SALCOMBE GIN MERLIN ROCKET WEEK 2022 FINAL DAY
Published 08:56 on 9 Jul 2022
RACE 11: RED v BLACK Flights, COURSE 1,3,1,3,1,3
First up in the morning race were overall leaders Tom and Rachael against second place Mike and Jane. The start was a real head scratcher. Against the ebb tide, the town side clearly had more breeze but there were some big port lifts up the Portlemouth shore and good pressure at Biddle rocks.
Mike and Jane won the start on the town side and led up through Crab Pots to Castle Point where they crossed. Tom and Rachael won the Portlemouth shore and were able to escape from the pack to lead in to Blackstone, ahead of Mike and Jane. Both teams were well clear of George and Sophie Yeoman in third.
The leading two protagonists fought out a compelling battle at the front. Tom and Rachael extended on the run but then Mike and Jane came on the beats. Despite their best efforts, there was no way through and Tom and Rachael came home with a comfortable lead to put them on nine points for the week, with Mike and Jane on eleven.
Behind these leading two there was a right old scrap for the minor places. At the first leeward mark there were eight boats overlapped, who then split to town and beach sides of the beat. Town was the winner this time with Caroline Croft and Faye Chatterton coming through to third ahead of Jon Ibbotson and Robbie Stewart who had a stellar second beat. Tim Fells and Fran Gifford held off the challenge of Will and Rob Henderson to take fifth.
RACE 12: GREEN v BLUE Flights, Course 1,7,1,3
With the sun blazing, the temperature in the high 20s and a nice sea breeze set in, the scene was set for the final act of this hard-fought week. Christian Birrell and Luke Patience, sitting on seven points going into the last race needed a bullet to take the title. Last year, in exactly the same scenario, Christian lost his lead in the final stages. Could he convert this time?
With a strong ebb tide under the fleet a general recall was always on the cards, although surely no one would have predicted three?! This inevitably led to some black flag disqualifications, ten in total heading home early and one more being caught out by the fairway.
Richard Whitworth and Jemima Scroggie established an early lead on the first beat to Blackstone and led for most of the first downwind leg with Andy Davis and Pippa Kilsby in hot pursuit. Christian and Luke found themselves rounding the first mark with the main bunch not an ideal start to their bid for overall victory.
Andy and Pippa showed exceptional boat speed through The Bag passing Richard and Jemima then sailing off into the distance carving out a substantial lead by Gerston. Simon Potts and Holly McArthur had managed to close up to Richard and Jemima by Saltsone and this pair began to sail away from the chasing pack.
Christian and Luke now up to speed had quickly dispatched the bunch and found themselves in fourth but unfortunately for them it was too little too late. As the fleet re-entered the main stretch of the Harbour Andy and Pippa had it all under control, the race win now a formality as they finished the loop of the Harbour and sailed on to take the cannon.
Simon and Holly held off Richard and Jemima to take second place leaving them to finish off the podium places in third. Stuart Bithell and Katherine Kimber pipped Christian and Luke on the line finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Well done to Thomas and Rachel who, with three race wins, take the overall victory. Mike and Jane Calvert with an exceptionally consistent week were rewarded with second. Christian and Luke coming home in third.