Comet open meeting at Littleton Sailing Club
by Daniel Goodman on 22 Sep 2015
13 September 2015
Race 1 start at the Littleton Comet Open © Clive Cherry
Twenty boats enjoyed four races in light shifty winds that provided four different race winners and tight racing throughout the fleet.
The first race start line was a little short but the fleet got away cleanly. National champion Eddie Pope seemed to have great speed and led away until a lack of wind allowed the chasing bunch to catch and overtake him. Tim O'Toole led from here until the gun, in a shortened two lap race. Great close racing resulted in several photo finishes including a group of six that finished within seconds of each other.
Race two and the breeze allowed the full distance to be sailed. It was Pope who led from start to finish with young Chris Hatton (competing in his first open away from his home club on the River Severn) pulling through to take second.
After a fairly short lunch break the course was re-laid to account for a swing in the wind that as usual only lasted until the sequence had started! Luckily for the race officer the wind swung back half way up the first beat and O'Toole led again after heading to the left of the course. O'Toole's lead was short lived however, with Steve Lemmon overtaking and fighting off Hatton to eventually win the race.
A quick shuffle of the buoys yet again and race four started with it all to play for. The shifts were still there and this time the breeze was starting to die, though producing the biggest gusts of the day. Once again O'Toole had a great start and led at the first mark, but by the third mark the lightweight Hatton had over hauled him and proceeded to do a horizon job on everyone. The rest of the fleet were having some great battles, although the wind was not kind to many leaving half of them sitting in no wind while the leaders raced away producing a spread out fleet.
At the end of the day it was the consistent results of young Chris Hatton that gave him the very well deserved overall title, and with this having been the first open event of his sailing career, there is little doubt that his name will be one to watch in the future!
With only one DNF all day everyone enjoyed their racing and good socializing afterwards helped by a free afternoon tea. The Comet fleet is friendly, with good fair racing and a big open circuit. So if you are too small for a Laser and would like a small light boat that is a bit more comfortable, why not try a Comet!