|Open Meeting Reports 2001|
Race results will be appearing here. Please do write-ups promptly as they
will be sent on to many sailing web sites - it would be be even better if we
can include a picture! ( + lets make the reports lively and interesting.)
Lots of missing reports - please send them in!
at Blithfield, Staffs
Nineteen Merlins from six Clubs, all from north of Oxford, blazed their way round a windy Silver Tiller meeting on 16th September. This followed an even windier Club Sailors Championships held on the Saturday. The first race of the day showed the promise of dark horse Matt Biggs and Davy Crockett (sic) who shot off with a good start with their new boat, 3582 fresh from second place honours at the Nationals. The first mark showed the dominance of the far north with Whitworth and King, David Winder and the peripatetic Downham, Parry and Taylor breaking into a commanding lead over the fleet but with neck and neck racing. Dave Fowler was with them, sailing with 11year old Adam Hollis but capsized to end the opportunity. John Andrews, parting company with his 25 year love affair with his old boat to live with a new Winder boat, also parted company with his sail. Pete Smith and David Pick, in the aging but famous 3317, did well against the supremacy of the newer boats. Despite lots of harry by Parry, Whitworth kept his lead to win.
Race two showed Jim Hopton and 13 year old son Robert sneak a brief lead off the start but soon to be overwhelmed by the Northern muscle. Biggs was in there, fending off attacks from Guy Winder and crew Essex, as Parry and David Winder swapped places on a regular basis. Parry destroyed himself at the last gybe mark leaving Whitworth to win by 50 seconds over the Winder family flotilla. Montoya, in the Italian Grand Prix, finished at exactly the same time with only a 5 second lead!
Race 3 saw the third new course of the day with a premature flying start by a few boats, some of whom returned to take off again. Whitworth was seemingly finished as he commenced the first leg last. Andrews took second place at the first mark, closely followed by Biggs. David Winder had a brilliant lap developing a 65 second lead. Whitworth's sheer class showed through having now swathed through the fleet to fourth place seemingly throwing caution away and throwing in every bit of sailpower he could muster. Others were more prudent choosing to keep spinnies under decks. Disaster strikes Winder at the gybe mark as the spinnaker sheet comes undone allowing Andrews to take the lead. But excitement overcomes Andrews and the ruthless Whitworth demolishes him and the fleet and generates his own 25 second lead by the next windward mark. Jules Parry, with gear breakage, left the duel on the water to return to his new jewel of a daughter. Winder's problems were not over and the spinnaker sheets lost him more places in the next lap.
Biggs continuously hassled local rival Andrews and took the advantage but hit the windward mark. Whitworth stormed off to achieve a 90 second win, with the jubilant Andrews gaining a well deserved second place. Biggs, third on the water but OCS, left the Winders to follow, with Smith securing a super fifth place to show there is life in old boats yet! Talking of which, the valiant Steve Ward and Alistaire Simpson battled around in the equally famous 2824 and did not come last!
1st Richard Whitworth & Jennie King. 3593 Hollingworth Lake
2nd David Winder & Cris Downham 3557 Hollingworth Lake
3rd Guy Winder & Chris Essex 3590 Hollingworth Lake
4th Matt Biggs & Dave Crockett 3582 Blithfield
5th John & Linda Andrews 3583 Blithfield
6th Peter Smith & David Pick 3317 Blithfield
(Fantastic report by Steve Watson - the man with the fastest purple coffee table in the land)
MERLINS AT DATCHET WATER
The Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller meeting at Datchet on 2 September was held in a shifty Force 2-3 with enough sunshine to cheer those who got the wrong side of the beat.
Judith Massey and The Philly Factor from Parkstone YC dominated the fleet, which included 3 of the top 5 from the recent National Championships, from start to finish recording two firsts and a second in the three races.
The first race was led from the start by Massey and The Factor from Phil and Melanie Feibusch, who have recently made a welcome return to the class, with Simon Blake and Linton Jenkins third.
Race 2 was won by Will Rainey and Liese Ward, who worked hard to hold off Massey and The Factor on the final round. Blake and Jenkins, sailing consistently, were third again.
Going into the final race Rainey and Ward were still in with a shout but after challenging on the first round, they faded to finish fourth. Massey and The Factor were first, thereby clinching the meeting, with Blake and Jenkins second and Phil King and Christina King third.
This was an overdue return to Datchet for the Merlins, and the fleet was rewarded with some excellent racing on well laid courses.
