Whitstable Open 2007

Consistency was the name of the game over a very difficult weekend’s racing at Whitstable's annual Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller mmeting on 9 -10 June. With a glassy sea racing was called off for the day on Saturday but as if on call a sea breeze promptly set in. Such is life. The keenies went sailing, the not so keen went shopping!

An early start on Sunday saw 42 Merlins start under a black flag in a shifty and patchy north easterly, but at least crews were hiking and a good race was run, with the gun being taken by David Winder and Pippa Taylor. Dan Alsop and Jennie King in the evergreen “Gangsta Paradise” made huge gains by not gybing at the wing mark and using the tide and waves to advantage, pulling through to second. Whitstable’s own Chris Lewns and Jane Beaumont read the shifts well to finish third.

At the first windward mark in the second race Chris Lewns led followed by Dave Winder, but Winder’s downwind speed soon put him in front. The wind was becomingly increasingly shifty with pressure coming from out at sea. Those that went there gained the most. Alex Jackson and Rachel Dobrijevic, sailing last year’s championship winning boat with sails made by Dynamic Sails, had a storming race to finish second. Will Rainey and Vicki Tarbet were third.

The race officer wisely called it a day as the wind died so both races were to count. With two firsts, Dave and Pippa showed great consistency to win the meeting and the Holden Cup. They also won the Melbourne Trophy for winning the Silver Tiller.

Report: John Cooper
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