Lasers Dominate Both Races

Gunfleet Sailing Club played “catch-up” last Sunday 18 September when it ran two races postponed from the very start of the season.  The first race, for the March Hare Trophy, was convincingly won by Ken Potts in his Laser.
An offshore wind, which always results in sudden gusts and shifts in direction, kept the competitors on their toes, with Ken Potts leading from the start; closely followed by Paul Stanton in his Laser and Sonny Hart in his Solution.  Despite fighting a strong flooding tide, the reach to the Kingscliff buoy did not take very long and the helms, after gybing, were soon heading out to the Seaward mark on a very broad reach.  The next leg, a beat back into the AWS buoy started to break the fleet up as different tactics were tried.  Harry Swinbourne, in his Laser, caught-up with Hart; the latter going round the AWS buoy the wrong way and therefore being disqualified.  The run back out to sea saw Owen and Lauren Hooper capsize their Topaz, but it didn’t take them long to right the boat and get back into the thick of things, whilst Eddie White lead the Topazes all the way round the course.  After a beat down to Eastcliff buoy it was a reach back through the line, with Potts now in a comfortable lead.  On the second lap Rob Lockett closed the gap, in his Laser, to Swinbourne but not sufficiently to get him in the top three places.
Results – March Hare Trophy:
1. Laser – Ken Potts
2. Laser – Paul Stanton
3. Laser – Harry Swinbourne
The race for the Hertford County Shield took place in the afternoon, with Stanton gaining a quick lead, and when Tom and Ed Philpot hoisted the spinnaker on their 405 they picked-up speed and started to pass several competitors.  The first leg was, once again, a reach to the Kingscliff buoy but with the tide having turned it really helped to hurry the boats along.  There was, just like the morning’s race, a broad reach out to the Seawaed buoy, followed by a beat into AWS before reaching down the coast to the St. Michaels buoy and then a speedy return home.  In the Toppers it was Ted Newson that kept the lead although Lauren Hooper was hot on his tail for much of the race.  Leading in the slow handicap, and coming in fourth overall, so just missing out on the top three positions, was Owen Hooper and Daisy Swinbourne in their Topaz.
Results – Hertford County Shield:
1. Laser – Paul Stanton
2. Laser – Harry Swinbourne
3. GP14 – Dave Fowell and Jeremy Goodchild
Course Board
Date 18 September 2016
Race 1 March Hare
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3 to 4
Wind Direction North - North West
High Tide 13:33
Course K - S - AWS - S - E - Line
Race 2 Hertford County Shield
Start Time 14:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2 to 3
Wind Direction North West
High Tide 13:33
Course K - S - AWS - St. M - Line