Merlin Rocket

The Merlin Rocket is a fast 14ft dinghy that was developed after the end of the second world war as a rival to the International 14. It is a restricted development class that has evolved from the original Kate and Wizard designs produced by Jack Holt for a syndicate in 1946. The class insignia in the shape of a wizard’s hat derives from this second boat when the class name was changed to Merlin, after King Arthur’s wizard. The Merlin made its racing debut at Ranelagh’s Easter Regatta in 1946 and gradually spread to other Thames river clubs. A rival design called Rocket was produced by Dick Wyche as a larger, faster version of the National 12 and built by Wyche and Coppock in Nottingham. The Merlins grew in number in the south of England while the Rockets were stronger in the north. In 1950 the Rocket design was altered to comply with the Merlin rules and in 1951 the Yacht Racing Association (predecessor of the RYA) brought the two classes together with the promise of national status if they merged.

A full history of the class can be read in The Merlin Rocket Book written by Jim Park, Ian Holt and Jim Lowden and published by Jim Lowden in association with the Merlin Rocket Owners Association in 1986 (ISBN 0 9511186 0 9).

The first Merlin arrived at Tamesis in 1949 and Merlins gradually displaced the more expensive International 14s to become the club’s largest class. There are currently 35 Merlins in the Tamesis fleet, the largest in the UK, with regular turnouts of between 10 and 15 boats in club races and up to 25 in open meetings.

For more details please contact Tamesis Merlin Class Captain.

National Merlin Rocket Association website: www.merlinrocket.co.uk

Merlin Rocket Notices

  • Rob and Helen Wilder 7th at Bosham Classic Boat Revival

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    Rob and Helen Wilder took part in the annual Bosham Sailing Club Classic Boat Revival on 2 and 3 September. Held for classic racing dinghies and now into its 7th year, it had 59 entries split into three fleets, slow fleet, medium fleet and Fast fleet. Helen and Rob took their Merlin 1097 Flinkidink and were in the fast fleet along with other boats such as National 18s, Osprey, Finn, 12sqm Sharpie, Jolly Boat, National 12, International Canoe and Albacore. There were 24 entries in the fast fleet. On Saturday the start was delayed for an hour to allow the sea breeze to fill in, which then gave some champagne sailing in Chichester harbour with around 8-10 knots of breeze. In three races they managed a 6th, 2nd, and 5th. Rob says that in the first race they should have finished 1st but helmsman error “saw us going round the wrong windward mark as it was the medium fleet’s windward mark, this cost us a few places along with me misjudging the tide and then hitting the windward mark meaning I had to do my turns! Still the racing was fun and sailing just perfect.A lovely dinner in the evening was held at Bosham Sailing club along with a jazz band.” “Sunday conditions had changed to rain and around 18-20 knots – not really our weather. With two races scheduled we sailed the first of the day finishing 15th which then mean’t we had qualified but then decided to call it a day and head back in. We finished 7th Overall. The event was won by Bosham SC sailor Will Reid sailing National 18 133 with Martin Hunter from Upper Thames second in his Merlin”.
  • Masons win the Restless Trophy 2017

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    Peter and Richard Mason sailing Merlin 847 Bambusa won the Restless Trophy with ease on a gorgeous sunny beat down to a mark just beyond the cut. They had a clear lead from second boat Broad Scoter sailed by David Peregrine Jones and Fleur Moree.  Tim and Ed Medcalfe in Squirrel were third, and Johannes Wagner with Linda Redding were fourth in Hispanola. The Restless Trophy is always sailed on the Sunday of Salcombe Merlin week.  
  • Salcombe Merlins

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    The fleet running down to Southpool from Salcombe, and five Tamesis boats getting started in the sun.
  • Salcombe Merlins 2017

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    Tamesis arrives in sunny windy Salcombe. Richard and Harry Harris already doing some capsize practice – witnessed but sadly (or happily?) not captured on camera. Camilla and Stewart Colley already broken down trialling the fishmonger’s Dory. The support boat couldn’t get her going so we got towed back ignominiously to Whitestrand. Better luck tomorrow?
  • Constantin Gerber wins Cutty Sark Bolt 2017

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      Competitors drifting downstream Sunday 18th June 2017 dawned sunny with ne’er a cloud in the sky, and ne’er a hint of wind.  There was considerable discussion about what to do. The Cutty Sark Bolt was presented by then Commodore Peter Mason as a  tribute to the original races by the Tea Clippers.  The trophy is an actual bolt from the Cutty Sark.  This pursuit race is traditionally longer than the other pursuit races Tamesis holds as the Clipper races were very long. The Cutty Sark was designed to carry tea from China to England, and it was vital to be the first ship in.  More about the story of this fascinating vessel on http://www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark/history In the end we opted for the shorter race and start times used for the Centenary Cup held two weeks earlier, so the slowest boats sailed for just over the hour.  This made for a much better race under the conditions. Twelve boats braved the shorter race, some not making it to the 1230 finish. The race is a fund raiser for the Cutty Sark restoration project, and we were able to collect £70. Race officer Carolyne Vines, ably assisted by Cherry Ehrlich in the box, and Peter Simpson and Ken Thatcher in the Patrol Boat, set a short course in front of the club.  The two Fireflies started first, but were quickly caught by the five strong Laser fleet.  Laser sailor Chris Taggart led from the start but was caught in the last 50 metres by fellow Laser Constantin Gerber.  Peter Mason sailing Bambusa, crewed by brother Richard, was the leading Merlin, but unable to catch the two leading Lasers.  Chris Balmbro crewed by Clara Wade was fourth in Merlin Bad Company. Ana, Jo and Lauren kept us going afterwards by doing the bar and serving up great lunches The prizes – boxes of green tea – were presented by the donor Peter Mason.  Constantin – the first Laser sailor to win the Cutty Sark Bolt, graciously thanked his fellow competitors and the organising team. 1st Laser 135387 Constantin Gerber 2nd Laser 130773 Chris Taggart 3rd Merlin 847 Bambusa Peter and Richard Mason 4th Merlin 3062 Bad Company Chris Balmbro and Clara Wade
  • Andrew Harris wins Centenary Cup 2017

