Parkstone Open 2005

Sponsored by:
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Parkstone Yacht Club held the last Silver Tiller Meeting of the year, with the Annual Dinner Dance and Prize Giving.

With all the weather forecast sites predicting different weather no one knew what was in store. Gales the day before blew through and a drift was feared. However thirty nine boats made the trip from all over the country and included every one of the top 10 jockeys in the Silver Tiller series. There was no chance of getting away with a mistake!

The race officer set a good, true course and the fleet set off in a F2-3 allowing planing down the first reach. Wind shifts of 40 degrees meant there were plenty of snakes and ladders with some of the top sailors finding themselves mid-fleet or worse. The race management was super slick with the whistle of the last boat to finish prompting a warning signal for the next race. The last boat did at least have enough time to clear the line to avoid having a hole blown in the mainsail!

Photo courtesty of SailingScenes

The wind in the last race dropped to a F1-2 with the wind shifts varying less but being much fluffier. After the two first races having - unusually for the Merlins - a clean start the black flag was required to get the fleet off at the third try. Judith Massey and Phil Dalby romped off to get a massive lead only to be hunted down and taken at the last by Stewart/Downham.

Only two boats managed a top five result in all three races - Tom Stewart and Chris Downham taking the open convincingly with two firsts and a second. This gave them the result to make the final results in the Silver Tiller close but not close enough for them to catch Richard Whitworth and Eleanor Bremer who finished second, with Glen Truswell and Paul Davies having made it mathematically impossible to be beaten to first place at the previous open.

The fleet retired to the club house where Parkstone’s chef served a three course a la carte dinner to 100 black tied guests. Wine was generously provided on the table by the main Silver Tiller sponsor Holt, and Wadworths 6X was sold at £1.80 a pint. The prize giving for the open was followed by the prize giving for the Silver Tiller – glassware presented with a bag of Holt goodies. A good evening!

People with sore heads, some appearing to have slept in their DJ’s braved it onto the water to join in the club sailing for a one-off race on the Sunday. 200 degree windshifts varying from drift to F3 proved challenging with Whitworth and Bremer being robbed at the last by Stewart and Downham who must and done something great in a previous life!

Report: Steve Tyler
Photos: David Harding
See also:
    full results
    other photos

Photo courtesty of SailingScenes