Gunfleet Sailing Club members gathered in force at the Kingscliff Hotel, Holland on Sea on Saturday 26 October, to celebrate the 2019 sailing season at their annual Laying-Up Dinner and Prize Giving. Club Commodore Richard Walker explained it had been a special year for him as he had complete 25 years in the role, and looked back at how things had changed over the 50 plus years he had been a member.
The final race in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s 2019 season took place on Sunday 20 October in pleasant conditions, with a convincing win for Ken Potts in his Laser.
Gunfleet Sailing Club’s second race in its Winter Series, last Sunday 13 October, saw an exciting battle, with force 7 winds and mountainous seas providing a lively backdrop to the winner, Ken Potts in his Laser.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Autumn Series on Sunday 22 September with Andy Dunnett taking his Laser to victory after a closely fought battle.
The weather forecast proved misleading; having predicted winds gusting to force five, it was clear to the members rigging their boats that the conditions were far less volatile. In fact blue skies, unbroken sunshine, and a pleasant force three onshore breeze greeted the competitors as they launched onto a fairly flat sea.
It was a full weekend for Gunfleet Sailing Club members, starting on Saturday 14 September when the End of Season Cruise was held. The fleet of dinghies, accompanied by one of the Club's safety boats, headed lazily down the coast on a run, landing at St. Osyth beach for a picnic. The sun shone and the wind very kindly veered more onshore, allowing the boats to head out to sea, put in one tack, and then beat straight back to the Gunfleet.
Last Sunday 1 September members of Gunfleet Sailing Club took part in Clacton Sailing Club's Double Dan race. The Trophy, which dates back to 1958 and has been won by sailing legends including Reg White, starts at Brightlingsea Sailing Club with competitors then sailing around the coast and back to Holland on Sea.
In the morning the competitors from both Clubs had a leisurely sail round to Brightlingsea, accompanied by three safety boats, and landed in time to take refreshment before the race commenced.
Gunfleet Sailing Club and Clacton Sailing Club combined forces to hold a race with a difference. The Pier 2 Pier race took entries from both Clubs with the aim of sailing a single circuit down the coast to Clacton Pier, then up the coast to Walton Pier, and finally back home. The twist to the event was that each Club started and finished their entries at their own line; the circuit passing both Clubs so every competitor covered the same ground.
Gunfleet Sailing Club’s 2019 Cadet Week, sponsored by ORSTED, proved to be an exciting and fun-filled time for the younger members of the Club. Each morning the sailors took part in a race series whilst after lunch they joined together in teams to take part in games, both on and off the water. Tuesday and Wednesday were slightly disrupted by strong winds, but the programme was adjusted accordingly, ensuring a busy and fast moving range of activities throughout all five days.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held the race for the Bill Clarke Shield on Sunday 4 August, with Paul Stanton taking first place in his Laser.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held the race for the Potterers Pot last Sunday 28 July, an event specifically for dinghies that fall into the slow handicap fleet, with Rob Lockett leading the fleet over the finishing line.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held the fourth race in its evening Summer Series on Wednesday 17 July which, following some interesting tactics, saw Ken Potts taking first place in his Laser.
Gunfleet Sailing Club held the race for the Tee Dee Challenge Cup last Sunday 14 July with Ken Potts winning the trophy in his Laser.
After an exciting race at Gunfleet Sailing Club last Sunday 7 July it was John Tappenden that won the Bill Geddes Trophy in his Laser.
Gunfleet Sailing Club welcomed members of neighbouring Clacton Sailing Club last Sunday 30 June when the pursuit race for The Chase Trophy was held. The race is based on staggered starts, the slowest handicapped craft leaving first, followed by the next slowest etc., until the fastest handicapped competitors complete the order of play. This meant, based on a 12:30 p.m. finish, that the first start was the Topper at 11:00 a.m. and the last was the Hurricane 5.9 SX some 44 minutes later.
Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club enjoyed some exciting sailing, in the single-handed race for the Toppo Trophy last Sunday 23 June, with John Tappenden taking the honours in his RS Aero.