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    The Centenary Cup was won by Andrew and Tom Harris sailing 50 Shades (Merlin Rocket 3723) in an inter-class pursuit race on Sunday 4 June. They beat Charles Fox and Steve Katz in Geniveve (National 18 266) by only seconds in a 14 boat fleet. Race Office Rob Wilder sent the competitors off on a lengthy course in an eight knot west south westerly wind. Results: 1 Andrew & Tom Harris (MR 3723), 2 Charles Fox & Steve Katz (N18 266), 3 Marcus Chavasse (Laser 197213), 4 Peter & Richard Mason (MR 847), 5 Paul Jamieson (Laser 170263). Click on the following link to view photos by Chris Wade including some from the sailing instruction in the afternoon. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9X8mVqpz_X9T2FQbFlxLW5kdFU Commodore Carolyne Vines presents the Cup to the winners Rob was helped in the box by his daughter Milly and Sara Jamieson. Sean Roberts and Phil Abbey operated the patrol boats, and Anna, Jo and Lauren prepared and served lunch.
  • Sunday afternoon sailing 7th May

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    The weather was brilliant, and the wind wasn’t bad too!  See the following link for photos by Chris Wade.  Thanks Chris https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9X8mVqpz_X9YjZCUHlWODZQU2c
  • Sat 25 Mar Successful Race Night

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    Forty two race goers attended the Merlin fleet’s Horse Racing Night to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Hospital.  The filmed horse races included both National Hunt and Flat racing where the ‘punters’ laid bets on which horses would win and very loudly shouting words of encouragement to their favoured mounts.  The evening was organised by Merlin Class Captain Joe Woods and Jim Green, with Joe adding to the flavour of the evening by dressing up as jockey.  They were ably assisted by Bonnie and Brenda as ‘bookies’.  The main event of the evening was the Richard Mourant Stakes where the horse race winners had to answer a tricky tie-break question about the sugar content of Brut champagne.  Martin Adams was closest to the correct answer and Joe rewarded him with a magnum of champagne. The excellent meal was cooked by Anna with help from Chloe, Jemima and Josefina.  Overall the evening raised £480 for the Royal Marsden Hospital.
  • Tamesis merlins win back Three Burgee Trophy

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    A Tamesis team led by Merlin Captain Joe Woods successfully defended the team race trophy called the Three Club Burgee.  The Trophy is competed for annually by teams from Tamesis, Thames SC in Surbiton and Minima YC at Kingston.  The clubs take it in turn to host the event.  This year it was Minima’s turn. The team comprising Joe Woods, John Adams, Zoe Adams, Ken Duffell and Ellen Schwartz were towed up first thing on Sunday – the fastest they went all day.  See the photo above taken by Zoe Adams.
  • Rob Wilder wins Sondown Cup

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    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.    
  • Hot summer weather takes over Autumn Regatta

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    Carolyne Vines and Jon Redding The crews of the 33 boats which sailed in the Tamesis Autumn Regatta on Sunday 11 September could be excused for thinking the weather was making a determined bid to have it renamed the Long Hot Summer Regatta.  Warm sunshine, temperatures in the mid-20s and a gentle southerly breeze and later westerly wind combined to make the racing as challenging as it was enjoyable. A fleet of 13 Lasers made the running with Jon Redding, normally a Merlin helmsman, sweeping ahead of all the others with three firsts in (188044) borrowed from Nick Forbes.  Second, in Laser (130773) was Chris Taggart counting a fifth, sixth and third.  Constantin Gerber was third in Buzz (39245) with a tenth, fourth and second. Only one of the five Merlins sailed the required three races.  Rob Wilder crewed by his daughter Milly in Flinkidink (1097) had three firsts.  Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris were second in the first race in Crescendo (607). The race between three National 18s was won after the application of handicaps by Vice Commodore Alan Green crewed by Peter Konidaris in Orion (336), scoring a third and two firsts.  Chris Pollard and Jim Green were second in Antedote (348) with a first, third and second. The Handicap class was won by Alex and David Cane, of Minima, in the Enterprise Alanah (E21439).  There was a six boat turnout of enthusiastic youngsters in Toppers.  The winner was Edward Mayley, from Minima, in Jester (20320), with three firsts. Commodore Carolyne Vines, the OOD, set a modest course, with an east-west dogleg opposite the Clubhouse.  She was assisted by Angela Caldara, Susan Green, Caroline Stilwell and James Berry.  Chris Starr manned the patrol boat and the Club launch was operated by Daniel Gerber and Florian Krueger The regatta was organised by Chris Pollard, Rear Commodore Sailing, who also presented the prizes.  Lunch was prepared and served by Jo Carstens with help from Lauren, Josaphine and Theo in the bar.    
  • Porteous Cup and Southcott Trophy Sat 20 August

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    With up to 60 mile an hour gusts forecast in parts of the UK, it wasn’t perhaps surprising conditions for the De May Vintage Open Meeting held at Tamesis on Saturday 20th August were going to be lively. Blowing predominantly west south westerly, and gusting from mid to high 20’s +; conditions were challenging to say the least. Officer of the day Brian Southcott with Hugh McLaughlin in the box; opted for the dog-legged course P. International judge, Mr Chris Simon had kindly agreed to be our rule 42 adjudicator and was ready in the dory.  Up for contention, the Porteous Cup for overall winner and Southcott Trophy for winner of the last race – Four boats made their way to the start: 607 Crescendo (Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris); 723 Cindy (Mervyn Allen and Lora Stock); 1004 Avenger (Ken Duffell and his grandson Matty Valentine) and 3259 Andromeda (David Baker and Jim Green). Five laps were set for the first race with all boats away without issue.  Berry Ritchie taking and maintaining for all of the race 1st place with David, Ken and Mervyn 2nd 3rd and 4th respectively. With only a short interlude, race 2 got underway with 3 laps set in conditions which were only getting windier. At the top and bottom marks, as ever the wind was fickle swirling off the surrounding buildings while in front of the club house and dog leg marks the full blustery wrath of the wind added to the excitement. This time 607 and 3259 jostled between 1st and 2nd place with eventual winner David finishing first on the water although 2nd to Berry after handicap. Ken maintained 3rd with his young crew doing a brilliant job in the tough conditions. Mervyn unfortunately had to retire with the top of his main sail forced out of the luff track. After time out for lunch, the wind was now at its zenith. For the 3rd race only Ken opted to venture out using his heavier and uglier crew member Joe Woods as much needed ballast. Completing the course without issue 1004 took the 3rd and final race – by no means a given in the windy conditions. So to the awards – our brave and wind tussled hair competitors gathered over tea and scones for the prize ceremony. Introduced by Mervyn, Chris Simon handed out the prizes: Porteous Cup:  1st 607 Crescendo Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris; 2nd 3259 Andromeda David Baker and Jim Green; 3rd 1004 Avenger Ken Duffell and Matt Valentine and 4th Mervyn Allen and Lora Stock. Southcott Trophy:  1st Avenger Ken Duffell and Joe Woods My congratulations to all! Joe Woods
  • Joe McLaughlin completes the Prudential Ride London bike ride

