Comet National Championships at Fishers Green Sailing Club
by Godfrey Clark on 2 Sep 2013
24-26 August 2013
The Comet class National Championship was hosted by Fishers Green SC over the Bank Holiday weekend of 24-26 August.
The Saturday forecast of rain later did nothing to deter the 33 entries from racing in a light wind and increasing drizzle from the northwest. Two beats were set at slightly different angles with the aim of accommodating the backing breeze and the first two races were both won by Ian Stone who wisely defended the left side of the beat to secure victory from defending champion, Guy Wilkins in the first race, and then from FGSC club member Mathew Aldous-Horne in the second race.
After racing, the fleet and supporters deferred to the clubhouse for an indoor BBQ and quiz evening as the rain and wind increased. Those visitors with soggy camping kit were invited to spend the night in the comfort of the clubhouse.
Sunday morning brought a much better day with bright sunshine and a light northerly breeze blowing straight down the 'fairway'. A long beat the full length of the lake was followed by a long run back, broken by a beam reach and further run. This time it was Mathew who was the man on the march, breaking away early on and extending his lead throughout the race, while Ian Stone could only fight through to third with Alan Bennett leading the pack for second place.
The afternoon course had to be re-set as the forecast wind veer to the east set in. This allowed for two shorter beats with substitute windward marks deployed to avoid the wind shadows. Mathew took his second win after overtaking Ian as the two of them fought it out ahead of the chasing pack, making the series level on points between the two juniors! The third race of the day followed a similar pattern with enough wind to see occasional planing on the reach. Ian and Mathew again showed their prowess, Ian initially pulling clear but Mathew fighting back to take the lead by a narrow margin. 100metres from the finish Mathew was in control but tacked too early to avoid floating debris in the water, allowing Ian to take the win by half a boat-length.
The class AGM was followed by an evening dinner in the clubhouse while bets were taken on which of the juniors would win on the final day.
Monday brought brilliant sunshine and a perfect northerly 10 knots during breakfast but by the start time the wind had veered 30 degrees and the intended course had to be re-set. This time, three beats were used to achieve true upwind legs although the wind remained shifty. This time the leader after one full lap was Steve Lemmon who promptly fell out of his boat at the windward mark. Nigel Austin inherited the lead but again it was Ian and Mathew in that order who found a way through the shifts to win. The course remained for the final race with the event decided, with Ian and Mathew again leading home Guy Wilkins, who secured third overall and Annette Walker in fourth, to convincingly secure the ladies prize.
|1st||152||Ian Stone||Maidenhead SC||1||1||‑3||‑2||1||1||1||5|
|2nd||560||Matthew Aldous‑Horne||Fishers Green SC||‑5||‑2||1||1||2||2||2||8|
|3rd||806||Guy Wilkins||Chipstead SC||2||4||‑5||3||‑5||5||3||17|
|4th||168||Steve Lemmon||Littleton SC||4||3||(DNF)||4||6||4||‑7||21|
|5th||126||Alan Bennett||Staunton Harold SC||6||5||2||‑7||3||7||‑10||23|
|6th||875||Nigel Austin||Cransley SC||9||7||4||‑12||‑11||3||6||29|
|7th||869||Bob Dodds||Crawley Mariners||‑11||‑15||6||10||4||6||8||34|
|8th||788||Andy Dale||Eyott SC||7||8||9||5||7||‑15||‑11||36|
|9th||361||Joe Wilkins||Chipstead SC||10||10||‑14||6||9||‑12||5||40|
|10th||323||Annette Walter||Welwyn Garden City SC||‑25||‑26||8||13||10||8||4||43|
|11th||867||Chris Robinson||Burghfield SC||8||‑16||7||9||‑13||10||12||46|
|12th||532||John Coppenhall||Hunts SC||12||9||10||‑17||‑14||9||13||53|
|13th||597||Benjamin Palmer||Baltic Wharf SC||‑13||‑14||12||8||12||13||9||54|
|14th||800||Henry Jaggers||Beer SC||3||11||15||‑16||‑17||14||16||59|
|15th||844||Paul Hinde||Severn SC||‑20||13||11||11||8||‑19||19||62|
|16th||711||Brian Welham||Maidenhead SC||14||6||16||‑19||18||‑20||15||69|
|17th||84||Michael Ettershank||Up River SC||15||12||13||14||15||‑18||‑17||69|
|18th||518||Michael Thompson||Crawley Mariners||18||‑22||19||18||‑24||11||14||80|
|19th||857||Helen Leviers||Severn SC||17||17||17||‑20||‑19||17||18||86|
|20th||178||Karen O'Brien||Fishers Green SC||21||19||18||15||16||‑22||(DNF)||89|
|21st||821||Clive Chapman||Shearwater SC||16||18||20||21||(DNF)||‑23||20||95|
|22nd||701||Izac Dodds||Crawley Mariners||‑26||‑25||23||22||22||16||24||107|
|23rd||614||Carol Butcher||Hawley Lake SC||(DNC)||(DNC)||22||23||21||21||21||108|
|24th||400||John Sturgeon||Hawley Lake SC||22||23||(DNF)||‑27||25||24||23||117|
|25th||812||Roger Lemmon||Severn SC||(DNF)||24||24||24||23||‑27||22||117|
|26th||611||Phil Walter||Welwyn Garden City SC||24||‑27||‑25||25||20||25||25||119|
|27th||654||Brian Weatherley||Cotswold SC||23||20||21||(DNC)||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||132|
|28th||169||Angus Kirk||Crawley Mariners||‑29||‑29||27||28||26||26||26||133|
|29th||843||Dee Weatherley||Cotswold SC||19||21||26||(DNC)||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||134|
|30th||41||Mark Smith||Fishers Green SC||(DNC)||(DNC)||28||26||27||28||27||136|
|31st||549||Caroline Whittle||Crawley Mariners||‑30||28||‑30||29||28||29||28||142|
|32nd||649||Diana Thompson||Crawley Mariners||27||DNF||29||(DNC)||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||155|
|33rd||660||Jenny Colclough||Fishers Green SC||28||(DNC)||(DNF)||DNF||DNF||DNC||DNC||158|