Winners & Losers





1998 Champions Gold Fleet:-
1st., No. 3404, Steve & Gill Leney, Shustoke SC
2nd., No. 3477, Jim Hopton & Chris Downham, Shustoke SC
3rd., No. 3339, Peter & Tim Male, Blithfield SC

1998 Champions Sliver Fleet:-
1st., No. 3531, Toby & Steve Watson, Midland SC
2nd., No. 2998, Chris Martin & Chris Homer, Midland SC
3rd., No. 3394, Rod Kershaw & Alex Brown, Bolton SC


1st. Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood; 2nd., Nick Yoeman & Graham Williamson; 3rd., Alan Jackson & Alan Wagg; 4th., William Warren & Rachel Cooper. 11 starters.


1st. 3465, Colin Dacey & Liam Dempsey, Wembley SC
2nd. 1079, John Harris & Margaret Stokes, Tamesis SC
3rd. 1849, Graham Hughes & Sally Dean, Tamesis


A Blazing hot day with what can best described as a fitful breeze!! A lot of sitting still but no real action!!

1st., Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend
2nd., Dave Townend & Lisa Ward
3rd., David & Barbera Bland
4th., Gaylord Truswell & Tim Holden
5th., Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson
6th., Mike Barnes & Wendy Pickler
7th., Peter Scott & Stuart Hydon
8th., Julian Parry & Jane
9th., Paul 'Davo" Davies & Marjorie Scott
10th., Geoff & Noel Wright


Twenty five boats took part in an excellent wekend of sailing with a four race series spread over two days, excellently organised by Rutland. In glorious sunshine the first race started first time (as in fact did all the races - a Merlin record perhaps - no black flags!!) As the breeze built so it became shifty which saw an early tussle between Nick Yeaoman and Will Rainey end up as a battle for second and third as Richard Whitworth read the shifts and won.

Race 2 and the breeze dropped but becoming even shiftier however this didnot stop Whitworths Hollingworth clubmate Julian Parry from picking his way to the front and holding off the late challenge from Mike Calvert. The highlight of the race for Alan Jackson was seeing the 'Rutland Princess' pleasure cruiser take Peter Scott well away from the mark allowing him to sneak in!!

Saturday night saw the fleet dining in style at the club prior to adjourning to the local hostelry for further infusion followed by the midnight Pimms Party hosted from the back of Peter Scotts car. Sunday dawned - too soon for some - with a cracking force 4-5 and brilliant sunshine. Yeoman and Williamson charged to the front only to be overhauled by Rainey and Sampson. This duo went on to win the second race pushed hard all the way by Dan Alsop and Chrissie Burgess who having lead at the first mark sailed well to consolidate a second place in windy - and very shifty - conditions.

Excellent race management and a great weekend.

1 Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson,Cookham Reach
2 Julian Parry & Flipper Gilbert, Hollingworth Lake
3 Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, Hollingworth Lake
4 Nick Yeoman & Graham Williamson, Chichester
5 Mike & Jane Calvert, Sparbuster Corinthian
6 Dan Alsop & Chrissie Burgess, Bristol Corinthian
7 Peter Scott & Simon Potts, Shustoke
8 dave Townend & Liese Ward, Hollingworth Lake
9 Mike Allen & Arch, Shustoke.


1st. Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood; 2nd., Nick Yoeman & Graham Williamson; 3rd., Alan Jackson & Alan Wagg; 4th., William Warren & Rachel Cooper. 11 starters.

SALCOMBE WEEK, 12 - 17th. July 1998

Final Results from 92 entries:-
1st., 5pts., Gangsta Paradise, P. King/K. Driver
2nd., 6pts., Unfinished Business, M. Calvert/J. King
3rd., 6pts., Gilt Complex, W. Rainey/R. Sampson
4th., 12pts., Flying Cloud, R. Whitworth/S. Townend
5th., 12pts., Smoked Salmon, D. Salmon/I. Garwood
6th., 16pts., Wizard of Odd, J. Perry/P. Gilbert
7th., 19pts., Shooting Tsar, J. Bell/G. Williamson
8th., 20pts., Dingbat, J. Milner/R. Simmonds
9th., 20pts., Savage, Dan Alsop/C. Burgess
10th., 22pts., Sticky Fingers, N. Heginbothem/S. Atwell


The Silver Tiller event at Whitstable over the weekend 4-5 July was the second of the new format two day sea events where the Saturday as well as the Sunday races count for Silver Tiller points. 19 competitors from as far afield as Hollingworth Lake, Bristol and Parkstone were treated to some superb sailing.