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    Joe McLaughlin completes the Prudential Ride London bike ride on Sunday 31st July Starting at 7.03am from the Olympic park in Stratford he completed the 100mile loop around the Surrey hills and back to The Mall in a ride time of 5hrs13mins. Raising over £1000 for the charity Bliss it was an amazing experience and a real honour to ride for such a great cause. Riding along with 26,000 other riders on open roads was both thrilling and un-nerving at the same time. A deliberate looking nail in his tyre at the 30 mile mark and short hold ups at two of the major downhill crashes aside, it was an excellent day and a highly recommended challenge. Big thanks to all of those who donated! It’s not too late here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Joe-McLaughlin1 Now back to some sailing….
  • Salcombe4 – It’s Tough Here!

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    Not to be outdone by Ken and Joe, Rupert managed an even more spectacular prang on Tuesday, however undaunted and with the help of his support team and carbon fibre expert Phil Scott, he was on the water again  the next day. Some pics below – Not a great day for Tamesis members overall. Andrew in Millie was black flagged, Joe and Ken had a good race finishing 38th and Rupert and Paul eventually got round in the tricky conditions for a 52nd. Overall rankings stand at 71, 100 and 114 respectively……….Hmmmm. Ex Tammy members fared better – Will and Mary Henderson had a 1st today and now rank 3rd overall. Caroline Croft had a 5th, and ranks 13th overall Fran Gifford as crew had a 10th and now 17th overall David and Abigail Croft 12th on the day and 50th overall The week has flown by as usual – one day to go.  
  • Salcombe2

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    Sunday 10th July Red and Green, and Black and Blue First day of sailing and it blew like old boots! The Tamesis line up is – 3479 Ragtime  Rupert Fletcher and Paul Jamieson 3606  Take it Easy  Ken Duffell  and Joe Woods 3649  Millie  Andrew Harris and Andrea Downham Ex Tammy members and Tammy members crewing include – 3165  Panatella  David Croft and Abigail Croft  (RYA) 3673  Caroline Croft and Beka Jones  (Blithfield) 3676  Hot Tottie  Phil Dalby and Fran Gifford  (Ranalagh) 3726  The Dark Side  Will Henderson and Mary Henderson  (Salcombe) Local friends from Hampton include  – 3560 Luka  Stuart and Anna Jenkins 3652   John and Olivia Bell The morning race was red and green flights and the afternoon – rather appropriately black and blue! It was blowing quite hard for the first race and Rupert decided to retire half way through with the boat in one piece, not fancying a blast up to Gerston in those conditions. Ken and Joe persevered but broke a spreader off capsizing and were towed in. Fortunately after much searching they located Dirty Hands Phil Scott who promised an overnight carbon fibre repair. Fingers crossed they’ll be back on the water for Monday afternoon. The best placed Tammy member was Fran Gifford, 5th with Phil Dalby, and ex Tammy Caroline Croft was just behind at 6th. Will and Mary Henderson were 14th For the afternoon race the wind had really got up and it was chaotic around the start line with capsizes all over the place.  Andrew had a great start from the Salcombe end of the line and eager Tammy spectators were mystified when he failed to appear with the leaders on the run back. Even more disappointed as nearly the whole fleet (at least the select band of successful starters) came past. The story was revealed by Caroline Croft in the bar later, that he was 4th round the first mark, but in their eagerness to get the spinny up the instant they rounded the upwind mark in the fiercesome blow, they capsized spectacularly, and took rather a long time to recover. Shame! John Bell came 18th in the afternoon and David Croft 27th With no Tammy boats finishing on Sunday, we are hoping for better luck tomorrow!   Morning and afternoon starts, with Millie 3649 beautifully positioned.
  • Salcombe Merlin Week

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    A select band represents Tamesis at Salcombe this year. Andrew Harris returns in Millie, and  regulars Ken Duffell and Joe Woods in Take it Easy, and Rupert Fletcher and Paul Jamieson in Ragtime. Saturday morning was lovely, but the weather closed in and the pictures show the general misty view in the afternoon as the clouds engulfed the hillsides. The crossing from Batson to Mill Bay was quick enough, but the chilly wait for the trollies to arrive was no joke. Take it Easy is de-powered approaching Mill Bay.     
  • 17 boats compete in Spring Regatta

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    Seventeen boats took part in the Spring Regatta at Tamesis on Sunday 22 May but, disappointingly, only nine competed in all three races. Of the 10 Merlins which entered, four did not sail in the second race and five did not compete in the third. One of the five Lasers withdrew after the first race. Both National 18s sailed in all three races. With all three races to count, those boats which did not compete in the last two races lost any hope of winning a trophy. Rupert Fletcher won the Merlins in Omega (1605) with only a fifth and two thirds because Jon Redding, who won the first two races in Pikey did not sail in the third. Ken Duffell was second in Take it Easy (3606) with an eighth, fourth and second. In the Lasers, Donald Forbes scored two firsts and a second in Storm (146120). Peter Johnson won the third race in Zhik (180963) and was second overall with a fourth, second and first. The first two races were held in warm sunshine and a light south westerly wind which had welcome but short lasting gusts every now and again. Officer of the Day Brian Southcott set a double dogleg course with the upstream mark just north of Steven’s Eyot and the downstream mark about a third of the way down Trowlock Island. He was assisted by Cherry Erlich and the patrol safety boats were operated by Ken Thatcher and Joanna Rand. Many spectators enjoyed watching the racing from the Clubhouse, the veranda, and the seats in front of the lawn. The regatta was organised by Tamesis Commodore Carolyne Vines, who also presented the prizes. Results: Merlins 1 Omega (1605) Rupert Fletcher & James Berry/Phil Abbey 11 points; 2 Take it Easy (3606) Ken Duffell & Joe Woods 14 points. Lasers 1 Storm (146120) Donald Forbes 4 points: 2 Zhik (180963) Peter Johnson 7 points; 3 (59700) Emilie Hall 9 points. National 18s 1 Orion (336) Alan Green & Peter Konidaris 4 points; 2 One over the Eight (349) Doug Pope & Jose Ugarte 5 points.
  • Matt P-J gets line honours at Ranelagh Tideway Race

