Parkstone Yacht Club held the annual Silver Tiller event (sponsored by Speed Sails). After the long range forecasts of no wind were replaced with forecasts for a sunny 10mph it was a relief when the wind filled in at midday ready for a half-hour postponed 1pm start.
On the Saturday the race team, bravely managed by Barry Rolfe (from his own gin palace), got in three Olympic style courses in a fickle F2-3. The racing was held in the top triangle with a fleet of 60 Cadets sailing triangles adjacent to the Merlin fleet, and club sailing being held off the start platform.
The windward mark was laid slightly in the lee of the easterly wind over Brownsea Island. This lead to large, oscillating bends and lanes of wind making the first beat hard to judge. Those that got it right, and had the boatspeed, could hold on to the end of the race. Those that didn’t have the boatspeed were swallowed up.
The first race was a tussle between Mike & Jane Calvert and Dan Alsop & Jennie King, with the latter pulling through. The second race had locals Nick Scroggie & Frances Lovell getting round the windward mark first, then battling to hold of Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend and the Calverts, with Whitworth & Townend crossing first, Scroggie &Lovell second and the Calverts third – all within 5 seconds.
The final race of the day was taken by Will Warren & Chris Robinson, second by Whitworth &Townend and third was held on to, just, by Steve & Ally Tyler. So at the end of the day, with two races to sail Whitworth & Townend held the lead.
Sunday was again sunny with a touch more wind, still from the east. The races were to be round the cans, harbour tours, with a flooding tide. The Parkstone boats made the best use of their local knowledge to recover from average first beats with Jon Gorringe & Peter Hoare taking the lead after setting off across the main channel tide early. Gorringe & Hoare managed to hold their lead to the end, chased by Whitworth & Townend who were beginning to look very consistent.
The Red Arrows flew over to celebrate the last race, the fast cat of Condor Ferries cut through the fleet, the sun was shining, and the tide was tricky – all pretty standard fare at PYC! The Calverts won the race, Whitworth & Townend second, and a couple of high profile OCS’s to help those that should have done better!
A different boat had won each race. In the end Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend took the trophy for winning the Saturday and, ironically, the Wadworth Trophy for leading Parkstone boat, through consistent sailing – counting a 1st and three 2nds. Second place was taken by Mike & Jane Calvert. Third were Will Warren & Chris Robinson who had recovered from a few errors with great boatspeed.
Report: Steve Tyler