Lively Start To Winter Series

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the first of its Winter Series races last Sunday 25 October in some lively conditions.  In a force four gusting five south westerly wind and freshly flooding tide ten boats came to the start line.  First away were Simon Clarke in his Solution and Andy Dunnett in a Laser.  As the boats beat towards the Eastcliff mark Paul Davis and Dave Fowell in the Xennon started challenging the leaders whilst further back Simon Mathewson, after a number of capsizes in his Vortex, was forced to retire when his outhaul snapped.  Kelvin Morton rounded the Eastcliff mark first in his RS600 but as he commenced a screaming reach out to the Seaward buoy his boat capsized and it took many minutes to right it.  By this time the wind had freshened and Antony Reeve, sailing a Laser, and Aaron Baker in a Topaz, both headed for shore. 

Almost simultaneously disaster struck two boats when the Xenon capsized at the Seaward gybe mark and Yvonne Gough went over in her Laser near the Eastcliff buoy.  The Club Rescue Boat was soon on the scene assisting Gough and then shot out to sea to help Davis and Fowell.  Morton seemed to be up and then over on several occasions and he too eventually retired.  Meanwhile Cadet Sebastien Mathewson kept going in his Topper and, despite a couple of capsizes, finished the course in good time taking a very respectable fourth place.

Results – Winter Series 1:

1. Solution – Simon Clarke
2. Laser – Andy Dunnett
3. Solution – Mark Venables