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    Matt Peregrine Jones crewed by Ben Ramage were first over the line in the recent Tideway Race held by Ranelagh Sailing Club. The course was set down stream from Putney to a buoy opposite Battersea Park, then back to the club. The fleet consisted of merlins, lasers, solos and enterprises
  • Racing and training Sunday 10th April

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    Racing took place in a gusty south easterly (ish) and lots of fun was had by all. Was hard work though! Photos below by Robin Lince   Lot               Racing took place in a gusty south easterly (ish) and lots of fun was had by all. Was hard work though! Photos above Training continued on Sunday when even experienced racer did a bit of capsizing in the morning . Despite force three southerly winds the young students had a great time on and in the water and the adults braved the elements in the Laser 2000s .  Photos below by Robin Lince and Eric Eric     
  • All bets off for Merlin Horse Race Evening Saturday 19th March

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    On Saturday evening 37 members and guests attended the Merlin Party to watch filmed races, laying bets on which runners would win and loudly encouraging their favoured steeds while enjoying a 3 course meal.  In total, the evening raised £490 for the Royal Marsden Hospital.  The event was organised by Jim Green and our Merlin captain, Joe Woods, who was suitably attired in jockey’s racing silks (see picture).  They were ably assisted by David and Deb Baker and Bonnie Green.  Thanks to Jo Carstens, Theo and Lauren for producing an excellent meal and staffing the bar.   There were seven races in total with six visits to the horses and one to the dog track.  The third race of the evening was the Richard Mourant Memorial Stakes won by Jeremy Humphrey who received a bottle of pink fizz following a tie break.  
  • Busy Autumn Regatta

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    Photos taken at the Autumn Regatta yesterday.  Report to follow       Commodore Stewart Colley presents the Autumn Cup for Merlins to Ben Ramage (crew) and Matt Peregrine Jones (helm).  photo Ian Ramage
  • Peter and Richard Mason win the Restless Trophy

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    Peter and Richard Mason won the Restless Trophy in convincing fashion today. The Trophy is awarded to the first Merlin in the club race which takes place on the Sunday of Merlin Week at Salcombe, which is very popular with Tamesis merlins. Three boats took part.  To begin with the racing was very close with the Masons and David Baker crewed by Caroline Stilwell in Andromeda were neck and neck. The Masons sailing Bambusa drew away in the third round of five, to win by a minute. The race had to be postphoned as the wind dropped before the normal start time.  The wind got up during the race, and by the finish, conditions were much better. Chris Balmbro crewed by his son Will in Bad Company was third.
  • Real Magic

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    Richard would have been nagging all you Merlin sailors, so I am now taking up the  task on his behalf. “Real Magic”, a coffee table book, sets out, brilliantly, the first 70 years of the Merlin Rocket. Researched and written by David “Dougal” Henshall it is a tour de force, not cheap at £40 but, if your interest in Merlins goes beyond just steering them, it is a must have. Loads of hull lines, photos and drawings – from the end of WW2 to the present. To buy simply go on the MROA website Forum, scroll down to “Real Magic” and Dougal explains.
  • Real Magic – 70 Years of the Merlin Rocket

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      Dear Merlin Rocket Fleet and other interested membership, For anyone not aware of the imminent publication and release of a new and comprehensive history of the Merlin Rocket – ‘Real Magic, 70 Years of the Merlin Rocket’ – I thought it would be a good idea to publicise the book here for anyone interested in purchasing copies. It is retailing at £40 a copy with postage and packing at £4.  The book runs at more than 350 pages in a ‘coffee table’ style layout and aside from the comprehensively researched text, there are a large number of high quality photographs and full plan line drawings.  If you are able to make it to the Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 28th February, a high profile book launch is planned for the morning on Stand C62 by the author David ‘Dougal’ Henshall.  If you cannot make it to the show and still want to avoid P&P, MROA chairman Fran Gifford has also kindly offered to take delivery of copies in her van for collection from Ranelagh Sailing Club in Putney. Whether you prefer postal delivery or collection from the Dinghy Show or Ranelagh SC, please see details below from an MROA forum post explaining how to order copies: “There are three ways to get your order confirmed and paid for: PayPal Bank Transfer Cheque posted direct I can confirm that the cost of the book is £40. P&P for single books will be £4. Orders for multiple copies or books going abroad, I will email straight back to you with a price. To place your order, just send me an email to: orders@davidhenshallmedia.co.uk My PayPal ID is the same as the order page. If you want to do Bank Transfer, I will email you back with the details.  Those wishing to post a cheque will get an email back with my address, though for Association Members that is in the current Yearbook. If you want your copy posted to you, remember to add your address to the email, the books should start to be posted out the first week of March. For those of you coming to the Show, a quick reminder that the ‘witching hour’ is 10.30am Saturday, on stand C62. I’m looking forward to the day (day?? – BOTH days) and being able to thank as many of you as possible, for without the input of so many people, the spell of Real Magic would never have been cast!”    
  • Merlin Rocket Winter Series Part Two

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    Well it’s great to see two qualifiers so far for the Black Mark Trophy, with Ken Duffell in first place on 53 points after 12 races averaging just under 4.5 points per race, and John Adams not far behind having qualified so far with 64 points, working out at just over five points per race.  Peter Mason missed the last Sunday’s race on the 1st February (which had only three takers – Richard Harris, John Adams and Ken Duffell, finishing in that order), but has only one more to complete in order to qualify.  Averaging a steady three points per race, this should take him and his brother Richard into overall lead. It would be good to see a few more numbers on the water for the final eight races which, at this stage, could see a possible 11 boats qualify.  Chief in this motivation I feel, aside from the varied sailing conditions on offer so far, has been Kaan Yargici’s excellent new website results page with updated race results pretty much EVERY Sunday.  The results layout design, with those sailing the most races and achieving the lowest points prior to qualifying getting ranked first, has I hope encouraged more people to race, even though I, due to health reasons, haven’t been able to more recently. So, let’s see if we can’t get a few more of those shiny Merlins of the Tamesis fleet out on the water for the final two months of February and March. Happy sailing. Richard Mourant Merlin Rocket Class Captain
  • Merlin Rocket Party due on 21st March to be postponed

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    The Merlin Rocket fleet is proud to announce the long anticipated return of the infamous horse racing night and dinner on Saturday 21st March 2015.  Unfortunately the party has been postponed.  Please watch this space for further details. Please see the Events section of the website for more details. PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS.
  • Merlin Rocket Summer Series 2014 Results

