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2023 Mermaid Trophy GAMES 4 at Guildford Report & Results

A slightly smaller entry than previously was offset by the quality of the 9 sailors, who enjoyed 16 races in superb conditions at Abbey Meads. The northerly wind straight down the lake was at times at the top end of the A rig strength, giving some exciting downwind legs on the windward leeward course.

RYA pathway coach, James Hadden borrowed Roger Stollery’s lightweight UP and was initially nervous as he had never sailed a Marblehead before, having been successful racing IOMs. He needn’t have worried as he got a good start in Race 1 and led to finish with a big lead in front of well-known dinghy sailor, Nigel Barrow and Barrie Martin both sailing a STARKERS. James won Race 2 by an even bigger margin from David Cole sailing a GRUNGE followed by Nigel, who then went on to win Race 3 from Paul Tickner sailing a GRUNGE with James 3rd.

The results were repeated in Race 4, but in Race 5 Paul came to the front with Nigel 2nd and David 3rd. James had a technical problem in this race, but came back in Race 6 to win with Nigel 2nd and Bob Iles sailing a STARKERS 3rd having made a magnificent port tack start. Nigel’s consistency gave him Race 7 in front of Bob Pearson sailing another STARKERS with James in 3rd place. The results were repeated in Race 8 and in the last race before lunch, Paul won from David and Nigel.

The lunchtime leaderboard was headed by Nigel with 10 points from James & Paul each on 15.

The forecast sunshine never arrived, but after lunch the wind had a touch more westerly direction, which caused a more variable wind that got stronger in some of the gusts. Enjoying the potential gain in tacking downwind with the swing rig, James was making the best of the extra pressure to keep UP planing for longer with the extra speed helping to win him both Races 10 and 11 from Nigel and Paul respectively. Paul was also doing consistently better in the stronger wind and won Race 12 from Nigel and James, who with Barrie got the best start in Race 13 to win ahead of David and Barrie. After some poor results, David finally hit the front to win Race 14 ahead of Bob Pearson and Paul, who went on to win Race 15. The final race would decide the winner of the event and James finished with his 7th win to beat Nigel & Paul in both Race 16 and the event.

At the prize giving James thanked Race Officer Roger Stollery for lending him his UP and for the team running the event, which he thought was great fun. The next Marblehead GAMES event in Guildford’s special 3 event Summer Series is on 17 June for the new Halfpenny Trophy.

The fleet of 9 boats and skippers from 6 clubs

Barrie Martin 103 and James 117 get the best start in Race 13

James 117 leads Nigel 54 round the leeward gate mark, with Paul 38 chasing

David Cole 74 gets the best start whilst Bob Iles’ port tack start did not work this time

Bob Iles 85 makes a perfect port tack start and successfully crossed James Hadden 117 and Nigel Barrow 54

The 3 podium finishers, Paul Tickner 38, Nigel 54 and James 117 lead the fleet away after this start

James Hadden sailing a Marblehead for the first time wins the coveted Mermaid Trophy, counting 7 first places

Nigel Barrow sailed very consistently and with 4 first places, finished just 2 points behind James

Paul Tickner receives his 3rd prize from RO Roger Stollery

1st James Hadden Gosport UP 24
2nd Nigel Barrow Frensham Pond STARKERS 26
3rd Paul Tickner Guildford GRUNGE 34
4th Bob Pearson Gosport STARKERS 56
5th David Cole Hampton Court GRUNGE 59
6th Bob Iles Poole STARKERS 62
7th Barrie Martin London MYC STARKERS 66
8th Martin Crysell Guildford PRIME NUMBER 74
9th Mark Mortimore Guildford UPROAR 122

Winner of the Best Improver’s prize – Bob Pearson.
Winner of the Vic Cooney ‘Masters’ Trophy – Bob Iles

GAMES results after this event
1st Nigel Barrow 250.1
2nd Paul Tickner 230.6
3rd Roger Stollery 223.8

Report by RO Roger Stollery

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