Gentle Cruise and an Abandoned Race - All in One Weekend

Sunshine and blue skies greeted members of Gunfleet Sailing Club last Saturday afternoon when they headed down the coast on the last cruise of the season. A very light north easterly breeze took the 9 boats sedately around the end of Clacton Pier and, accompanied by the Club Rescue Boat, the craft headed for a suitable place to stop for refreshment. Very conveniently the wind then swung round 180 degrees and allowed the helms to relax on a gentle run back to the Club with the last of the ebb tide helping them on their way. By Sunday the wind had swung back to the north east and freshened considerably. As the day went on so the wind continued to build and by the afternoon there was quite a lumpy north sea rolling in. This deterred a number of sailors but eleven boats still came to the line for the first race in the Autumn Series. One or two capsizes occurred before the start but soon the boats were off and beating towards the Kingscliff buoy. There then followed a fast reach out to the Seaward mark and the first to get there was Ken Potts in his RS600. However on gybing around the buoy he promptly capsized, as did Kelvin Morton in his RS600, whilst many of the others following behind wisely decided to tack into wind, the extra time taken being made up for by staying upright. As the craft then headed back to the AWS buoy the Rescue Boat called up to say it had a serious technical problem and was no longer able to continue overseeing the race. With capsizes still occurring and the wind further freshening the Officer of the Day John Clarke wisely hoisted the “Race Abandoned” flag and the competitors all safely returned to the beach. The race will be re-run on Sunday 12 October.