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      Dear Merlin Rocket Fleet, As promised, here are the final overall results for this summer’s (2014) Bridger and Handicap Cup Series. Summer Series (Bridger Cup) 2014 Summer Series (Handicap Cup) 2014 Again, as with last winter, there were six qualifiers, leaving prizes for the first three as follows: Bridger Cup 1st Peter and Richard Mason, Bambusa (847) – 15 pts 2nd David Baker and Jim Green, Andromeda (3259) – 32 pts 3rd Ken Duffell and various crew, Harry (3599) – 35 pts Handicap Cup 1st Peter and Richard Mason, Bambusa (847) – 28 pts 2nd Chris Balmbro & Constantine Gerber, Bad Company (3062) – 31 pts 3rd Rupert Fletcher and James Berry, Omega (1605) – 34 pts   Congratulations to Peter and Richard on winning both the on-the-water and handicap series.
  • Merlin Rocket Winter Series 2013-2014 Results

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      Dear Merlin Rocket Fleet, Here are the overall results for last winter’s (2013-2014) Black Mark Trophy and Handicap Cup Series. Winter Series (Black Mark Trophy) 2013-2014 Winter Series (Handicap Cup) 2013-2014 There were six qualifiers, with prizes for the first three as follows: Black Mark Trophy 1st Peter and Richard Mason, Bambusa (847) – 10 pts 2nd David Baker and Jim Green, Andromeda (3259) – 13 pts 3rd Ken Duffell and various crew, Harry (3599) – 18 pts Handicap Cup 1st Richard Mourant and Joe Woods, Take It Easy (3606) – 17 pts 2nd Peter and Richard Mason, Bambusa (847) – 20 pts 3rd Rupert Fletcher and James Berry, Omega (1605) – 22 pts   Summer Series 2014 overall results will be posted later today. It would be great to see as many of you as possible at the prizegiving dinner on Saturday 15th November.
  • BRILLIANT WIN FOR TAMESIS IN THREE BURGEE TROPHY

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    Tamesis Club on Sunday 26th October won a close-fought series of six races sailed in Vintage Merlin Rockets (each boat more than 30 years old) by teams from Tamesis, Minima Yacht Club and Thames Sailing Club for the venerable Three Burgee Trophy, a fine framed montage of embroidered burgees surrounded by silver plaques from many years’ competition.  The racing, in variable, mainly SW winds averaging 6-8 knots took place in front of the Tamesis clubhouse where many supporters from the three clubs watched from the lawns and clubhouse as boats vied for position round the marks and finished often only a few seconds apart. The three teams raced the tightly-packed back-to-back round robin series between 1400 and 1630.  The winning team comprised Ken Duffell and Matt Peregrine-Jones in Merlin 995, with John Adams and daughter Zoe in 1602, and Richard Mourant and Joe Woods in 1212, scoring wins in races 1, 4 and 5. Second-placed was Thames SC with two wins in races 2 and 6, the team comprising Chris Martin and Pippa Mccosh in 3656, Gemma Hughes and Philippa Daniels in 3548, with Stephen Kettner and Nikki Erskine-Tulloch in 2805.  Third team was Minima YC who won race 3 with Ben Marshall and Soul Sheehan in 2529, Selshah and Alex Cane in 1872 and Paul Seamen and Eileen Barry in 1952. RNLI benefit  During the day’s racing the Ladies from the Twickenham Branch of  RNLI came for their annual visit to the club making brisk sales of christmas cards and souvenirs: boats taking part in the Three Burgee Trophy each donated to the cause. In welcoming the visiting teams to Tamesis, Commodore Stewart Colley said the club was delighted to be host to the event, which rotates in a three-year cycle between the three clubs.  All maintain an active Merlin Rocket fleet.  The Commodore thanked race officers Alan and Susan Green and Peter Konidaris, patrol boat crew Paul and Mrs Jamieson, Nicky Chavasse and her staff for their excellent catering and other Tamesis members for their support.    
  • Hampton SC Merlin Open

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    Just finished a great weekend Merlin sailing at Hampton SC. Yesterday was the last of the De May series events for vintage boats. It was a decent breeze with a beat upstream and run downstream. I was crewed by Alex Warren from Shoreham SC and we managed to win all three races, so won the open and also won the De May Series for vintage Merlins. Dana Church & Matt PJ also were sailing and finished 6th overall. Today was another decent breeze a little stronger and I was crewed by Joe McLaughlin. We won the first race which went on for 1:30mins from John & Deirdre Bell. The second race was sailing in an increasing breeze won by Frances Gifford and Alex Warren, we finished 5th in this race. It was all to play for in the last race, John Bell had a flyer of start and sailed off into the lead. We finished 3rd and Matt (helming on sunday) did us a favour by beating Frances to finish 4th. So overall we finished 2nd and John & Deirdre Bell from Hampton won the event.
  • Bambusa wins Trafalgar Trophy

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    It blew hard before the battle and after the battle was over, but just as at Trafalgar in 1805, the battle for the Trafalgar Trophy at Tamesis on Sunday 19 October took place in much lighter winds. Most of the race was sailed in a light southerly force 3 which gave the 13 competitors a difficult up river beat into the sheltered water beyond Steven’s Eyot. There was enough stream to make the rounding on the Canbury mark a tricky business and the Lensbury buoy, set half way down Trowlock Island, proved equally difficult. The six competing Lasers were the first away on this 91 minute class pursuit race, followed by an Albacore, four Merlins and two National 18s. Donald Forbes established an early lead in his Laser, Greylag (188044) but after the second round of this three round race he was facing some strong competition from David Baker and Jim Green in Cobblers, the Albacore (6813). It was not long before the leading Merlins joined the battle and Peter and Richard Mason, the eventual winners, in Bambusa (847), were soon pressing the Lasers and Albacore hard. Several boats in each class were lapped by the leaders and one Laser gave up in sheer frustration with the awkwardness of the wind shifts and retired. Results: 1 Bambusa (MR847) Peter & Richard Mason; 2 One over the Eight (N18 349) Doug Pope & Jose Ugarte; 3 Greylag (L 188044) Donald Forbes; 4 Limelight (L 42169) Kaan Yargici; 5 Cobblers (A 6813) David Baker & Jim Green. Peter Fryer, the Race Officer, was assisted by Daniel Gerber and the patrol boats were manned by Paul Jamieson, Simon Craig, Chris Pollard and Carolyne Vines. For more picture see The Gallery.  
  • 50 sailors take part in keenly competitive Autumn Regatta

