Sounds like some intergalactic phenomenon but no, it was three classes of sailing dinghy competing on the reservoir at Sutton Bingham just outside Yeovil last weekend.
On Saturday 29 April Sutton Bingham Sailing Club were hosts to the Comet, Supernova and Comet Trio classes with 26 boats taking to the water for hotly contested fleet racing. Three races were sailed with the best two results to count. A shifty South to South Easterly breeze challenged the Race Officer, Richard Frost to set good courses and kept the sailors on their toes.
The morning race was sailed in a light 6-7 mph breeze which rose to 8-11 mph in the afternoon with the occasional stronger gusts which caught some sailors unawares.
In the Supernovas, the biggest class, Andrew Snell won the first race by a significant margin, with Alistair Glen 2nd and Adrian Neal having to defend hard to hold onto 3rd from Steve Mitchell. In race two Neal took an early lead until being overtaken by Snell and Glen downwind on the second lap. In spite of some tricky shifts around mark 4 the second race result was a carbon copy of race one. A building breeze and big wind shifts for the last race of the day shuffled the pack. Home club sailor Mike Riley had a stonking first leg to take an early lead, however he was gradually hunted down. Untimely mistakes and misfortunes by most helms kept the race result open until the finish. Glen secured a well earned win and 2nd overall, Mitchell followed in 2nd to take 3rd overall on countback and Snell, with two firsts in the bag won the event.
Clear wind was key in the first Comet race with a skewed first beat due to the constraints of the Halstock leg of the lake. Eddie Pope worked the light shifty wind to great effect to win convincingly whilst Ben Palmer, Chris Hatton and Chris Robinson had a closer battle to follow in that order. In race two it was Palmer who nailed the start and broke well clear for the win. After an early pursuit by Dave Harris it was last years winner, Chris Jones who held second for most of the race, until in a dying breeze Hatton broke through on the final reach. The wind breezed up for the final race with more place changing as sailors came to grief or excelled in the gusty conditions. The battle at the front was between Robinson and Pope with Hatton, Palmer and Harris not far behind. Pope secured his second bullet of the day to win overall with Robinson 2nd and Jones pulling through to 3rd after an early capsize. Performances earlier in the day were good enough to give Palmer and Hatton 2nd and 3rd overall respectively.
In the Comet Trios Sutton Bingham’s Mike Burke and Marcus Patton dominated over club compatriots Stephen Sharp and Helen Harding by winning all three races by a comfortable margin.
1st Andrew Snell, Datchet Water Sailing Club
2nd Alistair Glen, Exe Sailing Club
3rd Steve Mitchell, Porthpean Sailing Club
1st Eddie Pope, Ogston Sailing Club
2nd Ben Palmer, Baltic Wharf Sailing Club
3rd Chris Hatton, Severn Sailing Club
Comet Trio Results
1st Mike Burke and Marcus Patton, Sutton Bingham Sailing Club
2nd Stephen Sharp and Helen Harding, Sutton Bingham Sailing Club
Full results at: http://www.suttonbinghamsc.net/w/download/race_results/race_results_2017/COMET-Open-2017.htm
Winners at the Sutton Bingham multi-class sailing event, Marcus Patton, Mike Burke, Ben Palmer, Eddie Pope, Chris Hatton, Andrew Snell, Alistair Glen and Steve Mitchell