Overall results: 1st Judith Massey and The Philly Factor 2pts, 2nd Will Rainey and Liese Ward 5 pts, 3rd Simon Blake and Linton Jenkins 5 pts, 4th Phil and Melanie Feibusch 7pts, 5th Phil King and Christina King 7 pts.
Report Author: Will Rainey
(Man of the race: Clearly The Philly Factor - photo attached. Please 'Click here' for The Philly Factors Top Tips. Also big congrats to Jude the dude! - Web Bloke)
Shoreham Open 4th and 5th August
Author: Rachel Pooper-Scooper
Hungry and tired sailors had their appetites satisfied by a delicious BBQ on Saturday night. For those who really needed to let their hair down DJ's and Merlin sailors Linton Jenkins and Simon Blake were on hand to liven up the evening for the many youth of the fleet, and for those who just thought they were!
Starcross Open July 28th/29th
This year’s tides dictated that the Starcross YC open meeting and Silver Tiller event could only be held the week after Salcombe, which probably explained the fairly small turnout. However, eleven competitors were greeted with superb weather and a steady force 2 sea breeze. For all of the weekend’s races, Race Officer Andy Woolner set an inverted ‘P’ shaped course to make best use of the available water and to provide a long windward leg, a run and two reaches.
(Thanks to Dave Lee for
this report - and well done Dave!)
An impressive fleet of 33 Merlins made the journey to Weymouth on July 8th for the three race open meeting run by Weymouth Sailing Club.
Piccies of King's New Ship - Launched at Weymouth!
A record entry of 39
Merlins assembled at Whitstable for the 2 day Silver
33 Merlins descended on Thorpe Bay over the weekend of 23/24 June. They were greeted by perfect sailing conditions. Sunshine and Force 4 easterlies for the three races on Saturday led to many capsizes and retirements as the sea breeze built. There was slightly less wind on Sunday when two races were sailed that counted for Silver Tiller points.
The overall winner was Richard Estaugh and Andy Hasely sailing their Winder/Speed sails "Never been to Salcombe" Second overall and winners of the Silver Tiller were John Bell and Graham Williamson in "Time Zulu" (Winder/Batt). John and Graham had an eventful weekend. They broke their Proctor mast in Race 1, capsized in Race 2 and jammed their spinnaker halyard and hit the leeward mark in Race 3. On the Sunday they hit the windward mark in Race 4 but still managed to finish third. They won the last race after overtaking Judith Massey and Phil Dalby who had sailed the race of their lives and led for much of the race. As Judith and Graham had traveled to Thorpe Bay in the same car, Judith said that it was just as well it was Graham's, otherwise he would have been walking home.
Others to feature at the front were Duncan Salmon and Liam Dempsey who won the first race, Phil Plumtree and Jilly Blake who won the second, and Will Rainey and Liese Ward who won Race 3. 7 of the top 10 boats were built by Winder, Rainey's was built by Wrecked Em, Pat Blake was sailing a Smart boat and Andy Dalby was sailing a 10 year old Rowsell .
Thanks go to Thorpe Bay Sailing Club for a very well run and friendly meeting. The Merlin fleet hope that they will be invited back next year. Overall Results:
1st: Richard Estaugh and Andy Hasely
2nd: John Bell and Graham Williamson
3rd: Will Rainey and Liese Ward
4th: Duncan Salmon and Liam Dempsey/Ian Garwood
5th=: Tom Stewart and Kieran Collacut
5th=: Judith Massey and Phil Dalby
7th: John Cooper and Jane Beaumont/David Cooper
8th: Pat and Anna Blake
9th: Phil Plumtree and Jilly Blake
10th: Andy Dalby and Chris Downham
1st: Bell and Williamson
2nd: Estaugh and Hasely
3rd: William Warren and Rachel Cooper
4th: Rainey and Ward
Parkstone Yacht Club Silver Tiller
Parkstone Yacht Club held it’s first Merlin sea meeting for quite a number of years on Sunday 17th June with a total of 23 boats on the water. For the previous two years the normal October meeting, held within Poole Harbour, has seen races cancelled or abandoned due to extreme weather. However, a bright day ensued, attracting visitors from as far away as Hollingsworth Lake to join the small Parkstone fleet in three short races back-to-back around Olympic courses out in Bournemouth Bay. Winds were variable North Westerly Force two to three, with a tide line through the middle of the course that offered competitors some testing conditions. The first two races finished on the downwind leg of the second triangle so as to quicken up the turn around between races.
