Comet Class Association National Champs
Congratulations to Hunt Sailing Club’s Chris Hatton, whose clean sweep of bullets made him the clear winner! Well done also to Staunton’s John Blundell and Nigel Pepperdine who took second and third place respectively overall.Staunton welcomed twenty-nine boats from 17 different clubs across the country for what was a superb three day (25-27 August) Comet Nationals.
Day One Comet Nationals
Racing started with a 10 knot North Westerly breeze which swung just before race 2 to Northerly. General recalls occurred for both race one and race three, for which the second start was under black flag. Race one winner was Chris Hatton, beating the first mark leader Nigel Austin into second place. Race two was delayed thanks to constant wind shifts moments before the start. John Blundell, Chris Hatton and Eddie Pope battled it out for the top spot, with Chris Hatton eventually taking the bullet and Eddie Pope in second.
The second start of race three was under black flag. Paul Williamson got a great start at the pin end of the line. The fleet was chaotic at the downwind mark and the second group of boats caught up with the leaders as they ran down to the mark. The eventual winner was Chris Hatton with Nigel Pepperdine in second.
Day two had a Southerly, gusty wind and race 4 winner Chris Hatton took the lead on the second beat from Bob Dodds who finished second. The gusty and very wet conditions for race 5 caused several incidents at the marks with Peter Mountford and Paul Hinde needing to do turns in separate incidents. Chris Hatton was the race winner with Chris Blundell in second place. The final race of day 2 saw John Blundell first to the windward mark with Chris Hatton second round the mark but Chris overtook John on the reach down towards the dam wall to take his familiar first place. Nigel Pepperdine was third.
Day 3 with a Westerly 12 knot wind started with John Blundell leading race 7 for the first lap until Chris Hatton took the better side of the reservoir on the second beat. What was now becoming the familiar first and second places were as before and the battle was for third spot. Steve Bellamy took this third place from Bob Dodds after battling it out on the last two beats. The final race of day 3 saw a long beat set and with Chris Hatton in the lead, Bob Dodds, John Blundell, Eddie Pope, Paul Williamson and Nigel Pepperdine battled for second place. John Blundell eventually took second place but the fight within the group slowed them down and Michael Ettershank, who was in sixth place, moved up, took and held onto third place on the last beat.
Overall Championship winners were Chris Hatton (1st) John Blundell (2nd) Nigel Pepperdine (3rd) Bob Dodds (4th) Eddie Pope (5th) and Nigel Austin (6th) Other winners were Paul Williamson (Veteran) Peter Mountford (Ancient Mariner) Rhiain Bevan (First Lady) Izac Dodds (First Youth) Roger Harrison (First Newcomer) Staunton Harold Sailing Club (First Team).