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Comet Open at Merthyr Tydfil Sailing Club

by Mark Govier 24 Sep 2012 21:39 BST 23 September 2012
Comets at Merthyr Tydfil © Mark Govier

'Nadine' was ominously forecast to blow in across the lake from the east. Not a good direction at Pontsticill where the wind will be coming over that largest hillside in the valley. It didn't quite perform as the forecast suggested and the wind was light with awkward gusts; not quite as bad as might have been expected. We welcomed nine visitors from sailing clubs across southern Britain to join four locals on the water.

The first race started allegedly to windward, but that depended on which end of the line you'd chosen. It was a lottery; but after rounding the first mark and heading little further away from the east bank the wind sorted itself out into a slightly more consistent direction. Then came the second "down-wind/up-wind" leg (yes it randomly changed). John Coppenhall (532, Hunts. S.C.) got round the first lap ahead of Peter Dalton (668, Frampton-on-Severn S.C.). But by the time the second and final lap was completed Peter Dalton had got ahead and was followed over the line by Peter Mountford (864, Staunton Harold S.C.) with the lead local Alun Bevan (420, Merthyr Tydfil S.C.) crossing in third.

Because of the forecast for deteriorating conditions as the day progressed we opted to follow on quickly with the second race. Held over the same simple triangular course, mainly because, given the conditions any variation would just add to the confusion of the wind. This time the start was a little more consistent for everyone and provided for slightly better racing. Ben Palmer (597, Baltic Wharf S.C.) got round the first lap ahead followed by Peter Dalton and Peter Mountford. On the second and final lap Chris Robinson (867, Burghfield S.C.) managed to squeeze through into second place pushing Peter Dalton back into third, but Ben Palmer held on to first place.

We then all came ashore for some welcome hot lunch and drinks. The one thing that was right about the forecast was the temperature which was decidedly cool. But the generous helpings of warm food got us all going again. The race officer again reviewed the course and the wind but again opted for the simple triangular form as there was no consistent wind anywhere on the water.

For the third race there were several who opted instead to put their boats away and put on warm dry clothes. But for those that did race the same fluky conditions welcomed them back on the water. In this race Peter Dalton crossed the line in first place on every lap. On the first lap Chris Robinson was close behind him but dropped out of the top three in the second and final laps. Alun Bevan had got into second place at the end of the second lap but Peter Mountford overtook him for the final lap with Ben Palmer working his way up from fifth to third place at the end.

The shore crew then helped everyone quickly recover their boats and get packed away. We then enjoyed a nice selection of home-made cakes with tea in the warm clubhouse before the prize-giving. Many thanks again to the visitors for making the effort to visit us and all those who helped who added warmth and sparkle to what was a damp autumn day.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1668Peter DaltonFrampton SC1312
2597Ben PalmerBaltic Wharf8134
3864Peter MountfordStaunton Harold 2724
4867Chris RobinsonBurghfield SC4246
5420Alun BevanMerthyr Tydfil SC3658
6317Kevin MorrisMerthyr Tydfil SC5479
7532John CoppenhallHunts SC65611
8460Mark GovierMerthyr Tydfil SC1081318
9821Clive ChapmanShearwater991318
10800Henry JaggersBeer SC7131320
11654Brian WeatherlyCotswold SC11131324
12426Roger EdwardsMerthyr Tydfil SC12131325
13468Andrew BrazierMerthyr Tydfil SC13131326

More photos can be viewed on Facebook or Google+.

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