Saturdays racing was held in a patchy and shifty force 2-3 north westerly which caused a major headache for PRO Lesley Brooman. After a general recall Dan Alsop and Chrissy Burgess in their FRP Canterbury Tales were first to show and were never headed. Will Rainey and Robbie Sampson were second and John Bell guesting for the absent Nick Yeoman with class chairman Graham Williamson third. The second race was sailed in firmer conditions and notable for the ease with which Dan Alsop sailed through Will Rainey on the last beat to win.

This led to much interest being shown in Dan's brand new carbon Superspars and Hyde rig. Also showing well in this race with a third were Tony and Louise Johnson in their new Rowsell built “Let it Ride” design.

The fleet enjoyed two cracking races on Sunday which were memorable for the blazing spinnaker reaches. Will Rainey described the conditions as perfect Whitstable: plenty of wind, plenty of sun and plenty of waves. He obviously enjoyed himself, winning both races with relative ease. Dan and Chrissy may have been in shock from their success the previous day and had a number of incidents although they did post a seventh. The force 4 and lumpy sea suited local lads Phil Emery and David Hawkins who led the morning race for the first lap but eventually dropped to third behind John Bell. The day was also notable for the appearance of Mark Barnes' stoic crew, Jon Beaumont wearing ear defenders. They obvious did the trick with Mark and Jane finishing fourth in the morning and second, after carefully covering John Bell, in the afternoon.

Overall results:
Overall winner of the Melbourne Cup: 3546 "Gilt Complex" Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson (Cookham Reach)
2nd: 3517 "Rising Tsar" John Bell & Graham Williamson (Hampton)
3rd & Winner of the Holden Cup for Saturday: 3471 "Savage" Dan Alsop & Chrissy Burgess (Bristol & Parkstone)
4th: 3547 "Moondance Assassin" Mark Barnes & Jane Beaumont (Whitstable)
5th: 3509 "Red Dragon" Phil Emery & David Hawkins (Whitstable)
6th: 3518 "Smoked Salmon" Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood (Wembley)

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25 Merlin Rockets took to the water for the Silver Tiller meeting and enjoyed sailing conditions and courses.
Race 1 was held in a force 3-4 and was led throughout by reigning champions Phil King and Kevin Driver in "Gangsta Paradise". They were followed home by Will Rainey and Robbie Sampson in "Gilt Complex" with Richard Whitworth and Sally Townend in "Flying Cloud" third. The breeze increased to a brisk force 5 for Race 2, prompting a number of capsizes, including your intrepid reporter. The finishing order was the same as for Race 1, with the first Weymouth boat being Mike Calvert in "Unfinished Business" taking two 4ths.

Overall Results:-
1st., 3539, Phil King & Kevin Driver, Bowmoor SC
2nd., 3546, Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson, Cookham Reach SC
3rd., 3512, Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, Hollingworth Lake SC
4th., 3549, Mike Calvert & Jennie King, Carbon Crusaders YC
5th., 3537, Henry Wright & Paul Costello, Carsington SC
6th., 3517, John Bell & Graham Williamson, Chichester SC

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NEWBIGGIN SC., SILVER TILLER, 20-21st., June 1998

Overall Results:-
1st., 3471, Dan ALsop & Ben Alsop, BCYC
2nd., 3537, Henry Wright & Paul Costello, Carsington SC
3rd., 3505, Peter Scott & Jennie King, Shustoke SC
4th., 3540, Mike Allen & Mark Archer, Shustoke SC

