Andy Dunnett Certainly Did It

Gunfleet Sailing Club commenced its Winter Series last Sunday 23 October with Andy Dunnett taking the first of seven races in his Laser.
In an east/north-easterly breeze the competitors, all closely bunched, edged their way towards the line and, as the start flag fell from the yardarm, Jane Newson had the nose of her Topper as close as one could get it.  But almost in a flash Derroll Pedder sped past her in his Solution, and Peter Downer was quick to follow-suit in his Comet.  The first leg was a beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy and, with the ebbing tide under them, the fleet was soon rounding it; Pedder lead the way on the broad reach out to the Seaward buoy but he had Andy Dunnett, in his Laser, not that far behind.  At this point Downer was up in the top bunch, with Rob Lockett snapping at his heels in his Laser.  Having gybed round the offshore mark it was a close reach in to AWS before a long run down to the St. Michael’s buoy and then a beat back to the line.  Dave Fowell and Jeremy Goodchild took the opportunity to fly the spinnaker on their GP14 whenever possible, helping to push them up the fleet.  Owen and Lauren Hooper, the youngest sailors in the race, kept a steady course in their Topaz and pulled away from Newson early on whilst Lesley Sacre and Stuart Hooper, in the Sea Ranger, soon caught up with the rest of the competitors after a very bad start.
As the leading craft came towards the line, completing their first lap, it really was neck and neck between Pedder and Dunnett, with Pedder appearing to out-point his rival.  Dunnett crossed the line five seconds ahead of Pedder, but the latter had come closer to shore in order to try and make the beat up to Kingscliff in one tack, the wind having backed several degrees; the tactic appeared to pay off as Pedder had gained several boat lengths as the two reached back out to sea.  Meanwhile Lockett had not relaxed the pressure on these two but knew he would not be able to catch them in time.  On the penultimate leg of the second lap, Dunnett just slipped into the lead, hanging on to it until the finishing gun sounded.
Results – Winter Series 1:
1. Laser – Andy Dunnett
2. Solution – Derroll Pedder
3. Laser – Rob Lockett
Course Board
Date 23 October 2016
Race Winter Series - 1
Start Time 10:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) force 3, dropping to 2
Wind Direction East/North-East
High Tide 17:15
Course K - S - AWS - St.M - Line