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Minima Vintage Open 2007

Saturday, 9th June brought the vintage Merlin fleet to Kingston upon Thames to compete for the Chindit Trophy on this picturesque stretch of the Thames. The fleet sailed on a course set by race officer, Laurence Cox, right up to Kinston bridge in the heart of the town. This event was the fourth of this year’s De May Series. The series has now featured 20 vintage boats but with only one competitor, Mervyn Allen, having competed in all four races.

A home fleet of 7 boats was joined by 4 visitors from Thames, Ranelagh and Tamesis. Class captain, Ben Marshall, was delighted to welcome the visitors and to note that few clubs in this series will produce a larger home fleet. Competitors were greeted with the lightest of winds for the first race and the majority had to work very hard to make much progress. Andrew and Nim Harris quickly established a convincing lead in 1605, Omega which they then stretched out for the remainder of the race. A guest appearance by Peter Corner Halligan (Enterprise/Solo) sailing Red Admiral, 2638 showed his clubs colleagues how to handle a Merlin in such light conditions and to challenge Omega at times to take second place with Ben Marshall in Fat Marce, 2529 holding off the rest of the fleet to take third.

Race 2 and 3 saw patches of light breeze blowing generally (very fickle!) upstream which allowed a run and very gentle beat. Andrew and Nim Harris remained totally dominant in both of these races, leaving the rest of the fleet to work for the remaining honours. Peter gave way to his crew, Philip Chase (Merlin) persuading Philip to helm races 2 and 3. Ben Marshall and crew, John Wilkey, appeared to make best use of their spinnaker to take second place with Roger Hill and Stephanie Strickland sailing 2607, Trespassers Will holding off Paul Seamen and Eileen Barry sailing 1952, Warrior and Phil Chase, 2638 to take third place in race 2.

Race 3 provided similar conditions with Omega taking and maintaining a clear lead throughout. Fat Marce continued to make good use of her spinnaker to take second place but was challenged by Mervyn Allen and Laura stock sailing 799, Keto who finished just ahead of Phil Chase in Red Admiral.


Report: Ben Marshall
See also:
    Results of the 'De May' series so far


Chindit Trophy – 2pts 1605, Omega, Andrew and Nim Harris
Second - 4pts 2529, Fat Marce, Ben Marshall and John Wilkey
Third - 7pts Mervyn Allen and Laura Stock

(Results based on helm not boat)