Merlin Rocket Championships 2016
13-19 August


Penzance sailing club

1621698_10152138380126292_7162202907431109659_nPenzance Sailing Club is a lovely little Club located on the harbour wall at the northern edge of Mounts Bay. The Club is run by the members on a voluntary basis and hosts just one Championship event every other year. This enables the Club to channel all their energy and enthusiasm into one event and means the Merlin Rocket National Championships will be just as important and special to them as it is to us.

The Barman is already calculating the Cider, Beer and Gin requirements and has a new Dark n’ Stormy recipe to try out on us. The caterers are sourcing local produce, pasties and a Hog for roasting. The local race officers are teaming up with Mounts Bay Sailing Club to ensure we get a top team full of experienced Race Officers and the local lifeboat crew are on standby, just in case.

FlagThis combined with green-blue Atlantic swells and prevailing south-westerly sea breezes makes for a fantastic cocktail of fun both on and off the water. Visit their website.


Penzance town

The ancient market town of Penzance is regarded as the commercial capital of the Lands End peninsular (known as Penwith). The town has the most westerly harbour on the English Channel and boasts a thriving fishing community. The local pubs and restaurants sell freshly landed fish and crab as well as an array of locally brewed Beers, Cider and Wine.

There are plenty of things to see and do, in and around Penzance.

Ancient fishing villages, cliff-top walks, sub-tropical vegetation and a wealth of industrial and maritime heritage combine with early Christian history and Celtic legend to make the district surrounding Penzance a fascinating area. The coastline of coves and caves, the area’s history of smugglers and wreckers and its long tradition of music and song, inspired Gilbert and Sullivan to name one of the most famous of their productions “The Pirates of Penzance”.

St Michael’s Mount is located 3 miles east of Penzance, a few hundred yards offshore from the town of Marazion. You can take a boat trip from Penzance Harbour out to the Mount or might prefer to try your hand at Mackerel Fishing or a Seal Spotting trip while keeping an eye on the racing.

Soak up the Sun on one of the surrounding sandy beaches or take a day trip to Lands End, St Ives or Marazion.

Sunny day activities

Fishing Trips, Seal Cove Safari, Shark & Minack Cruise, St Michael’s Mount.

Coastal Walks in and around Penzance

Soak up the sun with a day on the beach

Take in all the major landmarks of Penzance on this town walk

Local attractions including Lands End, St Michael’s Mount, the Minack open-air theatre, Trengwaiton Gardens, Paradise Park Bird Sanctuary and more.

Rainy day activities

There are a wide range of high street and independent shops available in town and at the Wharfside Shopping Centre, including a broad range of art galleries.

Gallery and Museum in Penzance

Vineyard and Cider Orchard

Explore the Geevor Tin Mines

Massive Biomes, nestled in a huge crater, house the largest rainforest in captivity.

Childrens activities

Swimming at Penzance Leisure Centre

Indoor bowling alley and soft play

Indoor play area

Lands End Visitors Centre

Theme Park





Please complete an entry form and return it with payment to Colin Brockbank, by post or email (details are on the form).

Before completing your entry form you may want to have a look at the fleet allocation below.

Entry is £180, with 50% discount for youth sailors (25 and under), older Merlin’s (3600 and older), and first time helms who have never competed before at our Nationals (as helm or crew).




Entries so far


Boat and crew matching service

Those not attending the Nationals but would be willing to lend their boat to a competent helm and crew, or those looking to borrow a boat, please contact

Also, if you are a crew looking for a helm, or a helm looking for a crew, please also get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.



This year we will again be running gold, silver and bronze fleets. All competitors race together for the championship in the normal way and this is for subsidiary trophies and  prizes.

As a guide for which fleet to enter:

The Gold fleet will include those who;

  • have finished in the top 20 of any national championships (with an entry of more than 40)
  • have finished in the top 15 of any national championships (with an entry of less than 40)
  • have finished in the top 30 at any Salcombe Merlin week
  • have finished in the top 10 of a Merlin Rocket Open meeting in recent years
  • are considered a professional sailor

The Silver Fleet will include those who;

  • do not qualify for the Gold fleet
  • have finished between 21 – 30 in any national championship (with an entry of more than 40)
  • have finished between 16 – 30 in any national championship (with an entry of less than 40)
  • have finished between 31 – 70 at any Salcombe Merlin week
  • have finished in the top 30 of a Merlin Rocket Open meeting (with an entry of more than 40)

The Bronze Fleet will include those who;

  • do not qualify for the Gold or Silver fleet

You can select your preference of fleet but ultimately the decision is at the Organising Committee’s discretion.



Registration and scrutineering

Competitors briefing

Practice Race and Race 1

Commodore’s reception followed by live band

Race 2

Fancy dress & band. Theme: Pirates, Rum & Rio

Race 3 and Crew’s Race

Cider & Pasty evening – ticketed at registration, £5pp

Race 4

Polgoon vineyard visit – ticketed at registration, £Xpp

Crews’ union

Race 5

Champagne race prize giving

Hog roast & band

Race 76

Championship prize giving

Beer tasting (from local brewery, cash bar)




Selden-Logo_WHITEIt is with great pleasure we confirm Selden‘s continued support of the Merlin class. Following from the huge success their new high modulus rig in 2015, they have generously donated a new S1 mast which was sucessfully bid for by William Warren.

Here’s what last year’s auction winner, Piers Lambert, had to say about the mast, “I was over the moon when I won the auction, not quite believing my luck. From the first time I used the new mast I noticed an immediate jump in boat speed, the rig just seemed to work with me rather than against. It’s easier to control in the gusts and when you do get a little puff the boat eases forwards against whoever’s next to you, nosing out in front rather than knocking you sideways. We’re definitely more competitive against the other Merlin’s at Brightlingsea and are mixing it up at the front of the fleet, it’s a great feeling.”


Useful links

Contact The Champs organisers

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