Over the weekend of the 23rd to 25th August 2008 27 Comets and 5 Comet Xtras from around the country arrived at Hunts Sailing Club to participate in the nationals.
On day one they were met with a light westerly wind which was switching by about 30° across the lake leaving competitors with a difficult decision as to which way to sail the beats and runs.
Race 1 saw Clive Chapman leading at the first mark followed by Catherine Bellamy and Michael Thompson. The rest of the fleet spread out behind them. By the end of the first lap Ballamy had taken a long lead from the other 2 who were closely followed by Stephen Lemmon and Ian Coppenhall. By the end of the race Lemmon and Coppenhall had moved into 2md and 3rd with Thompson in 4th.
Race 2 was run in similar conditions. This time Lemmon finished 1st and Ian Coppenhall 2nd with Ben Palmer a newcomer to the class in 3rd.
The Xtra fleet started 5 minutes behind the main fleet. During the 1st race there was close racing between them with each of them leading at some time during the race. The race was finally won by Paul Hinde with Steve Harvey 2nd.
The second race saw Steve Harvey win with Paul Hinde 2nd.
Day 2 dawned with a slightly stronger wind from a similar direction to day 1.
Race 3 saw a leading group of Ian Coppenhall, Stephen Lemmon and Steve Bellamy. After a slow start Mark Coppenhall slowly moved through the fleet to join the leaders. Ian Coppenhall took the lead and was left covering his brother Mark and Stephen Lemmon. By the end Mark had over taken Lemmon with S Bellamy in 4th.
Steve Harvey won the Xtra race with Paul Hinde 2nd.
Race 4 was delayed, owing to a 45° wind shift, so that the race officer could move the course marks. Owing to the shape of the lake he was able to keep the general course design of beat, reach, run, reach, beat and run. In the leading group at the first mark was Brian Herring who had been near the rear of the fleet in the previous races. He eventually finished 9th. The first 4 were I Coppenhall, M Coppenhall, S Lemmon and Guy Wilkins.
The Xtra fleet saw Steve Harvey win with John Sturgeon taking 2nd.
Race 5 saw Mark Coppenhall take the lead during the second lap and slowly pull away from the chasing pack. Catherine Bellamy started to catch him up having pulled clear of the pack. They finished in that order with her father Steve Bellamy in 3rd.
The Xtra fleet had a new race winner John Sturgeon with Paul Hinde 2nd.
Day 3 dawned with a force 4 to 5 blowing with stronger gusts. A number of competitors decided not to sail, while others reefed their sails.
Race 6 was lead from start to finish by Ian Coppenhall. Stephen Lemmon was in second place for some time until he was overtaken by Mark Coppenhall who had again started slowly and had worked hard in the conditions to get to that position. However on a reach Mark went to sit out during a gust, missed his toe straps and fell head first into the water and his boat capsized. This enabled Stephen and other boats to get past him. The first 4 were Ian Coppenhall, Stephen Lemmon, Steve Bellamy and Guy Wilkins.
Only 2 Xtra’s started with Paul Hinde winning with Diana Thompson 2nd.
Race 7 saw Stephen Lemmon capsize at the start line. This left him at the back of the fleet. Ian Coppenhall was again leading for a couple of laps. Stephen Lemmon was slowly working through the fleet and had moved up to 10th place by this time when he capsized on the run. After this he retired. Ian Coppenhall death rolled soon after this which enabled his brother Mark to catch up. Also moving through the fleet was Guy Wilkins who had been in the middle of the fleet at the end of the first lap. There were a number of capsizes throughout fleet and a number of boats found themselves in irons when gusts came through at different angles to the predominant wind. This also caused a number of capsizes on the beats. The race finished with Mark Coppenhall winning with Guy Wilkins just beating Chris Robinson on the line. Ian Coppenhall finished 4th after another capsize, with Michael Ettershank another newcomer to the class in 5th.
|3rd||168||S Lemmon||Severn/Littleton||2||1||3||3||-7||2||(21 DNF)||11|
|4th||248||C Bellamy||Winsford Flash||1||5||9||5||2||-13||-11||22|
|5th||656||S Bellamy||Winsford Flash||5||-8||4||-8||3||3||7||22|
|6th||561||G Wilkins||Chipstead||(28 DNC)||(28 DNC)||6||4||12||4||2||28|
|9th||650||P Hossell||Severn||9||-17||5||10||15||8||(21 DNF)||47|
|12th||597||B Palmer||Baltic Wharf||16||3||-17||14||-17||10||14||57|
|13th||549||M Thompson||Crawley Mariners||4||-23||-24||18||11||16||10||59|
|14th||323||A Walter||CMYC / WGCSC||15||6||12||17||9||-20||(21 DNF)||59|
|18th||820||R Stevenson||Winsford Flash||8||14||22||26||13||(28 DNC)||(28 DNC)||83|
|19th||518||R Ballam||Crawley Mariners||24||10||15||13||21||(28 DNC)||(28 DNC)||83|
|20th||735||D Jobling||N Staffs / Chester||11||9||19||24||22||(28 DNC)||(28 DNC)||85|
|21st||420||A Bevan||Merthyr Tydfil||-20||19||20||-23||18||15||15||87|
|22nd||724||R Bevan||Cransley||12||20||18||19||20||(23 DNF)||(21 DNF)||89|
|23rd||857||H Leivers||Severn||19||18||21||-22||16||19||(28 DNC)||93|
|24th||730||B Herring||Winsford Flash||-26||-25||23||9||24||18||21 DNF||95|
|25th||614||C Butcher||Hawley Lake||18||22||25||25||26||(28 DNC)||(28 DNC)||116|
|26th||299||A Keynes||Crawley Mariners||23||-26||26||21||25||21||(28 DNC)||116|
|27th||633||J Edwards||Chester||22||16||(28 DNC)||(28 DNC)||28 DNC||28 DNC||28 DNC||122|
1st Paul Hinde
2nd Steve Harvey
3rd Diana Thompson