In these doom-laden times for club racing, it’s good to hear of the rapid development of the Merlin Rocket class at Itchenor SC.
Having welcomed Merlin Rockets as a new class this year, Itchenor SC is preparing to host their first Merlin Open Meeting on Sunday 24 March.
Chichester Harbour has long been the natural home of class racing, with the many clubs being being early adapters of new classes and supporting strong fleets, but even here class racing turnouts have come under pressure in recent years.
Perhaps the new fleet at Itchenor, together with the Merlins of Chichester YC and Hayling Island SC, will be able to generate enough entries at Chichester Harbour Race Week to command their own start.
The premier adult two-person hiking dinghy in the UK, the Merlin Rocket is a very distinctive national class with a rich history in progression and development.
The Open Meeting on the 24th will start with a briefing at 10.00am. The schedule of races will depend on weather conditions but the Race Committee aims to run four races in total. The day will be rounded off with a fish and chip supper in the Club House.
This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience sailing in a Merlin Rocket in Chichester Harbour while also finding out more about the Sailing Club and all it has to offer.
Looking further ahead, the Merlin class’s racing this year will be focused on specific weekends across the season, with three weekends each side of the summer.
During the summer months the Merlin class does a lot of travelling, with events including Salcombe Week and the Nationals, which are this year staged in Looe.
To help encourage fresh talent to Itchenor SC, the Merlin Rocket class has introduced a new, pay-as-you-sail scheme to allow non-members to book for a weekend of sailing and experience the best that Itchenor has to offer.
To find out more please visit www.itchenorsc.co.uk or call 01243 512400.