Weymouth Open 2006

Following a nice sunny day with gentle breeze at Lyme Regis, the Merlin Rockets headed for Weymouth on Sunday 25th June to find grey skies, a fair bit of rain and not a lot of wind – the worst sort of sailing! However, 29 boats took to the water and played a day-long game of sailing lottery.

The first race started in very light airs, only for this to die five minutes later, leaving the fleet bedraggled in the pouring rain. Those that went right lost the plot, whilst the breeze eventually filled in from the left giving time for only one triangle to be sailed. The northern contingent showed their worth with the first race being won by Richard Whitworth and Ellie Bremer.

The second race got off to a good start in the filling breeze and the fleet managed a triangle, sausage and half a triangle before the wind started playing tricks again. The starboard reach turned into port run, and the port reach into a fetch. Many thought that the race would be shortened at the leeward mark, but it wasn’t and at that point, it showed all the potential for turning inside out – and promptly did! Those who were half way up the beat got left behind as those further down the fleet headed out to sea to pick up new breeze and completely circle the fleet. Richard Whitworth isn’t called Tricky Dicky for nothing and came through to win a second time, and the Chairman (who was helming instead of crewing) and John Bell (crewing, not helming!!) came second (which has to be a first!!). They were closely followed by Mark Fuller and Ben Harridge who are expected to be seen at the front of the fleet more often as time goes by.

Many people felt they weren’t going to complete the course within the time limit and headed for home, whilst those who had completed, voted with their rudders and headed for home, leaving only five boats to sail the final race. By all accounts, this was the best race of the day as the wind did decide to fill in, allowing Mike and Jane Calvert their first win of the day.

Report: Judith Massey
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