Low water levels at Staunton Harold Reservoir, only about 40 % of capacity, did not deter 18 entries to the Club Comet Open and the last event in the Comet Association Northern Aphelion Series. It was a bright sunny day with good south westerly wind perfect for making the best use of the limited amount of water and enabling a good long beat to the windward mark. The necessity to spot appropriate wind shifts on the tricky beats and find stronger wind channels on the runs were important features of the racing throughout the day. The racing was close, competitive and fair at all levels of the fleet. There were no recalls or protests.
Race 1, course 5(P), M(P), 1(p), 4(P), 11(S) Gate. Wind strength F3-4
Ben Palmer from BWSC led throughout, achieving a good lead at the first mark. He was followed by Andy Dale, EySC, and Kris Kenmuir-Hogg, Alan Bennett, and Nigel Fern, all SHSC. By the second lap Eddie Pope, Ogston SC, had climbed his way up the fleet achieving 5th at mark 5. Kris and Andy were fighting it out going down to 11 on the first lap and went wide allowing Alan to squeeze through to 2nd place. Nigel slowly fell away but was soon joined by the recovering Chris Robinson BuSC and Nigel Austin CrSC. For the next lap and a half these three fought a running battle that was not decided until the last
tack when Nigel fluffed his lines allowing Chris through.
The final result was Ben 1st, Kris 2nd and Alan 3rd.
It was energetic sailing with brisk winds and a course of beats and runs. There was one capsize and some gear breakages in this race.
Race 2, course 5(S), 2(S), 7(P), 10(P), 11(P) Gate. Wind strength F2-3.
Once again the race started with a good long beat down to 5. This time the course had been amended to include more reaches. The racing was much closer with slightly less wind than race1.
Alan led at the first mark followed by Ben then Eddie. Positions changed at each gybe mark as people battled for overlaps. On the very broad reach to 10 the wind filled in enabling the fleet to close up.
The second and third laps were very close with the final result being Ben 1st, Kris 2nd and Eddie 3rd. Alan hung on to the 4th place, closely followed by Chris Robinson..
Race 3, course 6(S), 1(P), F(P), 7(P), 10(P) Gate wind strength F1-2 and dropping.
The Race Officer set a shorter course as winds were lessening. Kris made it first to the windward mark closely followed by Alan, Ben and Eddie. The next leg to 1 was a part reach. Alan overtook Kris to the leeward mark. Close racing continued as the wind dropped. Henry Jaggers, BeSC joined the leading group and went into the lead on the run down to 10. As the wind dropped Eddie made it through to the front followed by Alan, Ben and Henry following. The Race Office shortened the course as the wind dropped. The final positions were Eddie 1st, Alan, 2nd, Ben 3rd, Henry then Kris.
It was a great day’s sailing enjoyed by all. A big thank you goes to the Race Team and also the Galley for providing delicious great baked potatoes and fillings with homemade cakes.
The first lady was hotly contested, Sue Jones, Nottingham Sailing Club gained the prize.
For the full race results please click here