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1998 showed an encouraging increase in entries and a fleet of 22 was presented with a fresh and remarkably consistent North Easterly, permitting the full three quarter mile length of Belmont reservoir to be exploited. For a report of this year’s event we are indebted to Sue Aubrey who got out her pencil and spared no-one from her scrutiny.
Race 1. saw the experienced hands giving a lesson in how to grab the preferred spots at the starboard end of the line. Richard Whitworth soon established a commanding lead, never to be challenged, but pursued by Peter Chester, crewed by Chris Aubrey from the home Club, who held off the pack including a contingent of nine boats from neighbouring rivals,Hollingworth Lake.
Nick Heginbotham (known to his friends as Boris) and Stuart Bithell were unlucky to lose their main halliard, depriving them of third place, and letting in John Milner.
It was pleasant to see old friends from Blackpool in the persons of Chris Haworth and Mike Hamilton bring out 2663, Tyrannosaurus Rex, for its first airing in many years. Despite redoubted skill, they were down on boat speed against the latest craft and struggled to reach their wonted level.
A power failure in the kitchens led to a postponed lunch and competitors were sent hungry to contest the second race. After one general recall, more port end bias spread the fleet along the line but the cognoscenti went for port. The lee shore meant an early tack but by the skin of their teeth, Richard and Sally crossed Rob Smith and Paul Davis, together with the rest of the fleet, on port giving them a dominating position.
In the ensuing battle, Bolton’s ‘blast from the past’, Paddy Atkinson strove to keep Bruce Mager and Tass Greenhalgh at bay in a tight group with Smith and Julian Parry, all elbowing for room inside on a course with many corners. Milner however showed that his first result was no fluke and forged past but with no hope of catching Whitworth who meanwhile had steadily stretched his lead to nearly half a mile.
Just for emphasis, in the final race Whitworth finished two legs of the course ahead of his nearest challenger. After Race 2, only six points separated 2nd to 7th places and battle raged fiercely. Parry regained his first beat advantage, despite losing it to Smith on the close spinnaker reach along the dam, on the next windward leg, holding it to finish 2nd.
In turn Smith kept out Mager, Milner, Stuart Bates, Dave Townend and Chester. The home Club boats could believe they had some good examples to emulate and have resolved privately “will do better”.

Overall results:-
1st., 3512, Richard Whitworth/Sally Townend (HLSC)
2nd., 3509, John Milner/Rebecca Simmons (HLSC)
3rd., 3498, Julian Parry/Joanne Gul (HLSC)
Best Bolton Boat; 3426, Paddy Atkinson/Andy Wardle


18 Starters, Overall Results:

1st., 3451, Deep Thought, Chris Rathbone/Vanessa Pilon, Upper Thames
2nd., 3343, Synchronicity, Martin/Sue Evans, Hampton/Cookham
3rd., 1493, Katy Lou, Laurie Smart/Truda Rathbone, Upper Thames
4th., 3025, Riot, Terry Curtis/Jo Burnham, Upper Thames

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21 Starters, Overall Results:

1st., 3518, Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood
2nd., 3542, Leslie Ross & Tony Wakening
3rd., 3540, Mike Allen & Marjorie Scott
4th., 3506, Simon Blake & Jill Blake
5th., 3535, John Brockbank & Martin Hughes
6th., 3547, Mark Barnes & Jane Beaumont.

INLAND CHAMPIONSHIP, Bristol Corinthian YC., 2/3rd May 1998

1st., 3512, Flying Cloud - Richard Whitworth/Sally Townsend
2nd., 3546, Gilt Complex - Will Rainey/Robbie Sampson
3rd., 3549, Unfinished Business - Mike Calvert/Jenny King

SALCOMBE YC., SILVER TILLER, 18/19th. April 1998

Salcombe Yacht Club has become accustomed to enjoying their Merlin Week in July so it was an added pleasure to accept the opportunity to stage one of the silver Tiller meetings on 18/19th April in 1998.

