Ranelagh Open 2009

Vintage racing, and the Ranelagh Trophy (for all ages of boat)
Silver Tiller series sponsored by:
Speed Sails
After the sun of the previous week it was disappointing to wake up to rain on June 6th but the forecast was for it to clear and a 10 mph easterly which, for the most part, duly arrived.

With an early race for the Vintage boats there was an excellent turnout of 12 boats from 6 clubs, ranging from No 1, Kate to 3073, Birthday Suit, a Smokers Satisfaction.

With a strong tide running and the wind on the nose many boats struggled to get to the line never mind complete 2 laps. 5 boats managed it however and two more completed 1 lap before the race was halted to allow boats to regroup for the second race. Una Hodgkins in Merlins Moon managed to finish in spite of briefly leaving her crew Sai alone in the boat! Winner was Flinkidink who pipped Birthday Suit by a minute.

The Ranelagh Merlin Trophy was up for grabs in the main race, first sailed for in 1946 and won by Beecher Moore in Gently with Jack Holt crewing. Five more modern Merlins joined the 10 vintage boats that were still up for the challenge and a running start saw all boats away cleanly though Kate soon retired with a centerboard that wouldn't drop fully. First away though was Birthday Suit sailed by Ranelagh Rear Commodore Christopher Edwards with young Anton Stolper crewing. They held the lead for 2 of the 3 loops before first Alan Markam and then Andrew Harris got by, Alan finally being beaten to the line by Andy, by just over 3 minutes, with Christopher hanging on to finish 3rd overall & 1st vintage boat in Birthday Suit. Mike Stephens was 4th in Flinkidink and pipped Christopher by 13 seconds, once the vintage boat handicaps were applied, to win the Avenger Trophy for Vintage boats with two bullets in the two Vintage races. Ken Duffell was 5th in Harry, beating Duncan Salmon in Salmon en Croute by just over a minute.

Report and photos: Nick Price

See also:
    Full results of race 1 (vintage fleet)
    Full results of race 2 (all ages of boat - Ranelagh trophy)
    More photos