Horlock helms to Comet class victory.

PUBLISHED: 11:42 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:40 10 June 2010

THE Comet Trio Class has a new national champion in 18 year old Iain Horlock of Exe Sailing Club, sailing with Debbie Woodcock in Wild Thing, won the event in some style with four race wins, a second and a third, writes Mike Rice.

THE Comet Trio Class has a new national champion in 18 year old Iain Horlock of Exe Sailing Club, sailing with Debbie Woodcock in Wild Thing, won the event in some style with four race wins, a second and a third, writes Mike Rice.

Iain, the youngest helm by far, overcame seasoned helmsmen (and women) with decades of serious racing experience between them.

Iain's father and former champion Bob Horlock said: "It's seven years since I won the Trio Nationals and the standard of sailing has increased considerably in that time. This year Iain and Debs showed us all how the Trio should be sailed and they are worthy champions. Naturally, Colette and I are very proud of our son."

The championship event, held over three days at Exe Sailing Club, attracted 28 entries.

Weather conditions varied from light airs with major shifts, to fresh F4 with waves, for some superb planning reaches.

Race Officer Stuart Hills, using the excellent fishing boat Dixie II as his base, set some testing courses in the waters off Dawlish Warren.

In race 1, Iain, by working the port side of the course, pulled out an impressive lead on the beat, never to be seriously challenged, the first indication of things to come.

Over six races he notched up four firsts, and his worst result was a third. Les Arscott, crewed by Andy Williams in Deep Purple had a bad first race (15th).

Thereafter they got into gear with two wins, a second and a third with some impressive beats when the wind freshened.

Third place overall was keenly contested by two past champions, Peter and Marjorie Scott from Shustoke SC, in Dennis the Menace and Andrew and Caroline McAusland in Piglet (last year's champions).

Dennis the Menace got the edge with a second place in race 3.

Other sailors had their moment of glory, albeit in second place behind Horlock and Woodcock.

Guy Farrant and Marilynn Booker in Go with the Flow, were second in race 1, Symon Garratt and Nicki Groucut in Abigail Rose took second place in race 2 and Mike Sydenham and Colin Broady in White Lightning were second in race 6.

Keenly contested starts (two general recalls), good courses and excellent sailing conditions, rounded off by a Karaoke evening and a dinner and dance to Exe Sailing Club's own band Giraffe completed an excellent fun championship.

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