On the Saturday afternoon the 25 Merlin's faced a Force 2 Southerly breeze and an ebb tide when they crossed the line for the initial beat to the Blackstone mark in very favourable conditions. The initial leader was followed by a closely bunched group of seven other Merlin's with the remainder of the fleet spread out behind as they sailed a free leg to the Gerston mark, before returning to the Crossways mark; this was followed by a shorter free leg to Saltstone before a long beat to Blackstone. At this stage there were signs of a dropping wind and the arrival of a North Westerly; this lead to more changes of position and the fleet becoming more spread out.

By this time Mike Calvert and Jennie King had established a commanding lead. They were followed by Will Rainey and Robbie Sampson, and Tony and Louise Johnson in their new boat, Shesacracker. Although the fleet continued to become more spread there were many close struggles within individual groups of boats and consequent positional changes. In the leading group Johnson dropped back and Judith Massey and Graham Williamson came up to finish third, ahead of Dan Alsop and Chrissy, followed by Richard Harris and Jane Stokes and then Robert Smith and Paul Davies.
Saturday evening their was a splendid carvery in the Yacht Club enjoyed by over seventy sailors and their families.

The conditions were very different for Sunday morning. The wind was still generally Southerly but was freshening to Force 5 in the gusts. The initial leg was to Blackstone with an ebb tide; after a short port tack towards the Portlemouth shore most of the 24 starters were able to go about on to starboard and make good progress down the Harbour towards the mark.

Mike Calvert was first around the mark in well under ten minutes followed by a bunch of nine Merlin's led by Will Rainey. As they passed the Watch House, Rainey made formidable use of the changing wind and seemed to be near to catching the leader as they disappeared towards the Gerston mark. The latter part of the course across Widegates from Saltstone to Gerstone posed many problems and was a somewhat "hairy" sail.

When they returned to round Crossways on the way to the Yalton mark, Calvert had a commanding lead over Rainey which he maintained through the crossing of the line at the end of the first round; at this stage Dan Alsop was third. These three maintained their positions while rounding the Milbay mark and once again to Gerston before returning to the line and the conclusion of a very hard race.

The leaders were followed by Steve Tyler and Ally Hakes, and David Townend and Lisa Ward.
The prizes for the weekend were presented in the Yacht Club by Bob Buxton of Coast & Country Cottages who had generously sponsored the event.

Overall Results:-

1st., 3549, Mike Calvert/Jennie King, Weymouth
2nd., 3546, Will Rainey/Robbie Sampson, Cookham Reach
3rd., 3471, Dan Alsop/Chrissie Burgess, Parkstone
4th., 3504, Steve Tyler/Ally Hakes, Parkstone
5th., 3482, Rob Smith/Paul Davies, Shustoke
6th., 3513, Boris/Simon Atwell, Hollingworth Lake.

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A total of 16 Merlins from 11 different clubs attended the Merlin Rocket, Silver Tiller Open Meeting which was once again expertly run by Chichester Yacht Club on 29th March. Three races were sailed in light winds and under grey skies but the rain managed to hold off until the end of race three.

All three races got away with clean starts after John Miles, the race officer, had warned that he had several measures at his disposal to sort out those who were too keen with the tide under them on the first start. The first race soon developed into a two boat benefit with Judith Massey and Ant Hackforth hard on the heels of Will Rainey and Robbie Sampson and both boats stealing a good march on the rest of the fleet.

The next few boats were having a good tussle with local boys Nick Yeoman and Graham Williamson managing to recover from a bad start to come in third just ahead of David and Barbara Bland who snook into fourth place from the left hand side of the course.

The course was made slightly smaller for the next two races which were held back to back. Rainey/Sampson again commanded the lead at the windward mark followed by Rob Smith and Paul Davies and Yeoman/Williamson. Massey/Hackforth came through to take both boats and second place at the finish with Steve Tyler and Ally Hakes moving up to fourth behind Smith/Davies.

In the final race, Yeoman/Williamson managed to break Rainey/Sampson's domination of the lead for a short time but the race then turned into a bit of a procession with Andrew Maynard and Gavin Poulloin in third place and Tyler/Hakes in fourth.

