HD Sails 1,2,3 At The Merlin Nationals


Congratulations to Nick Craig and Alan Roberts on winning the 2013 Merlin Rocket Nationals at Tenby.

Tenby certainly delivered, superb sailing conditions and great socials were had by all.

It went down to the last race and any four teams could win, It was in the pocket of Jon Gorringe & Toby Lewis but gear failure up the last beat prevented them taking the win, Nick and Alan moved into the lead and took the title.


It was a close fought week at the top but it was the boats using HD Sails showing great consistency over the wind range powering them to take the top three spots.

Below from left to right, Nick Craig & Alan Roberts Merlin Champions, Jon Gorringe & Toby Lewis 2nd place and Roger Gilbert & James Stewart in 3rd place.


Nick & Alan HD SailsJon & Toby HD SailsRoger & James HD Sails

Merlin & GP14 Round Up

So far in the Merlin Silver Tiller HD Sails have had a great start. The last five open meetings including the Thames and Midland series, HD Sails have taken the win.

HD Sails had 1st,2nd and 3rd at Wembley which saw Jon Gorringe & Toby Lewis win from Andy Davis & Tom Pygall and Matt Biggs & John Hackett.

After Wembley it was the journey to the Merlin Mecca Salcombe.  Matt Biggs & John Hackett showed great pace on the saturday to take the overnight lead, Sunday unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be for Matt & John, even though leading in the first race they became becalmed and then passed by 6 boats, quite easily done at Salcombe. Going into the last John Gorringe & Toby Lewis held there nerve and powered to victory winning the last race which gave them the open meeting, Matt & John ended up 3rd overall.

Banbury saw a very fresh breeze with gusts up to 36 knots, this was going to be a battle of who could stay upright. Matt Biggs & John Hackett stormed to victory  with two firsts but before that John decided to press the eject button in the first race and miss the toe straps which gave Matt his first swimming lesson of the year. 3rd place went to Chris Martin & Tom White also using HD Sails, Chris & Tom were one of only a few that didn’t capsize, well done lads.

Last weekend two Merlin events took place, the Cookham Shield and Trent Valley. Duncan & Harriet Salmon got in the groove early and won the first two races with their new HD Sails at Cookham, HD Sails also took 3rd with Andy Jones & Jilly Blake and 4th with Alan Braodbent & Russell Hall.

Matt Biggs & John Hackett won all three races at Trent Valley, sadly for Matt  he got T-boned in the first race and suffered  major damage to the port side, thankfully with it being a Winder boat Matt was able to carry on for the rest of the day. Hopefully he will have it fixed for Hayling this weekend.


GP14 Midland Areas were held at Staunton Harold, Mike & Liz Senior showed consistency taking the win over the 6 race series. A special mention must go to Eleanor Davis & James Croxford who won the Silver fleet using HD Sails, not only did they win the Silver fleet but also finished 9th overall, well done!

Next for the GP14 is the Inland Championships, this year they are held by Burton sailing club over the May bank holiday. Will HD Sails be able to retain their Inland title?




Closer Than Close @ The Merlin Nationals

The Merlin Nationals at Lyme Regis 2012

HD Sails came within a whisker of winning the Merlin Nationals Lyme Regis 2012

Andy Davis and Tom Pygall went in to the week as defending champions and certainly put up a good fight. Throughout the week it became clear that it was going to be a two horse race between Andy & Tom and Olympic 470 silver medalist Stuart Bithell crewed by Christian Birrell.

The strong south westerly wind brought big seas, this gave perfect conditions for the majority of the week. Unfortunately, too much wind and huge waves resulted in sailing being cancelled on Monday and Wednesday.

Throughout the week the two boats matched each other point for point resulting in a tie going in to the last day.  Andy and Tom had been more consistent with a score card of 2,2,3,2,2, compared to Stuart and Christian’s 1,1,5,1,dnf. The Merlin Rocket Class sail 6 races with one discard, so going into the last day Andy had to stop Stuart from finishing in the top 4.

Race 6 started with the a force 2-3 in the south west. The race was looking as if the right hand side would pay, Andy was covering Stuart and forcing him down the line, Andy forced Stuart out to the left hand side with the majority of the fleet going right, unfortunately half way up the first beat the wind shifted 35 degrees to the left, favouring Stuart, but both boats rounded the windward mark in the top 7 with Stuart just ahead.  From then there wasn’t much Andy could do as Stuart was covering. The two boats sailed through to second and third, giving Stuart the title by a point.

Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson finshed third on 25 points, Richard Whitworth and Sarah Bines finished fourth on 37 points.

Certainly another great championship, superbly run by Lyme Regis Sailing Club.Merlin rocket 7329

A Wet & Windy Weekend

Last weekend saw plenty of wind and rain. The forecast tried very hard to put people off but we fought the weather and yet again we got our quota of sailing in.

HD Sailor Nick Craig Won the Enterprise inlands with HD Sailor John Woodward in second, having taken delivery of their new sails the weekend before. It was a tad to windy to put up the new sails, so they used their old Jim Hunt designed sails proving quick around blustery Rutland. Their New Enterprise Sails now have a radial clew in the mainsail to provide more stability and minimal stretch, look out for them at the next open meeting.

The Merlins headed to Hayling Island and had two races in the estuary. HD Sails finished first and second, Jon Gorringe won both races showing excellent pace in the windy stuff. Matt Biggs finished second.
Matt was using the Selden mast and Jon was using a Chipstow, here at HD we have been working on all our designs and making sure our sails fit all the different selections of masts available on the market.

HD Win Blithfield Barrel

HD Sailors Matt Biggs & Ben Hollis took overall victory today. The Barrel has attracted 120 sailors over the last four months and sailors from as far as the south coast have travelled to race.

HD sailors took the top 5 spots, 4 Merlins and a GP14.

Well done to all!!


Shustoke Gauntlet

This weekend Andy is off to the Gauntlet, hopefully it won’t be frozen!!

Let’s hope it will be a good turn out and the weather doesn’t put people off. The forecast is saying it should be around 5 degrees and 6-10 knots of breeze.

Don’t forget your woolly hat!

HD Sailors 1,2 at Tiger Trophy

HD Sailors top the podium at Rutland’s Tiger Trophy.

Tom Jeffcoate sailing with Tom Pygall in a Scorpion tied on points with Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis who were sailing their Merlin. It went down to the wire on Sundays big pursuit race, Matt and Ben had a good tussle with another HD Merlin. Stuart Bithell who has just been selected for this years Olympics borrowed Andy Davis’s Merlin and between Stuart and Matt there was just half a boat length in it at the end.
As this put Matt in second it was down to the two Toms to finish in the top 15. With superb sailing they held onto fifteenth and ended up tied on points, with a race win on Saturday the two Toms won on best number of firsts. This denied Matt and Ben of winning the Tiger Trophy for the second time but both teams must be applauded for their outstanding sailing and stamina against the elements. Certainly a great weekend for the HD loft!