The fleet of 20 Marbleheads made a fantastic spectacle on Guildford Model Yacht Club’s Abbey Meads water on Sunday 2nd November. The forecast strong winds did not materialise, but there was sufficient winds in the afternoon gusts to generate some planning on the off wind legs. The 5-7 mph SSW wind, parallel to the control area gave a long windward/leeward course and lots of good racing with a steady breeze in the morning and a more unpredictably gusty wind from the SW in the afternoon.

A long start line allowed the whole fleet the chance to get some good starts with a very few collisions and competitors who made the best starts and could pick the shifts, got to the windward mark first. On the long runs, boats with swing rigs came out best as they were able to adjust their sail angles to keep driving all the time. Apart from Fireball and ocean racer legend, Dick Jobbins, who won the first race with a conventionally rigged Houlton designed CONSTELLATION 2, all the race winners were either CRAZY TUBE FREE or QUARK designs. The morning’s racing was dominated by Peter Stollery with a score of 6 followed by Darin Ballington with 17 and John Shorrock with 28.

The afternoon racing was dominated by Rob Vice and Tony Guerrier, with 3 wins each. Often the leading boats would create big leads if they picked up the right shifts and got the best gusts downwind. Behind them the racing was often very close with groups crossing the line within seconds. Mention must be made of Race 9, where Terry Rensch led the fleet round the first lap, but was overtaken by Rob on the run and Austin Guerrier on the beat to finish in 3rd place!

Everyone enjoyed sailing the 13 races  on this large open sailing water with a good breeze.

It was encouraging for GMYC to welcome six competitors who had never sailed in the Mermaid before and who were new to Marblehead racing. They will be back for more!

Mermaid 2014 Results

1stPeter StolleryGuildfordCRAZY TUBE FREE 27
2ndDarin BallingtonManor ParkROK40
3rdTony Guerrier3 Rivers RYCQUARK42
4thJohn ShorrockGuildfordQUARK55
5thRob ViceGuildfordCRAZY TUBE FREE65
6thAustin Guerrier3 Rivers RYCPRIME NUMBER68

Brief report by Roger Stollery. Full report to follow.