MerryDown Regatta Report : 8th & 9th September 2018
RVYC's Merrydown regatta 2018 attracted the largest number of entries for many years, with entries from members and visitors in classes from MOCRA multihulls and a Nacra and Dart 18s, to 18 Squibs and a solitary Oppie.
PRO, Martin Harrison, made sure the courses took advantage of the near-perfect conditions with courses in the eastern Solent, set from Martin Bedford's committee boat, Ghost. The committee boat starts enabled quicker course changes than from the club's usual courses set from the race box.
The two Merrydown races on Saturday and Sunday were mass starts for the entire fleet. On Saturday, second and third places were RVYC Squibs of Roly Wilson and crew in Bacchante VII and Ben and Chris Gibson in Whizzard and on Sunday it was Squibs in runner-up positions again – this time David Lloyd and crew in Incendio took second place ahead of Bacchante VII. But in first place both days was RVYC's Arthur Farley, taking time from his mainland events to support his home club, who took first place and the overall trophy, in a Laser Radial.
Overall winner in the cruisers was Chris Turner's Elsa, with the MOCRA's of Nigel Talbot and Richard Rae tying for joint second place.
Winner of the day boat trophy was David Lloyd and crew in Incendio, one of several Squibs which made the journey over from Portsmouth Sailing Club. Runners-up were the Gibson brothers in Whizzard with Hilary Martin and Steve Warren Smith in Rhapsody third.
The multihull dinghies were dominated by visitors from Stokes Bay in Dart 18s – Sarah Knutt, Paul Grattage and Paul Rogers.
Arthur Farley also took the trophy for fast handicap dinghies with Charlie White and Paddy Lord runners-up also in Laser Radials.
Special mention must be made of Alice Pope who was the sole Oppie sailor. She revelled in the conditions far out in The Solent, well out of her usual comfort zone sailing area and not at all phased even when turning turtle both days! Charlotte Andrews won the cup for this class, crewed on Saturday by her sister, Katy and on Sunday, by Charlotte Osborne. Charlotte Andrews was also presented with the Rickman Trophy for best junior at the regatta.
For the first time in many years, a Scow fleet made an appearance at the regatta, with their own races round a course in the mouth of the creek, with Keith Evans and Jay Garrett as race officers. In this, the 70th anniversary of the first Scow races at RVYC when it was based in Ryde, this was a very welcome return and attracted visiting Scows from Yarmouth SC. Graham Bowen and Niall Waters from Yarmouth took first and second places, with RVYC's John Waterman in third place. To celebrate the resurgence of the Scow fleet at the club, they were awarded the prestigious Thomas West Trophy for the class of regatta – this was accepted on behalf of the fleet by Martyn Squibb.
The Merrydown trophies were presented by veteran sailor, Neville Hill, who had taken part in the very first event in 1954, when it was staged by Ryde Rowing Club from their old clubhouse on Ryde Pier.
See you all on the water in 2019
Last updated 11:22 on 14 September 2018