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Comet Class Association National Championship at Fishers Green Sailing Club

by Godfrey Clark 7 Aug 20:10 BST 26-28 July 2019
Comet Nationals at Fishers Green © Kevin O'Brien

Fishers Green Sailing Club hosted the Comet Class National Championships in the Lee Valley Park.

As the July weekend approached plans were in place for three days of racing and a program of social events. However, in common with many inland sailing venues the emergence of large patches of weed threatened the viability of holding a Championship. The weed appears quickly and unpredictably under certain conditions, and for three days beforehand the Club members were manually removing boatloads of weed from the course area. Because the lake was originally dug in two halves, the north half is much deeper and therefore relatively weed-free but the struggle remained of sailing there from the club shore.

On Friday morning everyone was met with a scene of pouring rain, random patches of weed, and not a breath of wind, the worst possible scenario for a flagship event for both the club and the Comets. However as the day progressed, conditions began to improve sufficiently for races 1 & 2 to be held during the afternoon, albeit in extremely light and shifty wind conditions.

On Friday evening the social program got under way with a sailing themed quiz, the highlight of which was the appearance of Quizmaster Clive Gladwin, in a dazzling orange suit, a literal eye opener to visitors and club members alike.

On Saturday, no further weed patches appeared and the gradually strengthening wind to 10 mph made racing much better and a full program of four races was completed.

After sailing the Comet Association held their AGM and the day was completed with an absolutely delicious 3 course meal, planned and produced by Club member Genevieve Braas, which will go down in the annals of Club history.

By Sunday morning the wind speed had further strengthened to 12 mph with possible gusts which promised to make racing much livelier than at the beginning of the event with Mike Ettershank performing a spectacular capsize before the start.

Due to a dispute over interpretation of the course a hearing was held to resolve the case which decided the result of the 7th race, and thus the championship. The outcome was to award redress to Bob Dodd from Crawley Mariners SC who finally finished .7 of a point ahead of runner up Guy Wilkins from Chipstead SC.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st869Bob DoddsCrawley Mariners1‑1013‑131DGA111.3
2nd886Guy WilkinsChipstead SC‑3‑721133212
3rd875Nigel AustinCransley‑614‑7421517
4th597Ben PalmerBaltic Wharf‑104522‑122419
5th377Eddy PopeOgston SC2‑5353‑64320
6th323Annette WalterWelwyn‑92‑84755629
7th311Steve BellamyWinsford Flash5‑1312‑146461346
7th806Joe WilkinsChipstead SC43‑111010910‑1146
9th84Michael EttershankEyott SC‑1299‑115771047
10th800Henry JaggersBeer SC14‑1576‑1589751
10th867Chris RobinsonBurghfield SC7868‑14‑1413951
12th532John CoppenhallHunts SC‑136‑15129118854
13th412Scott WaterlandTewksbury‑15‑17109810151264
14th849Tim HiggsBurghfield SC812‑161311‑18121470
15th400John SturgeonHawley Lake16111317‑191511(DNF)83
16th57Steve GregoryFrensham Pond‑191614‑191213161687
17th830Mick ParnellBristol Avon SC111417181717(DNC)(DNC)94
18th614Carol ButcherHawley Lake‑20(DNF)20161616141799
19th845Nigel FernStaunton Harrold18‑19181518‑1918.515102.5
20th41Mark SmithFishers Green SC171819202020(DNC)(DNC)114
21st383Cliff WebbChipstead SC‑21202121212117(DNF)121

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