Hollingworth Felucca Trophy 20093-4 October 2009
The stormy forecast had not stopped Merlin Rocket sailors from coming north to a favourite venue in the Silver Tiller Series. Although windy it had looked sailable before the 12.30 start for the first race, of three scheduled for the Saturday.
The race team set out for a start, but competitors were mostly reluctant to follow. A few sailed about seeking shelter while William Warren and Chris Robinson gave a short display with spinnaker set, before declaring that conditions were not suitable for racing. With most others on the water now capsized, the inevitable decision was made to postpone, later postponed for an indefinite period. Those ashore were not able to see the ‘white horses’ and gust strengths as the wind blew across the Clubhouse. So the decision was made for an early start next day with 3 races.
One of the features of the event is an evening dinner in the Clubhouse, which proved almost too enjoyable for some with hangover consequences the next day.
A couple of extra entries meant there were 32 boats in the start line and the black flag had been promised for all races. A reasonable westerly wind set in but the first race required a general recall with 3 boats sent home. At the first mark it was Bruce Mager and Rosie Richards in the lead, followed by Richard Whitworth and SallyTownend. Andy (Taxi) Davis and Tom Pygall were close behind with Warren also in contention. Whitworth soon gained the lead, held to the finish with Taxi second, Warren third and Mager holding on to finish fourth ahead of Matt Biggs and Rob Kennaugh finding the first of three 5th place results. During the race, the wind veered northwards giving the race team an opportunity to show that they could shift marks.
The second race was to be sailed back to back, though some went ashore for too long and resulting in Davis starting late. A new course was set and Whitworth again got away with Steve Crook and Jane Clayton, Mike Calvert with Chris Downham chasing and Warren not far behind. Calvert came through to finish second, with Warren third and Crook fourth.
After a short break, the final race saw two boats again blackflagged as the wind shifted some 60 degrees after the line was first set. This time, Davis made no mistake in securing the early lead, followed by the 2 blackflagged boats, who left at the second mark, giving him some space. Davis gained considerable distance on the down wind legs by sailing low and Calvert was unable to catch up from second place. Whitworth worked his way through to a discardable fourth, while Rich Adams and Chris Gould sailed steadily for third place and Biggs took fifth again.
After lunch, the prize giving saw Richard Whitworth take the Trophy for the eleventh time and, as he has now moved south, giving the vote of thanks for an event that saw many challenges.
Report: Graham Knox
Silver Tiller positions so far