Start of the third race
More photos taken by Chris Wade – see link https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9X8mVqpz_X9WmFqYV80SGxFdkk?usp=sharing
|Report by Joe Woods, Merlin Class Captain
Sunday 9 October saw sixteen Merlins take to the water for this year’s Tamesis Merlin Open Meeting, which forms part of the Thames Series.
Competitors were to battle it out for the Sondown Cup, awarded to overall winner of the day, and the Elizabeth Bowl awarded to the highest placed vintage boat – both held by last year’s winner Martin Hunter in boat (774) Quiver.
Martin wasn’t available to defend his titles this year, but we were gladly joined by Sel Shah and Ben Marshall sailing (1596) Volente from Thames Sailing Club and Minima and John and Oliver Bell sailing (3652) Time & Tide from Hampton. We were also joined by our very own newest Tammy recruits, Rob and Joe Hatley sailing (3545) Smooth Operator – welcome guys!
With a favourable north, north-easterly wind ranging from a 2 to 3 – John Harris – race officer of the day was able to set an X course sending boats on a beat downstream towards Lensbury to port and back up on a run towards Canbury to port. Three races were scheduled with two in the morning back to back leaving a third finale after lunch.
With a prevailing north, north-easterly wind; it was soon apparent that whoever could read and react to the shifts on the windward leg would gain the advantage and first blood went to Andrew Harris and Sara Harris sailing boat (3088) Shanandoah.
Next, it was his brother’s turn, Richard Harris sailing with Harry Harris in boat (1079) Passing Cloud, to even the score; with Rob Wilder and Milly Chong-Wilder in boat 1097 Flinkidink coming second in both races to leave all three competitors even on 4 points after two races setting up an “all to sail for” decider.
Ben Ramage joined Rob as crew in the afternoon race and with the wind dropping managed to fend off both Richard and Andrew Harris to take the last race and win the overall event in what made up a very exciting and entertaining day’s racing.
Our congratulations to Rob Wilder and Milly Chong-Wilder and Ben Ramage sailing boat (1097) Flinkidink as winners of the Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl; to Richard and Harry Harris in boat (1079) Passing Cloud in 2nd place; to Andrew and Sara Harris, sailing boat (3088) Shanandoah in 3rd place and to Joe McLaughlin and Sean Roberts and Tom McLaughlin in boat (1136) Shoestring in 4th place.
Our special thanks to: John Harris as officer of the day; to Colin Stokes in the box; to Caroline Stilwell and Margaret Stokes taking the entries and updating the score sheets; to the patrol boat crews; to Jo Carstens and her team in catering and to all the competitors, visitors and spectators for their support.