The forecast for the Merlin open promised everything (except snow) and delivered just that! Not put off by the prospect of what the weather gods had in store a fleet of 30 arrived to sunshine – although the rain arrived as expected in time for the start of race one.
Dominating in the light winds, the team to beat on the water where Chris Gould and Chris Kilsby who finished the day with a race win and second place to take home the Lighthouse litre for Saturdays racing. I don’t have a clue what actually happened at the front, but the battle in the rest of the fleet offered a range of snakes and ladders style options – but it was nice to talk to so many different people! Podium places went to Simon Potts and Pippa Taylor, John Turner and Richard Parslow, Ian and Ellie Sharps, Tim Fells and Frances Gifford.
After an evening of egg throwing, hog roast, a couple of drinks and music from Phantom DJ Spinner, most campers slept through the Saturday night storm, and awoke to a manageable force four, glorious sunshine and bacon sandwiches from the fabulous galley team.
Sunday delivered some classic Shoreham conditions and I have even less idea of what happened at the front as not only was it hard to see much through the spray and over the crests of waves the main focus was to keep the mast above the boat – which we failed to do in the increasing wind in the second race. In brief; everyone had an amazing sail, there was a lot of swimming – particularly from those that hit the windward mark (although we didn’t have that excuse), #teamLymo and Tristan and Tom found the ‘go’ button in the bottom of their drinks on Saturday night and Simon Potts and Pippa Taylor showed the fleet a clean pair heals by winning both races and took home the Chairman’s cup for the Sundays races and the beautiful Sussex Flagon overall. Despite a swim in the first race the Chris’ secured another second to give them second overall, and Jon Turner and Richard Parslow notched up two thirds to give them a consistent scoreline in third overall. William and Mark took home the prize of being first Shoreham boat home in 6th and winners of the egg throwing (and catching) were Alex Warren and Mary Henderson.
Thanks to all the volunteers on and off the water at Shoreham SC that made the event such a wonderful success; Alan Chaplin, Bill and Lisa Whitney, Louise Carr and John Shelton on the committee boat. In the safety boats; John and Caz Mills, Chas Hammond, Peter Bennett, Ivan Walsh, Peter Coe, Toby Lyward, David Sellar, Chris and James from the Adur SC who also provided a RIB. On the shore thanks to Philip Ayton, Chris Lintern, Anthony Bennett, Emily Crook, Tim Holbrook, Gary Inkpen, Ian and Charlotte Knight, Nick Moore and Kelly Jackson-Miller, and everyone in galley Alice Crick, Rita Lintern, Lisa Harmsworth and Mandy Hammond, all managed by Mandy Walsh.
Shoreham SC results;
- 6th – William and Mark
- 13th – Ross and Dave
- 14th – Alan and Will
- 16th – Alex and Mary
- 19th – Toni and Jamie
- 22nd – Sophie and Dom
- 29th – Richard and Tony
Full results: http://www.shorehamsailing.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Merlin-Open-2017.htm