Dunnett Gets Double Top

It was a double victory for Andy Dunnett last Sunday 11 October, in his Laser, when he won both the Autumn Series and the March Hare Trophy down at Gunfleet Sailing Club.
The morning looked far from appealing with grey skies and a gusting force five north-easterly wind greeting the competitors as they rigged-up on the beach for the final race in the Autumn Series.  Just to add to the picture the rough seas made it quite tricky launching from the shore.  After a somewhat scattered start the fleet settled down to a beat up the coast to the windward mark, with Paul Davis and Ken Potts leading the way in the RS 400.  Once round the buoy it was a dead run back to the AWS mark and then out to sea on a tight reach, allowing for the last of the flood tide.  Once again in the slow handicap fleet it was Harry Swinbourne that lead in his Topper and as he, along with his fellow sailors, undertook the broad reach from the seaward buoy to a mark further down the coast he had the boat positively flying.  Unfortunately Derroll Pedder capsized his Solution, which pushed him back in the rankings and as the fleet beat back to the line it was clear that Andy Dunnett had carved himself a comfortable lead in his Laser.  On the second lap all the competitors picked up speed, but Dunnett’s skill at changing tack in his boat far quicker than his rivals continued to give him the edge.  Surfing down waves the crews found the race exhilarating, but hard work, and as they finished their second lap they knew they had to brace themselves for a third one.  Steve and Daisy Swinbourne, in their Topaz, fought hard to pull ahead of the Topper whilst Pedder had sailed his way through the fleet, after his earlier ducking, in an all-out attempt to get in the top three placings; something he pulled off at the very last minute, with Davis and Potts in second place, and Dunnett taking top spot and winning the series overall.
Results – Autumn Series Overall:
1. Laser – Andy Dunnett
2. Comet – Peter Downer
3. Sea Ranger – Richard Walker
The wind remained fresh for the afternoon’s race but by now the sun had come out and made a far more attractive setting.  This was to be the last race of the 2015 sailing season and was in fact a re-run of the very first race of the year, for the March Hare Trophy, which had been postponed some seven months previous due to bad weather.  Dunnett, fresh from his morning’s success, had an excellent start and beat out to sea in order to make best use of the freshly ebbing tide.  So good were his tactics that he was first round the windward buoy, ahead of Potts who was now back in his RS 600.  Capsizes followed amongst the fleet, but the conditions proved ideal for some more lively sailing as the boats followed the same course as the morning’s race.  This clearly suited Dunnett who continued to romp round the course and, after three laps, take his second win of the day.
Results – March Hare Trophy:
1. Laser – Andy Dunnett
2. RS 600 – Ken Potts
3. Laser – Rob Lockett