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Sutton Open 2005

Thirteen boats arrived for the last of the Midland Circuit events for 2005. ‘Twas a light wind, rainy sort of day where the hangover recovery seems more preferable in bed than elsewhere. But the event importance was high. Two teams could win. So much so that Parkstone, the Merlins Annual Dinner, had to be foregone to resolve the local competition!

Indeed, some people just take it too seriously. Matt Biggs, hot contender, turned up with a brand new boat, never been sailed before, without usual heavy weather crew. Found an expert, lightweight, agile, local and charming teenager who had never sailed a Merlin. Miss Fletcher. Job done.

The new sky-blue beauty romped away leaving other contenders in their wake, er sorry, ripples. Your author was ignominiously lapped, along with several others, an impressive performance. The ‘also rans’ teams of Paul Hollis, Richard Dee, Steve Leney and Peter Smith had some playful squabbles but were in a different league. And Biggs repeated it in the next race! Having secured the coveted Midland Circuit Championship and the Open meeting, the boat was borrowed by Peter Smith who sailed it into third place, defeated by the event contenders of Hollis and Dee. Shows that it was not just the boat!!

Miss Fletcher announced at the prize giving that her Dad was obligated to give up smoking now that she had won her first Open. So I guess Biggs was not sailing a Smokers Satisfaction.


Report: Steve Watson