Merlin Rocket 'Thames Series' open at Minima YC 22 June 2015

posted 30 Jun 2014, 08:57 by Sailing Secretary   [ updated 30 Jun 2014, 09:06 ]

June’s rather hot and sultry spell of weather made for a pleasant day, if not a truly windy one, at this Merlin Rocket Thames Series open meeting held at Minima Yacht Club for the 'Eric Archer Memorial Trophy'. Nine boats were entered from clubs including Minima’s direct neighbours Tamesis Club and Thames SC, along with Wembley, Fisher’s Green and Upper Thames.

 Racing started a little after 11.00 with light, roughly northerly but shifting breezes of no more than Force 1. The sunshine had brought out moderate power boat traffic. Race Officer Kathy Collins initially set a ‘sausage’ course with both a B-mark at an optimistic distance and a passing A-mark, with the first race having a downstream start into the wind towards C. The breezes were enough to give the leaders, 1692 Hullabaloo and 774 Quiver, quick enough times to push the race to four full laps in about an hour, and there was a pleasant amount of beating.

 This was what is known as a ‘Minima day’. Approaching the second race the breeze was dying away to light airs, and the shifting warranted a change of start direction. The B-mark was taken up, C was moved much closer to the line (to help rounding in the lee of our bank-side trees) and the upstream A-mark shifted across the stream. Most boats opted for bank-creeping on the Club side of the river, but a few went for the Middlesex side and made up well for slow starts.

 Before the third race, several helms felt that sailing conditions had become so poor that it should be cancelled. But the Race Officer preferred to offer a third race, and four boats went to the start. A little while into it and a light breeze sprang up, resulting in better sailing than expected while the non-starters looked on. No-one could have predicted that breeze. Definitely a Minima day.

After thanking all Minima’s volunteers by name, Sailing Secretary Steve Collins announced the winners, and the awards were presented by Commodore Andy Banks. The Eric Archer Memorial Trophy  for the overall winner was presented to Martin and Jacques Hunter (Upper Thames SC) sailing 774 Quiver. Runners-up were Ken Duffell and Brian Corking (Tamesis Club) sailing 3599 'Harry' . Jon and Harry Steward (Wembley/ Fisher’s Green SCs) sailing 3682 Red Wizard came third.

The fleet thanked Ben Archer, in his absence, for again generously providing some bottles of  champagne for the prize giving!  See full results here.

Photos of the presentation are available on our Flickr website:

By Andy Cuckson, Assistant Race Officer