Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Whitstable
Champagne conditions greeted the 36 competitors for the Silver Tiller
meeting on Sunday 29 June. Although this was a two day meeting only Sundays
racing counted for the coveted Silver Tiller points.
Saturday's race, sailed in a 5 knot easterly was a race officer's nightmare.
The tide swept the fleet to the windward mark where they parked under
spinnakers barely making progress. Simon Blake and Linton Jenkins rounded
first and managed to escape the following pack to win a shortened race by a
mile from Tom Stewart and Chris Downham and Laurie Smart and Anna Blake.
Sunday was altogether different with a 15 knot easterly that built to 19,
big waves all the way from Holland and sparkling sunshine. Class Chairman
Pat Blake crewed by Alex Jackson led round every mark in both races to
record two bullets. Tom Stewart was second in the first race followed by
Phil King in his new Full Force boat. Alan Warren and Liam Dempsey revelled
in the conditions to finish fourth. In the second race many of the front
runners fell foul of the black flag but Graham and Ben Scroggie made no
mistake to finish second but there was a battle royal for third place which
was claimed by Alan Warren from Judith Massey and Phil Dalby, and Tom
This was the first windy sea meeting for the class with the new rules
spinnakers. There didn't seem to be any problems with everyone reporting
much more power through the very big waves. Hardware manufacturers could
probably make a fortune if there were ratchet blocks available that could be
fitted into the side decks.
So a tired but happy band of Merlin sailors made their way home with
memories of well set courses, fantastic reaches and surfing runs. Whitstable
doesn't get much better than this.
See also - full results