Family affair at Comet Trio National Championships

The podium at the CometTrios National Championships

The podium at the CometTrios National Championships - Credit: Archant

The Comet Trio National championship was held at Exe Sailing Club and attracted 22 entries including visitors from Shustoke, Paignton, Hawley Lake, Cody, and Sutton Bingham, writes Guy Farrant.

The Comet Trio is a 15ft two-person racing dinghy and the biggest class at the club mainly because it is robust and sea kindly. Just as well because over the three days extremes of weather were encountered!

On Friday the wind was Southerly 15-17 knots and against the tide which produced a very rough sea. This stress of weather soon took its toll. Keith and Hazel Lawson in Daisy broke a kicker, Bill Gott and Don Blackett in Dash capsized near the windward mark, recovered from this only for the jib halliard to snap, and Guy Farrant and Marilynn Booker in Go with the Flow broke the rudder tiller, so these had to retire.

Meanwhile, up at the front Iain Horlock (past champion) and Charlotte Jones in Red Alert revelled in the conditions, surfing down the waves on the planning reaches. Past champions Symon Garratt and Graham Sykes in Abigail Rose also liked these conditions and gained a second place. New boy on the block was Alex Horlock with Josh Geare in Pooh who gained third in race one but won race two.

Visitors Adrian and Tracy Padro from Shustoke SC gained a creditable fourth in both races.

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Saturday’s weather was the other extreme; little or no wind. Race Officer Tim Graham managed one race. It was Martin Luce and Richard Soper in Tatu that popped out of the start line and lead all the way to his first National win, on a course that, after an hour, had to be shortened due to the dying wind. Tony Brewster and Mike Davies in Tamsyn II gained third place. Back at the club competitors and helpers enjoyed an excellent Trio dinner followed by lots of silly games organized by Fred and Debbie Woodcock (sailing Wild Thing).

Overnight there was heavy rain and Sunday broke with no wind. Fortunately after a short postponement a gentle SW 8-10 knots of wind filled in with lots of shifts and holes. At this stage the championship was wide open so these conditions were perfect to sort out a worthy winner. Past champions Andrew and Caroline McAusland in Piglet came back into form and secured two wins. Past champion Bob Horlock and Colette Horlock in Exe’t’sea gained a creditable second in race four and visitors Stuart and Rory Bush from Shustoke gained a third in race five.

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But it was Alex Horlock with Alex Collins who dominated with a second and a third place. So, after five races completed, the class has a new champion in Alex Horlock, displacing last year’s champions Andrew and Caroline, beating brother Iain Horlock and Charlotte Jones third and parents Bob and Colette Horlock fourth, quite a family affair!

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