Clarke Has Long Distance Solution

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its annual long distance race last Sunday afternoon 14 August for the Jim Suckling Trophy with fifteen boats taking part.  Under blue skies and sunshine, coupled with a pleasant south westerly wind the competitors beat down the coast to the Pier buoy, staying close to the shore to help mitigate the adverse effects of the freshly ebbing tide.  The boats then continued around the Pier and on to the Watersports mark off Martello Bay.  As would be expected the RS600’s lead the fleet, followed closely by Simon Clarke in his Solution.  At the other end, in the slow handicap group, there was a close tussle going on between Aaron Baker and Robert Gutteridge in a Topaz, Jon and Linda Meggison, also in a Topaz, and Lesley Sacre in a Pico; with the Meggisons taking the lead once round the Pier.  The wind then started to veer southerly and, having dropped for a little while, freshened slightly and held like that for the rest of the race.  After heading down the coast the boats had a very long reach back past the Club, hooking round the Seaward buoy, and up the coast to Holland Haven.  The Kurtulus brothers, both sailing Toppers, put the pressure on the Topazes with Zak at one point being in amongst them; whilst up in the fast handicap fleet the two Vortexes, sailed by Derroll Pedder and Simon Mathewson, seemed inseparable with just twenty seconds between them at the end of the race.  However it was Clarke that sailed to victory, with the first Cadet home being Matt Downing in his Contender who took an impressive fifth place.

Results: Jim Suckling Long Distance Trophy
1. Solution – Simon Clarke
2. RS600 – Ken Potts
3. RS600 – Kelvin Morton

The Club’s Cadets and Otters are now eagerly looking forward to a special day’s tuition by a member of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Squad which is being held on Saturday 20 August, the full cost of which is being met by a very generous member of the Gunfleet.