Firstly, I hope you and families are well and staying safe in these unusual times.
There are some small signs of sailing coming back to life as usual and we at Shustoke Sailing Club are back racing again whilst following strict social distance and RYA guidelines, I’ve never seen so many families sailing together especially in our Trio fleet. I hope your clubs are also now open for sailing of some sort or if not yet, I hope not too long.
It’s been disappointing start to the sailing year with the Trio’s Shustoke and Whitefriars open meetings cancelled along with the Inland championship. And any changes to our planned Nationals, scheduled at Exe Sailing Club, will be announced soon.
On the positives side, Glyn at Peak Dinghies has never been busier fulfilling orders for new Trio’s including orders from long standing Trio sailors Guy Farrant and Steve Ashford. It’s also great to see that second hand Trio’s are also still in high demand.
I’ve been delighted to see your stories and questions on the combined comet class Facebook page and I would encourage you all to post your photos of your class in action or any pre-sailing activities onto the page. Alternatively please email them to Tracie if that is easier and she will upload to the platforms.
An article about the Comet Trio was posted to Yachts and Yachting online on 1st May along with some photos and a link to a YouTube video. The video attracted 200+ views which was pleasing to note.
Looking forwards, the committee will be planning open meetings along with both the Inland and National championships for 2021.
We will also assess how we can further promote the class, along with promotion on Facebook, website and articles in various magazines other social media options are under review. The RYA Dinghy show recently announced a move to Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre for 2021 and I am thinking could this be an opportunity to promote our classes…something to consider?
I would like to personally thank the wider committee team for all their support and behind the scenes activity that ensure as an association we continue to thrive. Also a special thank you to Steve Ashford, who after 12 years is standing down as webmaster and handing over the digital reins to Steve White – thank you both for the commitment shown.
Not forgetting, Glyn at Peak Dinghies and Noble Marine for supporting the class and of course I would also like to extend my thanks to the class members for your encouragement and help.
Finally, it remains for me to say it’s a pleasure to be part of an association that is both friendly and offers great sailing experiences.
Enjoy your sailing – safely
CCCA Accounts year ending 2019.
Current balance £4523.88 on June 1st out of which we may be taking the cost of trophies for the National championships.
The expenditure over income for the year ending 2019 is £174. This is accounted for by the cost of trophies with two categories of prizes. The other expenses have been the usual recurring ones such as the RYA affiliation fee, a small sum for the internet domain name & in addition a small donation in memory of David Talbot to the Phyllis Tuckwell hospice.
We have maintained sponsorship from Noble marine Insurance which this year was £440. The account balance seems quite adequate at the current level.
I will be happy to answer any questions arising from the accounts.
Balance in Nationwide account on 13th January 2020 is £4121.68 and 01/06/20 £4523.88
Donation made in memory of David Talbot to Phyllis Tuckwell hospice
Trophy costs include new silver plaque for the Trio Nationals trophy.
The 2019 AGM was held in conjunction with the CCCA Inlands at Llangorse Sailing Club on 4th May 2019. The minutes were published on the CCCA website in June 19. Actions arising from the AGM:
Trio Rules: Following discussion at the 2019 AGM the Committee agreed that the definition of what constituted a Trio and a Trio Mk2 would be determined solely by the type of mainsail fitted and Rowsell sails would be banned at CCCA events after 2024. This provoked heated debate on the CCCA Facebook page and as a result it was decided to revert to a previous definition of the rigs for the Trio Nationals at Brixham. Subsequently, Peak Dinghies asked North to produce a flatter cut spinnaker, the same size as the original Rowsell sail although radial cut. An informal discussion was held at the Trio Nationals on the subject and as a consequence, after considerable
negotiation with Peak Dinghies, the rules were rewritten and sent to all Trio owners in draft in Dec 19.
Rename the CCCA the Trio Class Association: The committee considered the history of the CCCA, the financial contributions made by the different classes and the effect on the other classes if the Trio class withdrew from the CCCA. They unanimously agreed to retain the status quo.
At the 2019 Inlands sponsored by Noble Marine, 13 Comet Trios competed for the trophies in a mixture of strong and light breezes. 5 races were sailed over the bank holiday weekend of 4-5th May 19. With the Trios and Trio Mk2 rigs all starting together, the racing was close and exciting with at least 4 capsizes! This year it was the turn of Darren and Callum Padro from Shustoke SC to show how the Mk2 rig could be put to good effect, winning 3 races to take the title by one point from Andrew and Caroline McAusland, from Exe. The Trio fleet was shown the way by local maestro David Morgan and Lorina Walden with 5 wins from Sam and Chris Mayne from Hawley Lake in second.
The 21st Comet Trios Nationals sponsored by Noble Marine were held at Brixham YC from 2 -4th August 2019 and 18 Trios, gathered for an event held in light winds. The 10 Mk2s started first and with all 7 races sailed it went down to the last race before Adrian and Tracie Padro were crowned champions ahead of Andrew and Caroline. Racing was even closer in the Mk1 fleet but Richard Salliss and Carol Williams scored 2 firsts on the last day to pip Sam and Chris Mayne to the championship.