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    Twenty five boats helmed and crewed by 50 sailors took part in some keenly competitive racing at Tamesis Club’s Autumn Regatta on Sunday 14 September. The Thames A Raters were sent on a lengthy course to Lensbury which gave a beat from a downstream start followed by a reach and beat upriver to a Canbury buoy near Hampton Wick Bridge. The other classes had a shorter course. A moderate to fresh gusty easterly wind provided some exciting sailing, with several capsizes, and the result of the three races for the majestic A Raters had to be postponed pending the outcome of a protest hearing. The Autumn Cup for Merlins (presented by Ken Duffell the Merlin Class Captain in 2005) was won by Richard Harris, with two firsts in Passing Cloud (1079), crewed by his son, Harry. The other first, counting the best two of three races, was scored by Rob Wilder and his young daughter Milly Chong-Wilder in Flinkidink (1097). Ian Burnett won the National 18 Class in Zephyr (374), crewed by Angela Caldara. Donald Forbes in Greylag (188044) fought off some strong competition in the Laser fleet from his grandson Nick Forbes in Storm (146120) and Henry Defries, who won the first of the three races in Phew (178209). The Race Officer, Mervyn Allen, was assisted by Anne Bayne, and the Club launch was operated by Chris Starr and Sara Jamieson. Vice Commodore Carolyne Vines presented the prizes. There were visiting boats from Thames and Upper Thames Sailing Clubs. Results:- Merlin Rockets: 1 Passing Cloud (1079) Richard & Harry Harris, 2 Flinkidink (1097) Rob Wilder & Milly Chong-Wilder, 3 Pikey (3520) Jon & Amanda Redding, 4 Andromeda (3259) Dave Baker & Jim Green; National 18s: 1 Zephyr (374) Ian Burnett & Angela Caldara, 2 Antedote (348) Chris Pollard & Kaan Yargici; Lasers: 1 Greylag (188044) Donald Forbes, 2 Storm (146120) Nick Forbes, 3 Phew (178209) Henry Defries.
  • Ken Duffell wins Merlin Trophy at Minima’s 125th anniversary regatta

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    Tamesis helmsman Ken Duffell won the Merlin Rocket Cup at Minima YC’s 125th anniversary regatta on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September. Sailing Harry (MR 3599), he was crewed on Saturday by Brian Corking and on Sunday by his grandson Matthew Valentine. The Trophy was presented by the Mayor of Kingston. For full report and pictures please see Report
  • Richard Harris wins last of the 2014 Thursday evening races

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    The last of this year’s summer Thursday evening handicap races for the G W Smith Trophy on 28 August was won by Richard and Sue Harris in Passing Cloud, Merlin 1079. They led the 17 strong fleet throughout, completing four rounds of a Canbury-Lensbury plus north-south dogleg course in 35 minutes in a light to moderate SW wind. The leading Laser, Greylag (188044) was sailed by Donald Forbes. The fleet was made up of four Merlins, five Lasers, three National 18s, two Fireflies, two Toppers and an Albacore.
  • Merlin 2195 Exertion SOLD

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    2195 EXERTION, Martin Jones expectant, blue hull, full gear including mast, cover and launching trolley. This boat is ready to take away and given a new start. It is very low cost way for a young person to get started in Merlins. We will accept any offer; remember all the money just goes to the club. Contact Mervyn Allen 020 8991 5509 07711 41 42 43 S O L D
  • Merlin 2047 Zebbedi

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    S O L D   2047 Zebbedi Proctor XV1, white hull, Chippendale, full gear including mast, cover and launching trolley. This boat is ready to take away and given a new start. It is very low cost way for a young person to get started in Merlins. We will accept any offer; remember all the money just goes to the club. Contact Mervyn Allen 020 8991 5509 07711 41 42 43
  • Merlin Lady Hyperion no. 2037 for sale at £1250

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    Lady Hyperion no. 2037 for sale at £1250 This was built in 1967 to Procter Design IXb by Chippendale. Varnished deck, blue painted hull with one suit of Rush sails and two spinnakers. Combination trolley and road trailer. Can be seen in the Dinghy park near the Smithy. Pinell and Bax canvas cover (bought yr 2000) in reasonable condition. Ring Doug Pope on 020 8337 6844
  • David and Abigail Croft win Old Boat Prize at Salcombe Merlin Week

