2013 Acorn Trophy – GAMES 5, the M&S District Marblehead Ranking Event at Abbey Meads, Chertsey

A brief report by Roger Stollery

Guildford Model Yacht Club hosted this event for 15 entries from all the English districts, in what was considered to be the first summer weekend! 16 races were run in warm sunshine with light winds in a basically northerly direction, an ideal wind direction to allow a long windward/leeward course, parallel to the control area. The 700 m long, 2 lap course with a windward spreader and leeward gate, took on average 17 minutes and still gave reasonable time for lunch and coffee breaks. There were 7 individual race winners and so no one dominated the event, but Roy Stevens was the most consistent with a series of good placings and 5 wins and he regained the Acorn Trophy that he won two year’s ago.

The racing started in a steady 4-6 mph northerly breeze and John Arundell, with his powerful ‘Starkers’ design led the fleet to the windward marks, but had miss-read the course board and did not round them correctly, letting Hugh McAdoo into the lead to win Race 1 and then go on to win Race 2 also. Darin Ballington, who had been runner-up in both these early races made no mistake in Race 3, winning from Alf Reynolds and Martin Crysell. John Arundell made it to the front in Race 4 after overtaking Mark Mortimore, who held the lead for most of the race with his ‘Roar Edge’.

Roy Stevens, who had made a mediocre start, showed his form to beat John Arundell into 2nd place in Race 5. John then had a battle with Alf and sailed a very good final offwind leg on the left hand side of the course in more wind to win Race 6. The wind was by this time not as steady, with odd gusts from a more westerly direction and much lighter, leaving patches of calm in the centre of the course. The stronger gusts bunched up the fleet on the offwind legs and in Race 7 at the first gate rounding there was a minor pileup, as a result of doubt about last-minute overlaps claimed over a series of already overlapped boats. Roy Stevens was already leading ahead of the main body of the fleet and pulled away to win from Martin and Hugh. Race Officer, Roger Stollery stopped the racing in this patchy wind for lunch and the results with one discard gave the lead to Hugh, with an equal score of 16 points with Darin and Roy third with 24 points.

Suitably refreshed, John Arundell returned to form to win Race 8 from Roy and Hugh. Race 9 was very slow, as the wind was very patchy and took 22 minutes, but was won by John Taylor, who had driven up from Plymouth for the day and during the morning had several disappointing results with technical problems. However his new swing rigged ‘PIXEL’ design was now going well and made up for the disappointment by not only winning Race 9, but also finishing second to Roy in Race 10. The wind became more NNW, blowing a bit more over the left shoulder and favoured those who chose to go to windward up the right hand side of the course in the stronger breeze on the leeward side of the lake.


It was Martin Crysell who took advantage of this to win Race 11 from Hugh and Roy. Trevor Jenkins got the best start in Race 12 and led to the first mark, but was eventually overtaken by Darin, who went on to win. Phil Holliday, new to radio sailing, had borrowed Roger Stollery’s ‘Crazy Tube Free’ and was on a big learning curve initially, with 9th as his best result. However in Race 13 he decided to start late on port and whilst others continued on starboard into the calmer air he gained a big advantage in the stronger winds and rounded the windward mark in the lead. The power of his swing rig extended his lead downwind and he managed to cover the chasing boats to win the race. He was absolutely delighted!

John Taylor too was delighted in Race 14 with another win from John Arundell and John Shorrock. He was 3rd in Race 15 also, behind Trevor Jenkins and the winner, Roy Stevens, who made no mistake in the final Race 16, to win that as well and make sure that he could take the Acorn Trophy home.

It was good to see 5 new competitors to this event at Guildford’s AbbeyMeadsLake and also to see 9 clubs represented with 9 different designs, all of them showing that they could reach the front of the fleet at some point during the event.

The prizewinners thanked the Guildford club and Roger for organising a good day’s racing. He in turn thanked Keith Parrott of the Frensham Pond MYG, who had kindly volunteered to be the assistant race officer.

The next GAMES event on 21 July is the Canada Cup at Poole, which is the SW District Marblehead Ranking event at which competitors will again be able to enjoy plenty of races on a large open lake.


1st Roy Stevens Killingworth ‘Prime Number’ 34,  2nd Hugh McAdoo Guildford ‘Prime Number’ 41,  3rd Darin Ballington Manor Park ‘ROK’ 44,  4th John Arundel Reading ‘Starkers’ 45, 5th Martin Crysell Guildford ‘Prime Number’ 60,  6th John Taylor Dartmouth ‘Pixel’ 75,  7th John Shorrock Reading ‘Strad’ 89,  8th Trevor Jenkins Birkenhead ‘OD’ 90,  9th Alf Reynolds Chelmsford ‘Paradox’ 95,  10th Alan Viney Guildford ‘Prime Number’ 96, 11th Terry Rensch Guildford ‘Prime Number’ 102,  12th Phil Holliday Watermead ‘Crazy Tube Free’ 139, 13th Mark Mortimore Guildford ‘Roar Edge’ 139,  14th John Townsend Guildford ‘ROK’ 146,   15th Ian Garner Frensham Pond ‘ROK’ 172.

A few images HERE

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