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Datchet Vintage Open 2008

First in the 'De May' series
Mike Stephens took an early lead in this year's De May Trophy series for vintage Merlin Rockets with two wins at a cold and windy open meeting at Datchet Water SC on Saturday 19 April. Despite the grey skies, rain and brisk easterly wind putting some competitors off, 8 boats took part in the event.

With the first start postponed, racing finally got underway by 12:15pm. Some visitors, Mervyn Allen - Kate (1), Chris Barlow - Iska (6), Nick Price - Diablo (214) and Ben Marshall - Fat Marce (2529), decided not to compete in the 15-20 knots easterly winds and wet, overcast conditions.

Racing was over a triangle/sausage course, with both results being decided after two laps. Gusts were fairly strong but fairly predictable and controllable.

Race one saw both second-placed Splatter and fourth-placed Lady Anne capsize, the former losing her bow buoyancy bag in the process, and the latter breaking her tiller extension.

With only Flinkidink and Saltarello left in the running, overall results were decided in race two and the remaining two boats opted to forget the final race.

Despite the small number of competitors, those who did take part agreed the sailing had been hugely enjoyable with big open courses, long legs and planing conditions with the kite up. Mike commented afterwards that his boat had never gone so fast before.

Report: Tamesis Club

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