The first race got away without incident with those picking the left hand side of the course paying off. Phil King & Kevin Driver, in 3539, took an early lead and never really looked back until, that is, the end of the second triangle when they rounded the leeward mark and started off up the beat again, forgetting that the finish line was in fact a short reach away from the leeward mark. This allowed Laurie Smart and Jilly Blake in 3556 through to take the honours with Phil and Kevin second, and Mike Calvert & Alex Jackson, in 3549, third.
The second race saw Phil and Kevin (3539) back out in front, but this time remembering the position of the finish line, they kept their first place. Mike & Alex (3549) were second and Julian Parry & Chris Taylor, in 3554, third. By the third race, Phil and Kevin had got into their stride and finished some four minutes ahead of the field. Will Rainey & Liese Ward in 3601 came in second with William Warren & Rachel Cooper in 3580 third.
In all three races, no one side of the course remained favoured, and the majority of the fleet were locked in very tight racing with places being traded all the time.
1st 3539 Phil King & Kevin Driver
2nd 3549 Mike Calvert & Alex Jackson
3rd 3601 Will Rainey & Liese Ward
4th 3380 William Warren & Rachel Cooper
5th 3556 Laurie Smart & Jilly Blake
6th 3554 Julian Parry & Chris Taylor
|Home Win for Blakes in Cookham Silver Tiller
Tiller Meeting at Hampton Sailing Club
Visitors came from as far away as Lowestoft to join a big home fleet for this meeting, which counted for the Silver Tiller series and the Thames River series. The wreckage of the previous night’s party was duly cleared away or woken up, depending, and boats were moved to make space on the island for the visiting boats. There was bright sunshine but a turbulent northerly wind that gave the entry of 30 boats testing conditions. There was a notable old boat present, Kate, no. 1, sailing in the Silver Tiller series for the first time since restoration, and now 56 years old. The most recent boat sailing was the coral-coloured Boadicea, another of the successful Winder-built Canterbury Tales designs and not yet even a year old. The entry was divided into 4 flights for the three races. Two flights started together each time.
In the first race the green and blue flights set off first. John Bell and Graham Williamson in 3569 led early on but were chased hard by Hywel Bowen-Perkins and Ariane Edwards in 3574, who passed them a couple of times but had to be content with 2nd. Reds and yellows set off ten minutes behind. Richard Parslow, sailing his father’s boat 3354, took an early lead and kept it, with 2nd going to Joe and Tom McLaughlin in 3457 who gradually pulled up after a mediocre start. At the end of the race some entertainment was laid on by Andrew Mills’s gentle capsize on the way back after finishing, right in front of the clubhouse.
Suitably invigorated by lunch, but in no better wind, the greens and yellows were first to start the 2nd race. This was led all the way round by 3569, with 3354 following. Blues and reds had a more complicated time with Judith Massey and Phil Dalby working their way past Hywel Bowen-Perkins, who managed to capsize when leading. An old boat, 847, Berry Ritchie and Susan Harris, took third.
Blues and yellows set off after a brief break for the last race. This time 3574 hit the front early and stayed there to win, chased by 3354. Third was Richard and Elizabeth Page in 1222, a multiple championship winner from the 1960’s. In the red and green fleets it was another win for 3569 with 3489, Mike Barnes and Wendy Pickler in 2nd and 3rd for 3457. The wind gradually died off at the end of the race and the large tea after the finish was most welcome. Both the tea counter and the bar did brisk business and the prizegiving was suitably brief, with the triumph of the home club’s National Champions duly celebrated in Hampton style with the consumption of bitter ale.
1st Time Zulu John Bell and Graham Williamson
2nd The Holy Grail Hywel Bowen-Perkins and Ariane Edwards
3rd Desiree Richard Parslow and Hamish
4th Boadicea Judith Massey and Phil Dalby
5th Love on the Rocks Mike Barnes and Wendy Pickler
Thanks to Andrew Mills
for this report.
Merlins at Abersoch
After boxing the compass
in the morning, a pleasant force 2-3 south-westerly
The second race saw a
well behaved fleet at the start with no incidents but
(Thanks to Pete Richards for this report!)
Report yet to come in...
(Tosh Face - what's going on!!)