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    Caroline Croft was best placed Tamesis member at 14th David Croft and his daughter Abigail won the Old Boat Prize in Panatella (MR 3165) at Salcombe Merlin Week from 6 to 11 July at which they finished 41st overall. David’s other daughter Caroline was 14th overall crewing for Ben Hollis in MR 3688. Andy Douglas was 26th crewing for Will Rainey in MR 3752. There were 126 entries. The final day of sailing during this year’s Merlin Rocket week was at times all too familiar for those active during Tamesis winter sailing. The morning saw light winds, giving Ken Duffell a finish at 50th with crew Stewart Colley. A greater number of Tamesis boats sailed (and drifted!) during the afternoon, when the start was delayed due to a combination of light winds and strong tides. A number of boats opted to await the start from the beach, in order to avoid losing position to the strong inward current. The start line featured such light winds that the race had been underway for 20 minutes before some boats were able to cross the start line. Canny navigation of the strong tidal flow and judicious use of better conditions elsewhere led to David and Abigail Croft finishing 16th, Jodok Gerber and Tina Lenzinger in 34th, and John Adams crewed by Joe Woods in 48th. Evening revelry centred on the prizegiving, held on the club’s packed terrace just before an impressive moonrise over Mill Bay. Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor (in MR 3735) came out on top after a closely fought battle with Olly Turner and Alex Warren (in ex-Tamesis boat 3656). As hoped, Panatella defended her right to The Old Boat Trophy, helmed by Dave Croft and crewed by Abigail Croft to 41st place. Ben Hollis was ably crewed by Caroline Croft in MR 3688, earning a 14th place overall. Andy Douglas crewed for 26th place Will Rainey in MR 3753, making for two more points of pride for Tamesis members. Days four and five of Merlin Rocket Week at Salcombe were a mixed bag of conditions and results. Wednesday was one of the gustier days of the event. Ken Duffell achieved an impressive 41st place in the morning race, making the most of the stronger winds. Panatella fared slightly less well than in her previous races, finishing in 31st place. Jodok was crewed by Abigail Croft in the afternoon and achieved his best result of the week: 26th place. Precious did not finish the afternoon race, discretion being the better part of valour given the gusty conditions. The day was capped off with a curry evening at the club. Thursday saw lighter conditions. Harry (MR3599), Precious (MR 3333) and Make It So (MR 3556) took to the water for the morning race. All three boats finished in close succession, taking 55th, 56th and 53rd places respectively. The afternoon saw Panatella returning to form with a 26th place, despite encountering some rudder difficulties. By the end of the day on Thursday the results were as follows: Harry in 104th, Make It So in 90th, Precious in 114th and Panatella in 44th. Caroline Croft, crewing for Ben Hollis, is in 13th place overall, while Andy Douglas, crewing for Will Rainey, is in 29th. 3656 (helmed by Olly Turner) is holding strong in 2nd place. Thursday evening’s social calendar featured the annual Tamesis share-house gathering, hosted this year by John Adams, Ken Duffell, Joe Woods, Richard Mourant, Naekyoung Kwak, Barry Mourant, Stewart Colley, and Zoe and Caroline Jeffra-Adams. The evening was continued at the club, where Nick the Fish entertained a large crowd of revellers until the wee hours. The third day of sailing at Salcombe saw light, fluky winds and some excellent results for Tamesis. At close of play on Tuesday, Precious (John Adams) was in 110th place, Harry (Ken Duffell) was in 100th place, Make It So (Jodok Gerber) in 92nd and Panatella (Dave Croft) in 44th. The morning sailors enjoyed plenty of sunshine with just a short shower to punctuate the race. The winds were light, but the Tamesis sailors were stood in good stead to deal with the shifting wind, especially shimmying along the final beat. Precious placed 56th, Make It So 48th, while Panatella stormed to 8th place. This excellent result puts Panatella at the head of the competition for the Old Boat Trophy. The afternoon brought more rain, but Ken Duffell (crewed by Commodore Stewart Colley) secured a strong 44th in the race. John and Jean Meredith were kind enough to host drinks in the evening for the Tamesis attendees. Day one of Merlin Rocket Week at Salcombe set the standard for a great week of sailing. Wall to wall sunshine, with a force 3-4 breeze made for great sailing and spectating. The morning saw three Tamesis boats take to the water: John Adams in Precious with Zoe Jeffra-Adams, Jodok Gerber and Tina Lenzinger in Make It So and Richard Mourant in Take it Easy with Joe Woods. Jodok finished in an impressive 38th place. John Adams retired after a spectacular capsize on the run. The afternoon saw stronger winds, with a number of boats capsizing on the first run – including David and Abigail Croft in Panatella. Also sailing in the afternoon was Ken Duffell with Joe Woods in Harry, who managed to recover from a capsize at the last mark of the course (mark 3) to secure 53rd place. Ken maintains he lost 10 places as a result of that incident. Panatella, meanwhile, finished 43rd. At the end of play on Sunday, the leaders were Olly Turner in 3565, Mike Calvert in 3691 and Dave Winder in 3735. (Reports by Caroline Jeffra-Adams and Zoe Jeffra-Adams) For full Salcombe results please see Results
  • Jon and Joanna Redding win Cutty Sark Bolt in Pikey

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    The Cutty Sark Bolt (also known as The Great Tea Race) was won by Jon and Joanna Redding in their Merlin Rocket (3520) Pikey on Sunday 29 June after a race of an hour and 45 minutes in which the 16 starters were sent off at intervals based on their class handicaps. Donald Forbes led for much of the race in Greylag, Laser (188044) but was overtaken by the Reddings in the fourth and final round which took the fleet from Tamesis to a Canbury mark set below Steven’s Eyot, then downriver to a Lensbury buoy close to Teddington weir. A brisk northerly wind gave a challenging downstream beat and a more managable upstream run on which several Merlins used their spinnakers to great advantage. Race Officer David Croft set a difficult north-south dogleg that gave competitors a short interim beat opposite the Clubhouse on their sail upriver. This caused several unexpected place changes as boats competed for the inside place at the marks and eventually lead to a protest after a collision involving three boats. The prizes, which included packs of tea, were presented on the lawn by Commodore Stewart Colley after the annual Commodore’s Cocktail Party. Entry fees totalling £80, have been donated to the Cutty Sark Trust. Results: 1 Pikey (MR 3520) Jon & Joanna Redding; 2 Greylag (Laser 188044) Donald Forbes; 3 Crescendo (MR 607) Berry Ritchie & Sue Harris; 4 Cobblers (Albacore 6813) David Baker & Jim Green; 5 Solo (4616) Peter Fryer.
  • Richard and Harry Harris second at Upper Thames

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    Richard and Harry Harris sailing Passing Cloud (1079) finished second overall on four points, counting two seconds in the first and third race at the Silver Tiller/Thames Series open meeting for Merlins at Upper Thames SC on Sunday 29 June. They were OCS in the second race but were able to discard that result. There were 20 entries. The races were sailed in sunshine and a good 10-15 mph northerly wind. Richard Mourant and Joe Woods sailing Take It Easy (3606) finished 18th overall on 28 points, counting two 14ths in the second and third races, and a discarded 20th. The winners were Laurie Smart and Vanessa Pilon of Upper Thames SC, sailing Flipside (1065), who scored three firsts. On Saturday 28 June, Rob and Helen Wilder won the De May Vintage Series open meeting at Upper Thames SC, sailing Flinkidink (1097). Dana Church and Tim Cole were fourth in Jabberwocky (1950). The race was sailed in the rain in a very light shifty wind. There were 15 entries.
  • Ken Duffell second at Minima

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    Ken Duffell and Brian Corking were second overall sailing Harry (3599) in a nine-strong fleet at the Minima YC open meeting for Merlins on Sunday 22 June. The had a third, second and fourth in the three races, and scored five points. Richard Mourant and Joe Woods finished eighth overall in Take It Easy (3606), scoring 15 points from a seventh and an eighth. The event was won by Martin Hunter of Upper Thames SC crewed by his son Jacques in Quiver (774), who had two firsts in the first two races.
  • Rob and Helen Wilder win Thames Challenge Cup in Flinkidink

