Tamesis Open 2004

30 Merlin Rockets of various vintages congregated on the Thames at Tamesis to scrap for the final Silver Tiller points of the season. Due to the numbers the fleets were split into flights, but there was still enough congestion on the start line to make things interesting. The light northwesterly in the first race compounded the typically flukey Tamesis wind, making for some testing conditions. In the first flight of race one, local gurus John Harris, crewed by Margaret Stokes and Rob Wilder crewed by Tom Mclaughlin showed how it was done, taking first and second respectively with Duncan Salmon and Ian Garwood from Wembley in third.

In the second flight Hywel Bowen-Perkins showed complete mastery of the conditions developing a commanding lead, which was never relinquished. Behind him was a very close fight for second, with Berrie Ritchie and Sue Harris from Tamesis taking it from Cookham’s Pat Blake and Alex Jackson.

The second race saw an increase in breeze and in flight one local duo Joe Mclaughlin and Sarah Whittingham did a “Perkins”, getting well away early on and winning by a convincing margin. William Warren and Robbie Sampson from Shoreham took second with Bowen-Perkins continuing his good form in third.

The second flight saw a win for Blake, with Judith Massey crewed by Rachel Williamson from Parkstone in second and the consistent Wilder in third. The maths was considered over an excellent lunch. Blake, Perkins, McLaughlin and Harris all had one win and with Blake in a separate flight from the other three for the final race, it was finely poised.

The first start of the final race got underway with Harris and Mclaughlin over. Bowen-Perkins seized his chance, taking victory, following a close battle with Wilder. Harris picked his way impressively through the fleet to squeeze past Wilder, but could not catch the Hampton team. With Mike Stephens and Jenny King from Tamesis taking the second flight from Blake and Andrew Mills from Hampton in third, this victory gave Bowen-Perkins the meeting.

James Pearce

See also - full results

photo of winners