Report from Duo Representative
The 2020 Duo championships, scheduled for July, have been cancelled. We will continue to hold these events at Cransley SC in order to have a reasonable fleet, mainly Cransley-based boats but with several visitors, as happened last year. For completeness below is the report of the 2019 championships. As you can see, although no new Duos are being built there is still a group of active Duo sailors, and we value the on-going link with other Comets boatsthrough the CCCA, even if we don’t meet up with other classes. We would always be happy for Versas or Zeros to sail with us at our championships. I am willing to continue as the Duo- link person if re-elected!
Comet Duo National Championships 2019
The course was around as many buoys as the duty officer could get on the board and consequently one lap was between 13 and 16 minutes long, which for the wind and size of our water was using every inch of the reservoir.
There was close competitive racing throughout the fleet in all 3 races but it was carried out amicably and with lots of banter – just how it should be! It was great to see a lot of youngsters either crewing or helming and whilst these wonderful boats are no longer being built and most are more than 20 years old, they do sail lovely and to handicap on smaller waters like Cransley.
We are hoping to get to the magical 18 boats next year so we can claim that over 10% of the
built fleet attended the event – I wonder if any other class could or has claimed that!!!
Peak Dinghy Spares
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well in these difficult and unprecedented times. As I write this, we appear to be moving in the right direction and coming out of the pandemic. So, it’s good to think of good times ahead and getting back on the water and sailing with our friends.
It’s five years since we took over building the Comet Trio and so I just want to quickly run through some key milestones.
Having had the moulds for a while and with no orders for a new boat, we decided to build one with a view to taking it to the 2016 RYA Dinghy Show. The CCCA kindly agreed to have a stand and members helped to man it. A few months later Trio 500 was sold to a local authority outdoor education centre. They already had Trios and were pleased that a new one was once again an option.
At the end of August 2016, we were approached to see if we could provide a new rig for the Trio and with the help of North Sails and Selden we did this.
In the spring of 2017 Woozle (Trio 450) fitted with the new rig, went on tour and in the summer of that year Trio owners held a vote and the new rig was accepted by a two thirds majority. There quickly followed a cluster of orders from existing owners who wanted to fit the new rig to their boat.
In the spring of 2018, after a two-year gap, we sold three more Trio’s. All of course with the new rig.
In 2019, Trio no’s 504 and 505 were sold.
In 2020 so far we have five new boats either built or in build.
With a raft of boats being built of late, there has always been a new hull in both our and Woodwinds workshop. Very often when people have called in with a boat or a sail for repair, they have been drawn to the Trio asking what boat is that? Then going on to say that they have not seen one before and how much they like it. One long standing customer who had said for a long time that he did not like the Trio, came in last week and asked, “what boat is that”. When he was told that it was a Trio, he did not believe it. At least he went away with a much more positive impression of it, though has not bought one, yet!
The growth in sales of new boats is not only a good thing in itself, it also makes the holding of spares much easier. Currently we have a stock of spare spars, foils and sails. These are not massive stocks, but it is a start.
When we introduced the new rig, we explained that it would not be changed again for a long time and we still stand by that. However, we also want to listen to you the people who buy and sail our boats. One thing that people had been saying for a while was that they wanted a flatter spinnaker to complement the new one. So last autumn North produced a flatter cut spinnaker and this has been sent around the Clubs for people to try. Unfortunately, the testing has been halted during the lockdown, but hopefully that can get going again soon. When all the testing is complete and the feedback received, we will be able to make any changes and get it into production.
As I have mentioned above, the Trio would benefit from greater publicity and that is something that I want to work on. If anyone has any suggestions on how best to do this, please let me know.
Finally, thank you all for choosing to be Trio sailors, I hope you have some great days out on the water very soon.
Peak Dinghy Spares.
Zero, Duo, Versa Builders Report July 2020
Andrew Simmons. Comet Dinghies. 01769 520545
I don’t know when I last wrote a report, so I thought I’d use this as an opportunity to let you know what I’ve been up to.
Firstly, I’d like to say I’m pleased how the Trio has found a new life with Glyn. It seems to be a moderate success which considering the difficult times, firstly Brexit and now Covid, is really pleasing.
I guess some of you are new owners of my old boats. A few of you have had spares and bits from me already but I’d like to reassure you that parts like masts, rigging, covers, rudders etc can still be supplied and any advice given. Sails seem to last for ages, but I’ve agreed with Rowsell Sails that they can now supply them direct to owners of Versas, Duos and Zeros.
The only dinghy that I build now is the single hander Comet which celebrates turning 40 next year! Now days only a couple are built each year but they do cost about ten times what a half decent second-hand one can be! Nearly 900 are out there so there is a reasonable business selling parts, upgrades and doing repairs.
Talking of upgrades, a couple of years ago we launched a new sail with shorter mast. Bearing in mind it’s a strict one-design, this was a tricky one but over 60 have been converted so far. The new sail has a halyard and battens, so much more convenient. The very latest development is a slab reefing version that brings the area down to 5 sq. m from 6.25 sq. m.
I nearly forgot that I did build a new Comet Zero a couple of years ago for a Comet sailor in Cornwall, but do not expect to build many more.
Second-hand Zeros, Versa’s and even older Duos still command good prices and don’t forget to call for any help or if you need parts.
Now I’m an OAP I tend to look back at the “good old days” which to me was pre- 2008. The boat shows, demo days etc were hard work but rewarding and fun. I may not build many boats nowadays but there are about 1650 I’ve built out there and the vast majority still going strong. Look after them, but always enjoy them.