The theme for the 2019 RYA Dinghy is #MyDinghyTribe and the Merlin Rocket Owners Association feels this is very apt, as we like to think of ourselves as a bit of a tribe, we are the #MyMerlinTribe.
We are practically one big family, and to be honest, if you look at the number of marriages within the class, we are almost there! Sailors who compete on the circuit range from Olympic champions through to club racers and you will find sailors from across the fleet on stand B16, talking about the boats on the stand, how to get involved in the class, and where the popular clubs are across the country that sail Merlin Rockets.
But what’s going to be on display and why should you take time out of your day to come and see us?
We will be launching our ‘Magic Marine Ticket to Looe’ where one lucky under 25 pairing will be in with a chance of winning the use of the class Merlin Rocket, a FREE entry to the Aspire Merlin Rocket Nationals, PLUS £500 worth of Magic Marine sailing kit to keep!
In 2019 we are running Gold, Silver and Bronze flights across the Silver Tiller as well National Championships. Driven by Olly Turner, Silver Tiller coordinator, the MROA has funded mugs for each Silver Tiller where the first Silver and Bronze boat will be rewarded. Fleets to be announced before the season starts!
Throughout the weekend, we will be running Q&A’s session with top sailors from the fleet. Come and learn from the best in the fleet.
Onto the boats.
Simon and Ally Potts will have their new mean racing machine Khazeesi on display. There are a couple of things about the Merlin Rocket, firstly we are a restricted development class, meaning sailors can tweak certain aspects of the boat in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage over the competition. Secondly whatever you do, you have to look good doing it!
Over the past few years, traditional non-slip has been replaced with various forms of non-slip rubber, and 3802 has the latest custom designed 6mm routed and inlayed logo none slip floor grip from SeaDeck. This has been fitted by Technical Marine Sales (TMS) Sales Manager Tim Parsons who has recently joined the fleet.
Other new things to keep an eye out for are there is no jib halyard, they are using a true fixed luff tensioning system along the bow tank. This is the 2019 hull tweak from Winder Boats, with a split thwart as well as being widening to allow for 11 controls either side.
They have also changed the jib and spinnaker sheeting position, as well as adopting the Rockatross designed jib car/barber fittings made by Jon Turner.
Simon and Ally will be hoisting their P&B sails, which with the jib tack forward they have a slightly larger jib area of 3.02m, and a slightly smaller foot in the main. This is a sail plan they have used for the last four years.
Myth buster coming up…… to be competitive I need to spend £25,000 on a new boat?
The boat that won the Craftinsure Silver Tiller, finished second in Salcombe, fourth at the Aspire National Championships and went onto win the 2018 Grand Slam (the highest place boat at all major events), was 3684, Keyser Soze, launched in January 2007 making her 12 years old.
The owner must have made loads of changes to it?
Andy ‘Taxi’ Davis has owned 3684 since new and has made only minor modifications as development has occurred. Changes include moving the jib tack forward and increasing the size of the spinnaker shoot. The hull remains unmodified, and as such this is a Winder Boats Mk 4. He has updated the rig, and carried out general maintenance, these are all tweaks that are relatively easy to do and keep you boat competitive at not too much of a terrifying upgrade cost.
Andy, from HD Sails will have his sails on display. Although, adopting the tack forward, approach he has kept the traditional sail area plan, maintaining the 2.8m Jib sail area.
Do I need to buy a new boat to be competitive? No. Come and talk to us, pick up the latest ‘For Sale’ list and see how you can get involved in 2019.
“At the moment I have not seen anything faster out on the water, so I don’t see the need to upgrade. There are some hull modifications that will be hitting the water this year, so I will be watching closely as to how they get on. Never say never, but now I am really pleased with how we are going,” comments Andy.
Pippa Kilsby will be taking to the Class Association Stage at the show on Sunday 3rd March at 11am to talk about the class and the plans for 2019. Come along to support Pippa and find out more.
“I’m really look forward to the show once again this year. As well as the two boats on the Merlin Rocket stand, I believe there may be a couple of others around the show. We have plenty to see, and I’m particularly pleased with who we have helping on the stand, showing the depth of the sailors in the fleet and how no matter what level your sailing ability is, we are all here to learn and share our knowledge. See on stand B16!” Pippa Kilsby, MROA Dinghy Show Organiser.
Get 10% off your tickets to the show using the following code: RYAEX46522
For more details on the class visit www.merlinrocket.co.uk or check out Merlin Rocket on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #MerlinRocket.