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Comet Open at Cransley Sailing Club

by Nigel Austin 1 Aug 2017 12:29 BST 30 July 2017
Comets at Cransley © Sue Bull

Sometimes you get to sail on a "perfect storm" day in conditions that suit nearly all with a great bunch of like minded folk, with good courses, good food and with everyone still smiling and happy at the end. The Cransley Comet Open this year was one such day!

15 turned up from 8 different clubs; 7 locals, 4 youngsters and 4 ladies and the remainder dodgy oldish boys! The first race saw a classic port biased line that caught most folk floundering up the starboard end whilst wily local Nigel Austin sneaked in at the other end with Chris Hatton, Chris Robinson and Eddie Pope in hot pursuit. The pressure told and Nigel crumbled to 4th with 16 year old Chris H pulled away effortlessly in the Force 2-3. Chris R and Eddie had a great battle but on the final lap Eddie was swallowed up by the unforgiving weed and Chris cruised past. Henry Jaggers and John Copenhall followed by two Cransley ladies, Rhiain Bevan and Sarah Austin. The three newbies (to any kind of Open meeting), Emily Brittan (13yrs), Declan Bell (12yrs) and Charlie Guyett (12 years) all fought bravely, 2 in Mino rigs and one reefed, although Declan found that capsizing was very tiring (especially straight after a fantastic Youth Sailing Camp on the Friday and Saturday!) so decided to call it a day after a couple of laps and help on rescue. John Sturgeon also sympathised with Declan and went for a swim but we won't mention that.

After a sumptuous lunch, the wind started to increase to a steady (if still shifty) Force 3 and after an adjustment of the line, the same order as the first race happened although this time Chris H didn't pull away as much, and Nigel managed to hold his nerve to fend off Chris and Eddie, with Henry, John and Sarah in hot pursuit. There were also some great battles further down the fleet with duels between Nigel Fern, Dave Waymont, Rhiain and Julie Aves occurring and Emily stealing a march on Charlie. 35 minutes into the race a huge black clouded stopped over the reservoir, emptied its contents onto those below very quickly, rumbled and lightnened in the distance and then left 14 drowned rats to finish.

Still the spirits were rekindled with afternoon tiffin, traditional at Cransley between Races 2 and 3, none of this back-to-back nonsense. Chris H told Nigel where he was going wrong (very kind) and probably regretted it as after the start the latter went away from the remainder of the fleet in an increasing SW Force 3-4. Chris H managed to overhaul Chris B and Eddie and with Rhiain enjoying the friskier conditions and with Henry maintaining very consistent form, the final race was all but done. It was with true grit though that the two Cransley youngsters Emily and Charlie finished all 3 races and along with Declan we hope that these will have enjoyed the experience so much that they help form the next generation of Comet sailors!

Well done to all - and many thanks to the ladies Helen, Nicola and Sophie and also Sue for ably helping John on race and for Arran and Stuart for pulling folk out the water. A top day's sailing!

Overall Results:

PosFleetBoatClassSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1stYouth Comet48Chris HattonSevern11‑22
2nd  Comet875Nigel AustinCransley Sailing Club‑4213
3rd  Comet867Chris RobinsonBurfield2‑335
4th  Comet804Eddie PopeOgston3‑447
5th  Comet Xtra800Henry JaggersBeer and Hawley Lake55‑610
6thLadies Comet724Rhiain BevanCransley Sailing Club7‑10512
7th  Comet532John CoppenallHunts and Baltic Wharf66‑712
8thLadies Comet718Sarah AustinCransley Sailing Club87(RET)15
9th  Comet400John SturgeonHawley Lake(RET)9817
10th  Comet Xtra845Nigel FernStaunton Harold‑98917
11th  Comet Xtra527Dave WaymontStaunton Harold10‑121020
12thLadies Comet Xtra827Julie AvesCransley Sailing Club‑11111122
13thYouthMissyComet Mino423Charlie GuyettCransley Sailing Club12‑141224
14thYouthOwl's HomeComet Mino661Emily BrittonCransley Sailing Club‑13131326
15thYouth Comet205Declan BellCransley Sailing Club14(DNC)DNC30

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