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Comet Open at Merthyr Tydfil Sailing Club

by Mark Govier 27 Sep 2010 21:48 BST 26 September 2010
Comets at Merthyr Tydfil © Mark Govier

A fresh northerly wind with just a little east in it greeted us as we arrived at Pontsticill Reservoir just north of Merthyr Tydfil on this beautiful frosty morning. The wind was a welcome change over the previous two years when it had been dead calm; the cold was not. But the sun was out and it soon melted the frost on the boat covers. We welcomed visitors from as far afield as Beer, Cransley, Hunts, Baltic Wharf and Severn sailing clubs.

The first race had a good close start for most, but the first beat spread out the pack. Mark Govier rounded the windward mark first followed by Dave Harris and Paul Hinde. Dave Harris had dropped back to 9th position at the end of the first lap after a noisy capsize on the first run. Mark managed to stay ahead while several places further back changed hands over the three long laps. Dave Harris had worked his way back to third place by the end of the second lap; Ben Palmer held onto second place ahead of him and Mark Govier retained first place to the finish. There was a big gap from these three back to the rest of the fleet.

Then the “galley” team did a magnificent job of very efficiently feeding the fleet at lunchtime with excellent home-made nosh.

The wind had dropped a little for the start of the second race and the start was not quite so close. This time Dave Harris had pulled out a big lead by the end of the second lap. The field was more spread out than in the first race; but Henry Jaggers held second place for the first two laps with Paul Hinde and Ben Palmer close behind. The wind was increasing towards the end of the second lap and Paul Hinde and Ben Palmer both overtook Henry in these stronger conditions. But Dave held onto his first place to the end and was then followed over the line by Paul Hinde, Ben Palmer, Henry Jaggers and Mark Govier.

The third race was started soon after the end of the second. The start of this race was probably the closest yet with many of the boats crossing over the start line almost together. But again Dave Harris managed to get himself some “private wind” and had a great lift that carried him to the windward mark first and alone. The wind was now dropping again as the race progressed which caused the remainder of the fleet to bunch on the second down-wind leg leading to some frantic tactical battles across what turned out to be the last reach. As the wind strength was dropping the race officer decided to reduce the length of the race to two laps. Several different routes were taken by competitors for the final beat to the line; some covering each others tacks, others trying to head well away for clear wind. The result was, apart from Dave Harris who finished first and still well ahead, that the bulk of the fleet finished very competitively and most of them probably within about 30 seconds. Henry Jaggers secured second place with Paul Hinde in third. Ben Palmer was fourth and Mark Govier finished fifth just a fraction of a second ahead of Alun Bevan.

Dave Harris was the clear event winner with two first positions to count. While Paul Hinde and Ben Palmer could only be separated by the result of the third race and Marks first position in the early race nudged him ahead of Henry. A very close result.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1763Dave HarrisSevern SC3112
2844Paul HindeSevern SC5235
3597Ben PalmerBaltic Wharf2345
4460Mark GovierMerthyr Tydfil SC1556
5800Henry JaggersBeer SC4426
6420Alun BevanMerthyr Tydfil SC68612
7581Robert WookeyMerthyr Tydfil SC106814
8532John CoppenhallHunts SC77714
9317Kevin MorrisMerthyr Tydfil SC89917
10724Rhiain BevanCransley SC9101019
11426Roger EdwardsMerthyr Tydfil SC1111RTD22
12694Andrew PhillipsMerthyr Tydfil SC12121123