S.C. Silver Tiller Open Meeting
There was a splendid entry of thirty-two Merlins for the Open Meeting at Chichester Yacht Club this Sunday. The conditions were almost equally satisfactory, with a gradually increasing breeze throughout the day from the ten-fifteen start time, over a fairly complex and testing course (set by John Miles, the Club’s most experienced Race Officer) to provide two beats, a run and three reaches, to make best use of the water and to combat as far as possible the vagaries of the wind direction. It swung unpredictably as the boats approached the first weather mark, and had a good number of gusts which, as the day wore on, took their toll among the fleets on the down-wind legs as tiredness slowed reactions and capsizes followed.
Among the Merlins things were tight. Three boats went out for the final race with four points each and "everything to play for." John Bell and Graham Williamson, with a third and a win, made a slight nonsense of the start ("In irons and going backwards : not in chapter one of How to Win" as Graham reported) and were uncomfortably far back at the end of the first beat. However, they fought back to fifth. Luckily for them one of their closest rivals, Patrick and Anna Blake, had made the opposite error at the start, and were over the line and failed to return and so were disqualified, while the other, Tom Stewart and Kieran Collacott, could only manage sixth. So these three finished still with four points each, and their final places were settled by the "who beat whom" rule, while Will Rainey and Liese Ward and William Warren and Rachel Cooper secured fourth and fifth places by taking first and second in the final race. Sixth prize went to Paul Davies and Sara Warren, who had a fifth and a fourth, but who were forced to retire in the last race when Paul cut his forehead badly on the corner of the mainsheet hoop.
At the prize-giving Penny Yeoman presented the various trophies. These included the new "Nick’s Boat" trophy, a beautifully-made half-model of the hull of her late husband’s former boat "Rising Tsar," presented in his memory, and it was with special pleasure that she handed it to John Bell and Graham Williamson, who were sailing Time Zulu, the boat with which Nick had replaced "Rising Tsar" shortly before his untimely death.
ROCKETS AT UPPER THAMES
4 visiting boats joined 8 club boats at Upper Thames Sailing Club, Bourne End at the weekend to compete in the Merlin Rocket Open meeting, part of the River Thames Series. Racers were faced with high water and a surging stream, however a good southerly breeze helped the entrants get round the course. Saturday was a one-off cup race for the 'Spade Oak Bowl' and visitors Phil Plumtree and Jilly Blake, a Tamesis SC /Cookham SC combination, sailed away from the fleet to take 1st place. Lawrie Smart and Rosie Frost (Upper Thames SC) recovered impressively from a poor start to take 2nd place, with Andy Jones & Ben Jones (Cookham Reach SC) in 3rd.
On Sunday the wind swung to the North West but was still sufficient to complete 3 races in the Allen Challenge. Lawrie led the fleet from the start in the first race to win from Chris & Sonia Rathbone (UTSC). Conditions were difficult, and a large proportion of the fleet retired, unable to fight the current at the home mark.
Lawrie went on to take the 2nd race ahead of Simon & Jilly Blake, but the final race saw Simon take advantage of the shifty conditions and despite being recalled at the start came through to win the race.
Final results: Spade Oak Bowl: Phil Plumtree & Jilly Blake (Tamsis/Cookham SC), Lawrie Smart & Rosie Frost (UTSC), Andy & Ben Jones (Cookham SC).
Allen Challenge: Lawrie Smart & Rosie Frost (UTSC), Simon & Jilly Blake (Cookham SC), Peter & Debbie Walker (UTSC).
(Unfortunately the pictures sent in didn't come out - thanks to Sarah Deacon for the report).
SILVER TILLER MIDLAND SAILING CLUB
Merlin Rockets at Salcombe
Despite the arrival of Foot & Mouth in south Devon and the forecast of strong winds and heavy rain for the weekend of 30th March/ 1st April, 51 Merlin Rockets made the annual spring trip down to Salcombe for the Silver Tiller Open Meeting weekend hosted by Salcombe Yacht Club and sponsored by Coast & Country Cottages. The venue has been popular in the fleet for the annual Merlin Rocket Week in the summer for decades, but the Spring Open Meeting has only been a feature of the calendar for three years. Entries in the first year were 35, last year 42, and this year topped 50 – a quite remarkable observation on the high morale in the fleet.
The strength in depth in the fleet means that in a fleet of this size, there are at least 15 boats perfectly capable of winning, and poor starts are punished very hard!
