Thursday, August 28, 2014
The Comet Trio National Championship held at Exe SC last week (August 22 to 24), attracted 22 entries, writes Guy Farrant.
The excellent race management team lead by race officer Tim Graham ran seven races over three days in conditions ranging from near calm to a good 16 knots, so there was something for everyone!
It was very much a family affair with couples sailing with each other and several Mums, Dads and sons in competition with each other.
Keenly contested starts lead to several general recalls and out came the black flag. The first two days saw big shifts in the fresh NW’ly wind, with the passing shower clouds, and previous champion helms Andrew and Caroline McAusland and Iain Horlock with Charlotte Jones soon showed their prowess. By Race Five it was clear that the age and experience of the McAuslands (Exe SC) had overcome the youth and fitness of Iain and Charlotte (Exe SC).
This despite Andrew having a senior moment leading the fleet to the wrong mark but having this race abandoned as another mark had drifted. Mid fleet there were lots of place changes, a few infringements and a couple of capsizes. Others had their moment of glory. Bob and Colette Horlock (Exe SC) had a superb start in Race Three and led all the way until the very last mark when the wind bizarrely dropped from 15 kts to a near calm as a sea breeze temporally tried to kick in, thus just missing their chance of a race win. David Talbot and Joe Mayne from Hawley Lake gained a fifth in this race.
Tony Brewster and Mike Davies gained a third in the fourth race. Past champion Symon Garratt with Nicky Groucutt gained a second in race five where Bill Gott and Graham Sykes were first to the windward mark, but then unfortunately their gains leaked away.
Martin Luce and Mark Osborne achieved a commendable second in race six.
For the last day, the wind swung around to a gentle SW’ly sea breeze which then slowly built. These conditions suited Guy Farrant and Marilynn Booker, who were lying fifth overall at the end of day two, but by gaining a first and a second, were promoted to third overall.
Notable performances from Great Grand Masters, Tony Brewster for a fifth overall and Martin Luce, seventh overall. The unlikely lads, Dan and Dale need more practice. Fancy being beaten by Mum and Dad! A very enjoyable championship complimented by the Red Arrows flying overhead. Full results at; http://www.exe-sailing-club.org/index.php/dinghies/open-meetings-2014