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Comet open meeting at Cransley Sailing Club

by Nigel Austin 12 Jul 2018 10:42 BST 8 July 2018
Comet open meeting at Cransley © Helen Britton

With seven visitors (including a few ex National Champions) and eight home sailors (four of them teenagers, one fresh out of Level 2 just a few weeks earlier), the Comet Open at Cransley was poised to be an interesting event.

The wind was a northerly but was prone to swinging wildly through the woods to the east, creating an infamous "Bermuda Triangle", which caught a few visitors out on many of the beats. The course was primarily a figure-of-eight, and suitably briefed and fed, Race 1 got underway. Eddie Pope (Ogston) immediately set out his stall and despite being chased by myself, was far too nimble in the ever-changing shifts. Charlie Guyett from Cransley showed early promise but a dodgy mainsheet knot saw his chances fade. With Bob Dobbs chasing hard for 3rd and most of the visitors starting to adapt to the Force 1-2 with freakish gusts of up to 3-4, the second race after a sumptuous lunch promised to be increasingly tactical.

Race 2 saw myself edge away from Eddie who caught a lump of weed on the first beat and never recovered. Like a limpet, Bob Dobbs pursued but no cigar, whilst Henry Jaggers (who does have a cigar, well cigarette whilst sailing!) carved his way into fourth. At this point I have to point out that the Cransley boats were having their own battle royals and from the amount of laughter and screaming from the youngsters enjoying it immensely – just how it should be!

Race 3 started with a different start line as the wind had decided that a shift to an easterly would make it more interesting, and young Charlie led the field for a couple of legs before the tussle between Eddie and myself recommenced, although the 13yr old held on to fourth place behind Michael Ettershank. The remainder of the fleet appeared to contemplate going for a swim to cool down from the frustrations around the central mark of E which was either approached at speed or drifted up to! In the end Eddie broke free and took the trophy.

We had visitors from Cornwall, Devon, home counties (including Crawley) and Hunts, and Up River, and I think they enjoyed the challenge of Cransley – if not the Afternoon Tiffin tea made up for it at the end.

Well done to all who took part (Eddie, Bob, Chris, Michael, John, Brian, Henry, Charlie, Sarah, Julie, Rhiain, Emily, Tom and Niamh + me) and to the race, safety and shore crews – a cracking days sailing!!

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClubR1R2R3Pts
1stEddie Pope804Ogston SC1‑312
2ndNigel Austin875Cransley SC‑2123
3rdBob Dodds869Crawley Mariners YC32‑85
4thMichael Ettershank84Upriver YC4‑837
5thHenry Jaggers800Beer SC‑104711
6thBrian Welham801Hunts SC‑76511
7thChris Robinson867Burghfield SC‑65611
8thJohn Coppenall532Hunts SC57‑1112
9thCharlie Guyett423Cransley SC11‑13415
10thSarah Austin718Cransley SC8‑11917
11thRhiain Bevan724Cransley SC99‑1018
12thJulie Aves827Cransley SC‑14101323
13thEmily Britton18Cransley SC‑12121224
14thThomas Chapman479Cransley SC1314‑1527
15thNiamh Lockley875ACransley SC‑15151429

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