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    Rob and Helen Wilder won the Thames Challenge Cup at Thames SC’s open meeting for Vintage Merlins on Saturday 14 June. Sailing Flinkidink (1097) they got the best of an upstream running start and won the first and third races in a 12-strong fleet. Crewed by his daughter Milly on Father’s Day, Sunday 15 June, Rob was second overall finishing second and third in the first two races, which were sailed back to back in a decent breeze, and sat out the last race. The winners were Alex Jones and Jack Deung from Cookham Reach SC sailing Snorter (3627). The 12 entries included visitors from Tamesis, Cookham Reach and Wembley SC. Dana Church and Tim Cole were ninth in Jabberwocky (1950)
  • David and Caroline Croft second at Ranelagh

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    David Croft and his daughter Caroline sailing Panatella (3165) came second in the Merlin Rocket Thames Series open meeting at Ranelagh Sailing Club on Saturday 7 June. After over two hours of racing, which saw the 20 strong fleet run/reach down to Battersea Power Station and then beat back to Putney, and at least four boats hold the lead on the return leg, it was a photo finish for first place between Panatella and Hot Totty (3676) sailed by Fran Gifford and Alex Warren of RSC. Panatella had a late surge to take the lead just metres from the finish line, only for the wind to reach Hot Totty and take them over the line in first place, winning by just half a boat’s length and only one second.. Richard Mourant crewed by Sarah Elliott (a Laser helm from RSC) came a bit further down the fleet in 16th, sailing Take It Easy (3606). Next on the Thames Series circuit is Thames SC next Sunday 14 June, preceded on the Saturday by the De May Series open meeting also at Thames SC. Please click on the following link to see a photo of Panatella and Hot Totty battling it out on the return beat upriver to Putney https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2906/14374261904_7d054a2175_c.jpg
  • Tamesis Merlins at Bourne End Week

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    Two Tamesis Merlins were competing in a 20 boat fleet at Upper Thames SC’s annual Bourne End regatta from Saturday 24 May to Wednesday 28 May. Their positions after six races were as follows: 7 Make it So (3556) Jodok Gerber and James Hobern 10, 9, 8, 4, 6, 5 net points 32; 11 Dynamo Humm (3411) Dana Church and Tim Cole, 11, 15, 13, 13,12, 6 net points 55. Please see http://www.utsc.org.uk/ for full results.
  • Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl won by Richard and Harry Harris

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    The Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl were won by Richard Harris and his son Harry sailing Passing Cloud (1079) at the Tamesis Merlin Rocket Thames Series open meeting on Sunday 13 April. Seventeen boats from four clubs, including Thames SC, Wembley SC and Fishers’s Green, took part in the three race meeting, which was held in a light to moderate north westerly wind and warm sunshine over a course which took the contestants on a long down river beat to the northern end of Trowlock Island followed by an upstream run to a Canbury mark set just below Steven’s Eyot. Passing Cloud won all three races. The fight for second place was, however, hotly contested and led to a protest following a collision in the final race, as a result of which Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris in Crescendo (607) moved up from third to second and Matthew Peregrine-Jones and Eddie Lowe in Masquerade (995) dropped to fourth overall. The upward adjustment of all other places led to a tie-break for fifth place. Richard and Harry Harris won the first race by a clear margin of three minutes, with Charlie Morgan and Fiona Cotteril second in Lady Anne (1978), Rob and Helen Wilder third in Flinkidink (1097), Matthew Peregrine-Jones and Eddie Lowe fourth in Masquerade (995), and Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris fifth in Crescendo (607) In the second race Flinkidink was second, Masquerade third, Crescendo fourth and Ken Duffell and Brian Corking fifth in Harry (3599). Overall results: Sondown Cup and Elizabeth Bowl (for first Vintage Merlin) 1 Passing Cloud (1079) Richard & Harry Harris, Tamesis; 2 Flinkidink (1097) Rob & Helen Wilder, Tamesis; 3 Crescendo (607) Berry Ritchie & Sue Harris, Tamesis; 4 Masquerade (995) Matthew Peregrine-Jones & Eddie Lowe, Tamesis; 5 Lady Anne (1978) Charlie Morgan & Fiona Cotteril, Tamesis. Commodore Stewart Colley presented the prizes and thanked John Harris and Margaret Stokes for serving as Race Officers, Vice Commodore Carolyne Vines and Merlin Captain Richard Mourant for organising the event, Henry Defries and Marcus Chavasse for manning the Patrol Boat, and Nicky Chavasse and Rhiannon Jones for preparing and serving lunch and tea, and Tom Brennan for serving behind the bar. Alan Green, Rear Commodore Sailing, chaired the Protest Committee.   Please click here for All Results
  • Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris win Porteous and Southcott Cups

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    Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris won both the Porteous and Southcott Cups in a nine boat fleet at the Tamesis De May Series open meeting for Vintage Merlins on Saturday 12 April. The closely fought three race event came to an exciting climax in the third race, in which only seven boats competed. Sailing Crescendo (607), Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris won the first race after completing six rounds in a light westerly wind, with Stuart and Ollie Jenkins of Hampton SC second in Luka (3560). The second race, sailed in a stronger westery wind, was won by Rob Wilder and his young daughter Milly in Flinkidink (1097). Unfortunately, they were unable to stay for the third race, so were placed third overall. Race Officer Charles Fox set a popular Tamesis course with an upstream start to Canbury, a downstream reach to Lensbury and an east-west dogleg mid-stream near the clubhouse. In the final race Luka got away to a clean start, leaving Crescendo hemmed in by other boats, and the first time round Canbury the order was Luka in the lead with former Tamesis member Steve Bartlett, now Thames SC, crewed by Constantin Gerber, second in Wishbone (908). By the time they reached the dogleg Crescendo had pulled through to second and after closing on Luka in the approach to Canbury slowly sailed into the lead to finish just over two minutes ahead. Results: Porteous and Southcott Cups: 1 Crescendo (607) Berry Ritchie & Sue Harris, Tamesis; 2 Luka (3560) Stuart & Ollie Jenkins, Hampton SC; 3 Flinkidink (1097) Rob & Milly Wilder, Tamesis. Commodore Stewart Colley presented the prizes and thanked Richard Mourant, Tamesis Merlin Class Captain, for organising the event and for calculating the handicap results. Alan Green, Rear Commodore Sailing, thanked Bill Brookbank for being the on-water umpire. The Club launch was operated by Doug Pope. Speaking on behalf of the visitors Stuart Jenkins thanked Nicky Chavasse and her helpers in the kitchen and bar, Rhiannon Jones and Jo Carstens for preparing lunch and tea.   To view more photos taken by Richard Mourant please click on http://www.flickr.com/photos/123264387@N03/sets/72157643959890573/ Please click here for Full Results
  • Joe Woods