Windy Conditions Add to the Excitement

In complete contrast to the previous week’s conditions, members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club were greeted by a force five bitterly cold south westerly wind and an uninviting lively grey North Sea for the third race in their Winter Series last Sunday 9 November. Undeterred, even by the threat of storm force conditions heading towards the Essex coast, the helms launched themselves off the beach under the watchful eye of the Club Rescue Boat. The beat to the Eastcliff buoy saw John Heath lead the fleet in his Laser Radial but it wasn’t long before Ken Potts slipped past in his RS600. The broad reached out to the Seaward mark proved a particularly lively affair that culminated in a gybe, catching many of the competitors out. Struggling from the start was Kelvin Morton, also in an RS600, following the failure of the clip that holds the rudder on. A capsize instantaneously followed the breakage but Morton managed to make temporary repairs, right the boat and carry on. However, the “quick fix” didn’t last long and once again he was in trouble. Having valiantly attempted to get the boat upright and being swept down by the tide he eventually accepted the offer of a tow back to shore by the Rescue Boat. Meanwhile Simon Clarke, powering his Solution around the course, slowly moved up the fleet and avoiding any capsizes took first position by just five seconds. Results: Winter Series 3: 1. Solution – Simon Clarke 2. RS600 – Ken Potts 3. Laser – John Heath