Saturday fulfilled the forecast with rain and mist and strong winds, which at Salcombe inevitably means very difficult sailing conditions as the gusts back and veer around the steep sides of the estuary seemingly at random. There were many capsizes and retirements as competitors sensibly recognised the limitations of themselves and their gear. The stars of the day's race were the new pairing of Simon Blake and Dave Dobrijevic (Bosnia for short) who broke clear early on and sailed very smoothly to hold a comfortable lead for most of the long race. However when Blake & Bosnia capsized during a difficult gybe, the pursuing group were quick to take advantage with Mike Calvert & new crew Alex Jackson taking the bell at the finish just ahead of Will Rainey & Liese Ward and Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend (back in the boat after becoming Mum to Zoe).
The fleet all gathered at the club for the now legendary evening meal provided by Mark Sculley, the club chef, who broke all his records to feed 135 with a superb carvery, and a treacle tart to die for! The bar was utterly taken over by the youth of the fleet, until they tired and the old hands had to move in the show the youngsters true stamina. What on earth persuaded retired steward Brian out of retirement to take up bar diving again after the heavy bruising sustained last time may never be known, however on this occasion he was caught on the second bounce with little harm done!
Sunday dawned damp but a lot less windy and it was practically a full fleet that met on the start line. Newcomer Phil Plumtree sailing with Jilly Blake for this year, timed the first beat perfectly and emerged clear leader at the first mark, sailing into a clear lead on the long run up the estuary to Yalton. Stars of this race though were Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood who after being immersed in the pack at the first mark picked a very favourable line on the long downwind leg to climb from a position in the teens at the first mark, to third at the second mark. Relentlessly reeling in Plumtree & Blake, Salmon & Garwood won the race ahead of Calvert & Jackson. This was enough for Calvert & Jackson to win the Pettit Trophy for the meeting, presented this year for the first time in memory of Audrey Pettit who was pivotal in establishing the Merlin Rocket Class’s long association with Salcombe.
Second place went to Whitworth & Townend, ahead of Stevie Morrison sailing in the fleet, at Salcombe, and with Liam Dempsey, all for the first time, a case of overcoming all obstacles to record an excellent result at an excellent regatta!
1st Mike Calvert & Alex Jackson 3549 2nd Richard Whitworth & Sally Townend 3593 3rd Steve Morrison & Liam Dempsey 3582 4th Julian Parry & Chris Taylor 3554 5th Duncan Salmon & Ian Garwood 3575.
(Thanks to GGGG for this report)
Merlin Open, 25th March.
Richard Whitworth and
Sally Townend were winners of the Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event sailed at
Shustoke Sailing Club on Sunday 25th March.
Going into the third race, their victory was by no means assured, such
was the strength in depth of the fleet.
Thirty-five helms left
the shore for the first start, disappointed that race officer Alan Bennett had
used only nine of the possible eleven marks.
In a shifty force two to three north easterly, the fleet got cleanly
away with Richard Estaugh, Steve Crook and Julian Parry showing early pace.
Crook rounded the windward mark first followed by Parry and Estaugh.
Chasing these three were Whitworth and local sailor, Jim Hopton.
By the end of the first
lap, Whitworth had reeled in both Crook and Estaugh and was closing on Parry,
whilst Duncan Salmon, recovering from penalty turns on the start line was
mounting a mid-race recovery. As
Parry and Whitworth opened out a leg lead from the following pack, Salmon
closed on Estaugh. In the closing stages of the race, Whitworth took Parry and
the gun, whilst Salmon got the better of the shifts on the final beat, passing
Estaugh and taking third place.
Fortified by an
excellent lunch, and relieved to find that now all eleven marks were
being used, the fleet again started cleanly, encouraged, no doubt, by the
presence of the black flag. Having
become embroiled in a mid-fleet duel with old rival Phil King in the first
race, Mike Calvert stamped his authority on the second to secure victory.
Parry showed good consistency finishing second again, with Whitworth
third. King and Estaugh fought to
the line with King eventually dominant.
Into Race 3 and in a
fading breeze Estaugh made a perfect start from the port end of the line and
shot into a lead which was never seriously challenged. Whitworth chased in
vain, but could content himself that second place would be enough to secure
the meeting. Although beaten
across the line into fourth place by King, Parry’s earlier consistency gave
him four points to Estaugh’s 4 ¾, and second place overall.
