Sailing and social reports from the 2012 season
Sailing and social reports from the 2012 season
Last Sunday proved a busy day for members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club. In the morning it was the final race of the Club’s Winter Series and, like all good race series, it was this last event that was destined to determine the overall winner; being either Paul Davis in his Solution or Simon Clarke in his Phantom. In brilliant sunshine and a force 2 to 3 offshore wind it was Andy Dunnett that led the fleet at the start, closely followed by Davis. Assisted by a flood tide the craft reached to the Eastcliff mark, gybed and headed out on a very broad reach to the Seaward Buoy.
For the second week running the competitors taking part in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Winter Series of races were greeted by unbroken sunshine and bright blue skies last Sunday, coupled with a light offshore breeze. Cadet Robert Gutteridge, in a Laser, was a bit too eager at the start and found himself the wrong side of the line but hastily returned to cross it correctly. On the other hand Cadets Conor and Finlay Williams in their Hobie 405 were quick to hoist their asymmetric spinnaker on the reach to the Eastcliff buoy and kept level pegging with the Solution dinghies.
Last Sunday 11 November saw the fourth race in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Winter Series, under blue skies and unbroken sunshine, and first away was Paul Davis in his Solution, followed closely by Derroll Pedder, also in a Solution. The initial leg took the fleet up to the Eastcliff buoy with the boats close hauled in a light westerly breeze, the strong ebbing tide noticeably slowing progress down.
Force 7, gusting 8, winds put paid to the third race in the Gunfleet's Winter Series last Sunday 4 November, and the Officer Of the Day wisely hoisted the signal flags "N over A" which told the competitors that All races abandoned; no more racing today. The Galley did a roaring trade in breakfasts as the waves crashed onto the beach and the wild seas rolled up the ramp.
Last Sunday 28 October Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Winter Series, in bitterly cold conditions, with a fresh south-westerly wind and lumpy seas making an unattractive backdrop. In a closely bunched start it was Andy Dunnett in his Laser that led the fleet on the beat down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy, with Paul Davis’s Solution and Matt Downing’s Contender almost on top of him. As the boats beat into the shore Simon Clarke threw in a tack and broke rank in order to gain some clean wind.
Grey skies, steady rain, and a gusting and variable offshore wind greeted the twelve competitors taking part in the first race of the Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Winter Series last Sunday morning 21 October 2012. Straight into the lead was Paul Davis in his Solution, starting at the shoreward end of the line and heading out to sea on a port tack, hotly pursued by Andy Dunnett in his Laser. The competitors were, however, reluctant to venture too far offshore as they were fighting a flooding tide and were aware it only got stronger the further out to sea they ventured.
Gunfleet Sailing Club celebrated the end of the 2012 sailing season in style with its Laying-Up Dinner and Dance, and Presentation of Trophies, at Clacton on Sea Golf Club last Saturday evening 13 October. Club Commodore Richard Walker welcomed some 70 members and looked back at a season packed full of events. In this, the Club’s 50th year of operation, there had been an extremely successful programme of Club races as well as the ever-popular cruises.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held its last race of the 2012 season on Sunday 7 October under blue skies and glorious sunshine, but with a very light offshore breeze. The fleet reached to the Kingscliff buoy on the first leg and it proved the perfect opportunity for Conor and Finlay Williams to hoist the asymmetric kite on their Hobie 405, which immediately saw them accelerate past a number of their competitors.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held its penultimate race of the 2012 season last Sunday, in lively conditions, as part of its Autumn Series. In a south/south westerly wind, blowing force 5 to 6, it was Ken Potts that stormed away at the start, followed by the Laser fleet. The competitors beat down the coast, staying close to the shore as they fought the strengthening ebb tide, until they reached the Eastclff buoy; at which point they reached at an alarming pace out to the Seaward mark. The boats then had to gybe and reach down to the AWS buoy before fetching back out to sea.
Gunfleet Sailing Club played “catch-up” last Sunday 16 September when it held the race for the Bill Geddes Trophy, previously postponed due to extreme weather. Fourteen dinghies took part in what proved to be a very lively event with winds peaking at the very top of a force 6. In a stiff south westerly wind, large seas and a strong ebb tide the fleet beat down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held the first of its Autumn Series of races last Sunday 9 September in weather more befitting of a perfect summer’s day. The sky was blue, the sun shone, the temperature was 21 degrees centigrade, but the only thing missing was a sailor’s breeze. Thirteen boats came to the start line and fought the last of the ebb tide as they fetched very slowly down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy. Even on this first leg, what little wind there was seemed to drop still further.
On a slightly overcast Sunday afternoon the Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the Fleet Championships when thirteen boats took part. Despite a force four southerly wind the very strong ebb tide made the first leg, to the Eastcliff buoy, a long and fairly tortuous affair. Once round this mark the boats made reasonably quick progress out to the Seaward buoy before heading on a run into the Kingscliff mark.
Gunfleet Sailing Club’s 2012 Regatta proved a great success with some exciting racing last Sunday 26 August. In the morning twenty-five boats took part in the race for the RNLI Charity Shield, including a number of Catamarans, a Vortex, and some Toppers from Clacton Sailing Club. In a force three, gusting four, westerly breeze the fleet beat to St. Michael’s buoy before a very broad reach back to Eastcliff and then out to the Seaward mark. The catamarans immediately pulled ahead, along with the RS600 of Ken Potts which they were unable to really get away from.
Gunfleet Sailing Club played host to the 2012 National Championship of the Solution class dinghy last weekend 11 and 12 August, sponsored by Harken, with boats coming from as far afield as Lincoln, Gloucester, Lancashire and Somerset; the Club already having a fleet of five.
Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club had an early start last Sunday 5 August when sixteen boats took part in the final race of the Egg and Bacon Series. In a very light southerly wind the craft struggled to stem the freshly flooding tide as they made their way, on a reach, to the Kingscliff buoy; with Andy Dunnett in his Laser leading the fleet. By the time they made the first mark there was still some confusion as slow and medium handicapped boats remained very closely bunched.