being the venue for this year’s 60th anniversary National Championships, a sunny force 3-4 greeted the competitors for the Silver Tiller competiton.

In race 1 a good beat faced the competitors, with Glen Truswell/Paul Davies in front at the windward mark. Down the relatively tight reaches there were a few place changes with Stewart/Downham losing a few places and Judith Massey/Phil Dalby the notable gainers. Up the last beat Stewart/Downham sailed well to get into 2nd and these places remained unchanged at the downwind finish after the 2nd set of reaches, with Truswell/Davies winning from Stewart/Downham, and Pat Blake/Alex Jackson in 3rd.

Race 2 started much like race 1 with a general recall, and at the windward mark it was status quo with Truswell/Davies leading from Massey/Dalby, William Warren/Tom Bowen-Perkins, Alan Warren/Dempsey and Stewart/Downham. Some competitors hadn’t read the line in the Sailing Instructions informing them that the number of laps would be displayed on the committee boat prior to the start. Unfortunately for Truswell/Davies the race was to be finished after the second downwind leg. Having missed the finish they allowed Warren/Dempsey through to win, with Warren/Bowen-Perkins 2nd and Stewart/Downham 3rd. Truswell/Davies finished 4th.

Race 3 was also to be a short affair, but with an individual recall gun fired on the start, and no-one returning. At the windward mark Massey/Dalby led from Truswell/Davies and Stewart/Downham. On the next beat the wind shifted 20 degrees to the right, thus effectively making it a procession. After gybing off for the run, positions were maintained to the finish, with Warren/Dempsey crossing 4th. Unfortunately it was Truswell/Davies who were OCS, so Massey/Dalby recorded the win.

Overall Warren/Dempsey beat Stewart/Downham on tie-break for first and Massey/Dalby beat Truswell/Davies on tie-break for 3rd. Overall Truswell/Davies could be said to have lost the meeting due to admin, having probably been the most consistently fast boat on the race track.

We’d like to thank Hayling Island Sailing Club for a fantastic weekend’s sailing, and we are looking forward to returning between August 13th-19th for the 60th Anniversary Nationals. It looks like being a thoroughly enjoyable and historic week, the first ever Merlin Nationals having been held at Hayling in 1946, and the most recent in 1977.

Report: Chris Downham
See also:
    full results
    Photos from the evenings socialising