News 2017 Season

Hampton Sailing Club Merlin Rocket Open Weekend 

 Over the weekend of 14th and 15th October 2017 Hampton Sailing Club hosted their annual Merlin Rocket Open Weekend on the River Thames near Hampton Court. Visitors from Hunts SC, Upper Thames SC, Queen Mary Reservoir SC, Goring SC & Maidenhead SC bolstered the home fleet. (Link to photos)


Saturday saw twelve (12) Vintage Merlin Rockets compete in the last event of the season in the De May Series. The De May series is a National Merlin Event for boats and designs over thirty years old. This series is run with a handicap system for evenly matched racing.  

 The competitors and visitors were given a traditional warm welcome from Hampton Sailing Club. The welcome was top off with a 5 – 8 knot breeze from the SW supported by tea and bacon rolls as crews completed their entry forms. 

It was good to see Mike Liggett from Hunts SC venture back to Hampton after many years away. He was a member of Hampton in 1957 where he learnt to sail Cadets and Merlins. Sophie Peerless (13 years old) sailed in a Merlin for the first and was introduced to the joy of sailing spinnaker dinghies. 

Race 1  

From the start racing was fierce. With boats changing positions constantly. After lap one four boats broke free of the pack. These four, John & Olivia Bell in 1201, Simon Girven & Claudia Wheeler in 1631; Hywel Perkins & Lucy Penwarden in 3347 and Stuart Jenkins & Sophie Peerless in 3560, continued to have close racing right up to the finish. John & Olivia took first place with Stuart & Sophie 2nd, Simon & Claudia 3rd & Hywel & Lucy 4th.  

Race 2  

Martin Hunter and Phil Dalby and their respective crews joined the fleet for the second race. Phil Dalby & Susannah Bell in 1761 took an early lead chased by the rest of the fleet. Four boats broke away from the fleet once more. This time it was Phil & Susannah, John & Olivia, Martin & Margaretha and Stuart & Sophie. Amongst these four racing was close which resulted in a dispute between Martin & Phil over water around a mark and a protest which saw Phil retire from the race. The final positions were John & Olivia 1st, Martin & Margaretha 2nd, Stuart & Sophie 3nd, Hywel & Lucy 4th.  

Race 3 

John & Olivia had already won the event but clearly intended to make it a clean sweep. The first two laps saw a number of different helms in the top three positions but once more four boats battled it out for the majority of the race with John & Olivia 1st, Martin & Margaretha 2nd, Stuart & Sophie 3rd & Phil & Susannah 4th. 

Overall Vintage Results 

1st 1201 Grand Teton – John & Olivia Bell  

2nd 774 Quiver – Martin Hunter & Margaretha Herman  

3rd 3560 Luka – Stuart Jenkins & Sophie Peerless  

4th 3347 Elusive – Hywel Bowen-Perkins & Lucy Penwarden. 


De May Vintage Series 2017 Results  

Ben Marshall who jointly organises the Vintage De May Series with Mervyn Allen announced the prize winners for the De May Series 2017.  

De May Trophy  

1st 774 Martin Hunter & Margaretha Herman Upper Thames SC 

2nd 1596/1939 Sel Shah & Ben Marshall Thames SC 

3rd 2040 Richard & Alex Pausey Upper Thames SC 

4th 578/3560 Stuart Jenkins & Nicola Scaddan Hampton SC 

5th 1939 Jon Cowper & Mike Liggett Hunts SC  

Octagon Trophy – presented to the Vintage Wing by Hampton SC for the 1st Vintage Merlin over the line prior to handicap adjustment.  

1st 774 Martin Hunter & Margaretha Herman Upper Thames SC 

Individual awards  

Best Newcomer - 235/1136 - Tim Metcalfe Tamesis SC 

Boat in Most Original Condition – 1066 Tim Bury Banbury SC 

After the Prize Giving John Bell thanked John Hollands (Race Officer) and his Team of safety boat crews, bar staff and caterers for an excellent days racing.  

Saturday night saw forty competitors and members sit down for a Club Merlin Curry organised by Nicky Page. The beer flowed until the sailors moved on to the traditional ‘Dark & Stormy’ rounds which finished late into the evening! A very well organised and enjoyable evening was had by all. 


Sunday saw seventeen (17) Merlins take to the water. The breeze continued to blow from SW with a slight increase in strength to between 8 and 12 knots. Perfect conditions for Merlin sailing on the river. 

Topped up with bacon rolls and tea competitors prepared their boats for the racing. Sail numbers ranged from 578 (1955 Martine Holt Design) to 3690 (Winder Canterbury Tales Design). 

Racing was very close with positions changing regularly. The top four helms & crews constantly moved between 1st and 4th throughout all three races. At the start of the third race any of the first four crews could have won the meeting, but it was John & Olivia Bell how won the final race and the open.  

Race Results   

Race 1  

Martin & Margaretha 1st, John & Olivia 2nd, Stuart & Sophie 3nd, Phil & Susannah 4th, Richard & Mark 5th  

Race 2 

Phil & Susannah 1st, John & Olivia 2nd, Stuart & Sophie 3nd, Martin & Margaretha 4th, Richard & Mark 5th 

Race 3 

John & Olivia 1st, Phil & Susannah 2nd, Martin & Margaretha 3rd, 4th Jeremy & Mike, Stuart & Sophie 5th   

Overall Results  

1st 1201 Grand Teton – John & Olivia Bell  

2nd 1761 Onions – Philip Dalby & Suzannah Bell 

3rd 774 Quiver – Martin Hunter & Margaretha Herman 

4th 3560 Luka – Stuart Jenkins & Sophie Peerless 

5th 1631 Splatter – Richard Parslow & Mark Sanken  

Individual Awards  

Flynn Bowen-Perkins (7 years) – Youngest Competitor  

After the Prize Giving John Bell (Commodore HSC) thanked Jane Chambers (Race Officer) and her Team of safety boat crews, bar staff and caterers for another excellent days racing.  

James Warren 
HSC Merlin Rep 


Dunkirk Little Ship Elvin

Elvin Returning to Hampton Sailing Club

Hywel with Elvin returned to Hampton from his round UK voyage stopping off at Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Orkney, Fair Isles and back down the East Coast to HSC. The “Little Ship” ELVIN  also starred in the Film Dunkirk.


We are proud to announce that Marion Parslow has been awarded the British Citizens Award for Services to Education.

She is to collect her award on 26th January at the Palace of Westminster. All members at Hampton Sailing Club would like to congratulate Marion on this wonderful achievement and wish her a fantastic day collecting her medal. We look forward to seeing the photos and the New Frock!