Whitstable Open 2004
There were 30 entries for the annual visit by the Merlin Rocket fleet to
Whitstable for the Silver Tiller on 19/20 June.
Bright sunshine and a Northerly force 3 greeted the fleet on Saturday
although the omens did not look good with the sea breeze battling the
gradient wind The first race started at the second attempt under the black
flag. At the first mark Tom Stewart led from Dan Alsop and John Bell. Bell
and Alsop swapped places but Stewart was never really troubled winning a
shortened race in a dying breeze from Alsop who sniggled through into second
on the run. Simon Potts sailing a brand new Winder boat was fourth. The
wind died leaving the backmarkers struggling to make against a strengthening
tide so Chris Lewns the race officer wisely called it a day and sent the
Sunday was a different matter altogether with a brisk but shifty westerley
blowing in under threatening clouds.
Tom Stewart was in commanding form leading round the first mark only to
throw the race away by rounding the pin rather than the leeward mark at the
end of the first reach. This gave the race to Simon Blake from David Winder
and William Warren.
The second race started promptly, too promptly for
Simon Blake who, overcome with the emotion of winning sat chatting to crew
Linton Jenkins way upwind of the line and missed the start! A huge shift on
the first beat made the reach too tight for kites but he race team were
quick to relay the course in time for the second beat and a lively race was
experienced in some seriously windy conditions as the gusts came in under
the clouds. Once again Tom Stewart mastered the conditions and made no
mistake to take an easy win from Simon Potts and class chairman Pat Blake.
Overall it was an impressive display by Tom Stewart and Chris Downham who
took the Holden Cup for first overall. Pat Blake and Alex Jackson won the
Melbourne Cup for the no discard, Sunday only Silver Tiller points.
See full results for 2 days,
and the ST points for Sunday.