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Ranelagh Open 2007

The Ranelagh Trophy - February 18th
Parking can cost you the race!
First sailed for in 1946 and won by Beecher Moore, the Ranelagh Trophy has seen most of the great Merlin names engraved on it since then. With light winds forecast and a heavy tide just 10 Merlins from 5 Clubs made it to the starting line. A veering wind from East to South East dropped off altogether at times and it was always going to be a slow business beating against the Spring tides.

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Most got away cleanly having launched well upstream, and first to the bottom mark were Duncan Salmon and Richard Page, a further gaggle of 6 boats squeezing round just after these two. At first it was an easy reach back but as the river turned the tacking started and the 4 most proficient finally got away from the chasing bunch with Salmon and Mike Stephens rounding the windward mark ahead of Richard Page and Stuart Jenkins.

There was then a big gap of 20 minutes before the chasing pack arrived in a second fleet. By this time the tide was still 20 minutes away from itís high and already well over the embankment where Duncan Salmon had parked his car. Stopping by the railings he leapt out and moved the car coming back in time to rejoin just a few positions down. Mike Stephens in the resplendent, newly refurbished Luka couldnít believe his luck and pressed on to finally take the bell just 10 seconds ahead of Duncan in Smoked Salmon and Restless IV (3 time winner of this race in the 60ís) and Ella.


Report: Nick Price
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