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2024 Mermaid Trophy & GAMES 4 report

by Roger Stollery

This was a superb days racing with 18 races in a limit A rig wind giving some exciting planing off wind in the gusts and providing almost perfect conditions for the 9 competitors from 6 clubs.

The clouds cleared away, the sun shone and it became very warm, as if suddenly summer had arrived. Race Officer Alan Viney set a long two lap windward/ leeward course in a forecast 12-24 mph south south-westerly wind, which gradually went more south-westerly in the afternoon.

The racing started with a win for 14 year old Oliver Stollery, who made a good start with his borrowed F6 and led the race from start to finish from Rob Vice and his dad Peter Stollery, both sailing UP designs. Not to be outdone Peter won Race 2 from Rob with grandad Roger Stollery also sailing an UP in 3rd place.

Race 3 saw Rob win with Barrie Martin sailing his STARKERS SQUARED 2nd and Oliver 3rd. The important leaderboard after race 3 showed Rob leading Peter & Oliver with Barrie 4th.

From then on the races were won by these skippers with Rob winning 10, Peter 5, Barrie & Roger 1 each. The wind became more south-westerly in the afternoon which made consistency much more difficult, making sure you are in the right place at the right time to match the varying shifts.

RO Alan’s initial briefing warned competitors about sailing into the bushes at the edge of the lake, but there were several interruptions to the racing whilst either the rescue boat was sent out or the long telescopic pole was used to free them. However, apart from these interruptions Alan wasted no time between races and was praised at the prize giving for continuing racing until the 6 hour time Limit set in the NoR, when so many clubs shorten racing time for their convenience and upset competitors travelled long distances to race.

The UPs were particularly fast downwind, but it was very good to see the older M designs like STARKERS performing so well for Barrie, who finished 3rd overall and maintained his position at the top of the GAMES leaderboard. Rob’s UP is a special version which he designed/fitted out from the basic hull shape and by constant refinement over the last 2 years has got got it going at its best, as demonstrated at this event.

At the prize giving, where the prizes were given away by this event’s photographer, Celia Greetham, Rob expressed his delight at winning for the first time this special bronze Mermaid Trophy, which he had always strived to win. He thanked the Guildford Race team of Alan & Keith Parrott for their efforts in running another very good event.

1st. Rob Vice, Guildford, UP, 21 points, winner of Mermaid Trophy
2nd. Peter Stollery, Guildford, UP, 33
3rd. Barrie Martin, London, STARKERS, 50, winner of ‘Grandmaster’ Trophy
4th. Roger Stollery, Guildford, UP, 57, Best Improver winner
5th. Oliver Stollery, Guildford, F6 74, Junior prizewinner
6th. Graham Hetem, Datchet, F6 92
7th. Martin Crysell, Guildford, PRIME NUMBER, 94
8th. Lewis Wyeth, Gosport, STARKERS, 99
9th. David Cole, Hampton Court, GRUNGE, 100
10th. Chris Watkins, Royal Temple, ROAR EDGE, 140

This event is the first of the Guildford’s 3 Marblehead Summer Series events with the next one for the Halfpenny Trophy GAMES 5 on Saturday, 11 May 2024.

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