Overall positions:
1st. 3546 Gilt Complex, Will Rainey and Robbie Sampson, Cookham Reach SC
2nd, 3501 Empi, Judith Massey and Anthony Hackforth, Parkstone YC
3rd, 3517 Shooting Tsar, Nick Yeoman and Graham Williamson, Chichester YC
4th, 3459 About Time, Andrew Maynard and Gavin Poulloin, Weymouth SC
5th, 3482 Heavy Artillery, Rob Smith and Paul Davies, Shustoke SC
6th, 3504 Boing went Zeberdee, Steve Tyler and Ally Hakes, Parkstone YC

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Twenty one boats gathered in pouring rain to look forward to a blustry days sailing. With the wind blowing straight down the length of the pond one of the locals said "its the least worst direction!!"
On a heavily biased start line the fleet got away first time with Richard Whitworth crewed by standin Matthew Mcgovern took an early lead which they held to the finish despite being chased by Duncan Salmon.
Will Rainey, last seasons overall Silver Tiller winner, was to be found spinning in circles round the lake as a start line incident caused him to do a 720 and was followed by more later. Peter Scott crewed by Stuart Hydon just managed to hold off a late challenge from Dave Townend crewed by Leise Ward. With half the fleet finished a rainstorm swept down the reservoir reducing visibilty to virtually nil and causing a few capsizes.
The second race developed into a battle between Rainey and Whitworth with the latter pulling out a comfertable lead with Rainey second and Salmon third.
With the meeting won Whitworth retired to the front end of his boat and handed the helm to his crew. Salmon and Rainey battled for second place overall. Salmon built a seemingly unassailable lead only to see it cut to zero on the last run. However in a tacking duel to the finish Rainey once again breached the rules and completed a 720 thus allowing Salmon the race win. Scott came back from the 'teens to secure third place with Townend fourth.
A bright, breezy sometimes wet day at a club which provided good sailing and good race management.

1st., 3512, Richard Whitworth & Matthew Mcgovern, Hollingworth Lake
2nd., 3518, Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood, Wembley SC
3rd., 3546, Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson, Cookham Reach SC
4th., 3505, Peter Scott & Stuart Hydon, Shustoke SC
5th., 3530, Dave Townend & Leise Wardn, Hollingworth Lake SC.

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Saturday 21 March saw Shustoke hosting a Merlin Rocket Training Day. The ten boats were put through their paces by Training Officer Dan Alsop who ensured the crews finished the day wiser, hungrier and thirstier. The latter being fortunate as the evening saw the arrival of a very noisy Oompah Band who were ably assisted by the Church End Brewery’s “Oompah Ale” ,some lively frankfurters and sauerkraut.

Regrettably despite all this ground work, the wind failed to materialise on the Sunday morning, leaving the thirty three competitors and OOD Dave Mitchell to deal with a random and fitful breeze.

Richard Whitworth crewed by Sally Townend was first out of the blocks chased hard by his Hollingworth clubmate Julian Parry crewed by Flipper Gilbert. Last years winner Will Rainey finished third and followed this up with a win in the second race where he squeezed home in front of Colin Brockbank from Wembley SC. Duncan Salmon finished third having retired from the first race when his navigational skills were proved suspect - no doubt caused by an emotional week at the Cheltenham Festival!!

All set for a final race decider. Rainey and Whitworth tangled on the start line and sailed themselves out of the race meanwhile Steve and Gill Leney from the home club sailed superbly to record a win, with Brockbank second and Parry third. Brockbank thus clinched the meeting from Rainey on discard with Parrythird.

1st., Colin Brockbank & Martin Hughes, Wembley SC
2nd., Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson, Cookham Reach SC
3rd., Julian Parry & Flipper Gilbert, Hollingworth Lake SC
4th., Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend, Hollingworth Lake SC
5th., Steve & Gill Leney, Shustoke SC

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1st., 3546 Will Rainey & Robbie Sampson, Cookham Reach SC
2nd., 3549 Mike Calvert & Jennie King, Axmouth Cor. SC
3rd., 3449, Steve Cook & Andy Smith, Hollingworth SC
4th., 3505, Peter Scott & Stuart Hydon, Shustoke SC
5th., 3501, Judith Massey & Graham Williamson, Parkstone SC

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