The slightly lower
turnout must be in part due to movement restrictions imposed by the Foot and
Mouth crisis. However, an entry
boasting six national and inland champions, and at least a dozen helms with
open meeting wins to their name reflects a class that is in the bloom of
health and looking forward to another year of intensely competitive sailing.
Thanks to Julian Harms-Miester for the great report.
River Warming Pan
– 11th March 2001
Merlins ignored the weather forecast and arrived on a cold and wet morning to
the Hamble River Sailing Club’s Warming Pans over the weekend of the 10th
and 11th March. The
forecast for Saturday was for a SW 4 to 5 increasing 6 with Sunday’s
forecast being 5 to 6 increasing 7 from the same direction.
turned out that early arrival to the club was required to avoid the unusually
high spring tide which flooded the road, half the dinghy park and nearly got
into the clubhouse itself!
previous years, the club split the fleet into “inside” classes, Merlins
and Firefly’s this year, and an “outside” fleet consisting of assymetric
boats including 14s and Laser 4000’s . The first start on Saturday was at 1200 with the tide on the
turn. A beat out of the river was
set with the first mark set just off Hamble Point marina. The closeness of this mark, coupled with the fact it was a
mooring buoy and not an inflatable racing mark confused the majority of the
fleet who overstood and sailed out to sea.
To add to the confusion, it was laid just out from the lee of the land
in the full force of the South Westerly wind.
After one or two swims at this mark, the race settled down with Mike
Calvert sailing with new crew Alex Jackson establishing a good lead and Tom
Stewart leading the chase pack. Stewart
took the lead when Calvert lost his spinnaker over the side and went on to
second race was sailed in similar conditions to the first, however Hamble
Point buoy was used as the windward mark giving more sailing in the windier
conditions out to sea. By this
time the tide was in full ebb and the challenge was to be on the return leg
downwind against the flow. Mike and Alex were first to the mark and, having
learnt from their error in the morning, made no mistakes to take the second
race with a comfortable lead.
race in the evening was to be who could get a table in the curry house. This
required speed, guile and tact, not to mention good persuasion skills.
dawned damp and drizzly with a SW 1-2 refusing to blow away the hangover.
The same course was set as on Saturday but, with the start being 1 hour
before high water, the trick was to make headway against it in the light
winds. Dan Alsop and Jane Bowmore
made the best start on the Warsash shore, however Calvert and Jackson were
first to Hamble Point and never looked back. The second race was sailed with a
stand in the Solent making the tide less of an issue.
Once again, Calvert led at the first mark, never to be headed.
Thanks must go to HRSC who put on a well organised event and provided us with good river racing, plenty of Mount Gay punch in the evening and a good lunch on both days. The stars were also on display for the eagle eyed with Ian Walker racing in the Firefly class.
Results Table to come! - Thanks again to Paul Gilbert for this write up!
Presented in 1946 by W E Morris.
1st Race 2001 for the Graham Donald River Thames Trophy.
25th February 2001
poor weather forecast and a dusting of snow in London during the night the
omens for Ranelagh’s first open meeting of the year could have been better.
The stalwarts who turned up were greeted with near perfect conditions
– clear blue sky, sunshine, NW wind force 3 giving a beat to the Hammersmith
Crabtree mark with the tide and a run back to Putney against the flood which
was due at 1600hrs.
set to 6 laps, marks to starboard, start 1415hrs.
start was made more interesting at the ten minute bell by the universities
rowing eights with Cambridge clashing blades with Molesey and coming to a
grinding halt on our start line.
was made by the return of MR 1 “Kate” to the event.
Restored by Mervin Allen, he was forced to retire after the start when
the centre plate refused to roll into the slot.
Better luck next time!
strong fleet got away to a perfect close packed starboard tack start with all
boats clear. By Crabtree the race
pattern was emerging and at the end of lap 1 four boats helmed by Hywel
Perkins, Andy Dalby, Andrew Harris, and Duncan Salmon had broken clear.
On subsequent laps Duncan established a small lead with the following
pack covering one another relentlessly. The
run back to Putney was fluky with Chris Rathbone and Andrew Harris crossing
the tide to the Putney shore. Duncan
held his nerve and a small lead on the other bank.
Meanwhile Andy Jones came through from 9th place to hold 2nd
place for 3 laps.
thanks to John Stokes for the colourful report and to Paul Gilbert for typing
it up. You can see a photo of the event in the picture gallery.
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