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Comet Open at Rugby & Daventry Sailing Club

by David Hopkins 9 Jul 2006 11:05 BST 8 July 2006

Eight Boats arrived at Rugby & Daventry Sailing Club on Saturday 8th July 2006. The weather was fine but cloudy with a South West Wind force 2-3 and a forecast of no more than force 4. This gave the race officer an easy task for starting and finishing at the clubhouse.

The first race start was good for seven boats but one boat was over. The race officer gave the recall signal and Mark Coppenhall (427) thought the signal was for him and promptly returned and made a fresh start, whilst the offending boat did likewise. This cost Mark the lead for the first lap which was taken by junior Rob Cottrell (453). By the end of the second lap Mark had overtaken the fleet and was in first place closely followed by Cottrell. In the next few legs Mark pulled out a substantial lead and the close racing for second and third places was left to Cottrell and Brian Herring (730). Then Emma Coppenhall swiftly worked her way through the fleet and overtook both Cottrell and Herring to finish in second place followed by Herring and Cottrell in fourth place.

After lunch the wind had freshened a little for the start of the second race. Mark Coppenhall took command of this race from the start gun followed by his sister Emma with Cottrell 3rd and Herring fourth. The Coppenhall pair pulled out a good lead leaving Cottrell and Herring to battle out third and fourth places. On the second lap Cottrell managed to overtake Herring on the Windward Mark. On the following two legs Herring managed to catch Cottrell and overtake him on the reach. At the back of the fleet there were a few capsizes to make the day interesting for the Patrol boat crew. In the closing stages of the race the Coppenhall’s father John (532) managed to sneak past Cottrell and secure fourth place.

The third and final race again started in a fresher wind which died back to a 2-3 later in the race. Herring made a flying start and maintained it to the Windward Mark, and to the end of the first lap. On rounding the last mark of the lap he was in pole position hotly pursued by Mark Coppenhall who had both his sister and father right on his transom. John called for water at the mark and rounded in front of Emma into third place. Mark Coppenhall using some good tactical sailing managed to get the better of Herring up the next beat and by the time he arrived at the Leeward Mark had a fifteen boat length lead on Herring. As the lap progressed he gradually increased his lead to at least 20 boat lengths by the end of the lap. Meanwhile John Coppenhall sailed away from his daughter leaving some 25 yards of clear water between the two boats. Then on the final downwind leg John Coppenhall realised that if he could beat Herring he would knock him into fourth place overall. He managed to overtake Herring so the final line up at the finish was Mark Coppenhall first, John Coppenhall second, Brian Herring third, and Emma Coppenhall fourth.

Overall Results:

1st Mark Coppenhall (Hunts Sailing Club)
2nd Emma Coppenhall (Hunts Sailing Club)
3rd John Coppenhall (Hunts Sailing Club)
4th Brian Herring (Winsford Flash Sailing Club)
5th Robert Cottrell (Roundhill Sailing Association)
6th Ros Stevenson (Winsford Flash Sailing Club)
7th Josie Adams (Staunton Harold Sailing Club)
8th Rhiain Bevan (Roundhill Sailing Association)