Davis Does The Honours In Winter Series Second Race
Last Sunday 28 October Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Winter Series, in bitterly cold conditions, with a fresh south-westerly wind and lumpy seas making an unattractive backdrop. In a closely bunched start it was Andy Dunnett in his Laser that led the fleet on the beat down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy, with Paul Davis’s Solution and Matt Downing’s Contender almost on top of him. As the boats beat into the shore Simon Clarke threw in a tack and broke rank in order to gain some clean wind. The first leg proved to be quite an arduous task for the competitors but once round the mark it was a run back to Eastcliff, with a freshly ebbing tide to assist. Unfortunately Downing never made it this far as his kicker parted from the boom and he had to be towed in by the Club’s Rescue Boat. For the rest of the fleet there then followed a broad reach out to the Seaward buoy, a gybe, and then a closer reach in to the AWS mark and back out to Seaward. It was on the latter leg out to the Seaward buoy that saw Dunnett flip out of his boat as the toe strap parted, losing him several minutes whilst he righted his craft and tried to catch-up, but without a means of successfully hiking-out it proved impossible to really drive his Laser and he retired back to the Club. The remaining sailors completed a second gybe offshore before hurtling to Kingscliff and beating back to the Line. At the end of the first lap it was Davis that had stolen the lead with Clarke in second place. For the Williams brothers one lap proved enough and they too retired in their Hobie 405. Grey clouds and rain then appeared, and the wind freshened to a force 5 making the second lap more gruelling. With the two top places already decided it was Mark Venables that fought hard to maintain third place in his Laser, the same position that he had achieved the week before.