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Comet Duo 2022 'Worlds' and National Championship at Cransley Sailing Club

by Nigel Austin 29 Jun 2022 15:59 BST 26 June 2022

Since 2016, Cransley Sailing Club has hosted their own Worlds, incorporating the National Championship, for the Comet Duos. On Sunday 26th June we saw the latest event take place in tempestuous squally winds (Force 4-5), with some wicked wind changes. The forecast put off our usual visitors however we did manage to get Scotland and Wales represented by Rob Campbell and Gretta Davies respectively.

The competitors embraced the true spirit of the event, which is to sail these lovely dinghies with a crew. In past years we have encouraged very young novice ones to crew, but unfortunately this year it would have put them off. However there was a grandfather and grandson team (Hugh and Harry Amberry, 11) who were up for it, despite this being Harrys first racing experience!.

In total 14 sailors in 7 Duos took to the water for a boat start (highly unusual for the club!) and I think this may have lead to the unfortunate events that unfolded. Despite having a fantastic and extremely tiring race, 6 of the 7 Duos had to retire, as they had all followed yours truly around the windward mark the wrong way - not once but 5 times. Some of the helms even had the course written on their hands (Arran Britton) or on a card (Hugh A). So Rob and Gretta emerged as the only legitimate boat. As you can imagine there was only one topic of discussion over the delicious chilli and jacket potato lunch (although I was eating ample portions of humble pie as well!).

The 2nd race saw no abatement to the wind, in fact the squalls were slightly more vicious and appearing from nowhere causing capsizing of a number of boats (something that had to be fair happened to a lesser extent in the first race as well). Noisiest capsize was definitely Arran and Sophie, but others who entered the wet stuff included Hugh and Harry, Ian and Georgie, Tom and Alistair. It felt a little like the Wacky Races, but myself and my long suffering (of me) wife, Sarah held on to win from Rob and Gretta.

This meant that going in to the final race, Rob and Gretta only had to prevent Sarah and I from beating them. However we don't do back to back races at Cransley, so we all retired to the clubhouse for some afternoon tiffin - before the Race Officer announced the next race would start when everyone was ready - how civilised!

Everyone went out and raced again, and it quickly became apparent that Hugh and Harry were out to show the onlooking crowd that they going to go for it. Rob and Gretta were also cajoling with Sarah and I during the first half of the race. Unfortunately a freak gust took H & H out and myself and Sarah managed to pull out a little lead eventually.

Well done to Rhiain and Sue for staying dry - I think Rob and Gretta did too. Thanks to Safety and Race crew and the galley, who were all kept busy.

However congratulations to all taking part, great days sailing! It was a fun day's racing and everyone was smiling at the Prize Giving.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st103Nigel AustinSarah AustinCransley(RET)112
2nd165Rob CampbellGretta DaviesCransley1‑223
3rd90Hugh AmberyHarry AmberyCransley(RET)336
4th4Rhiain BevanSue BullCransley(RET)549
5th121Tom ChapmanAlister BonafiaCransley(RET)4610
6th115Arran BrittonSophie GuyettCransley(RET)6511
7th59Ian PiddGeorgie HindeCransley(RET)7714

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