Yvonne Takes The Top Place In Lively Conditions

Gunfleet Sailing Club members braced themselves for a lively sail last Sunday morning, with winds blowing force 5 gusting 6, as they prepared their dinghies for the first race in the Autumn Series.  The west/south-westerly winds brought some strong gusts as the competitors beat down the coast against an ebbing tide.  Conor and Finlay Williams lead at the start in their 405, followed closely by Yvonne Gough in her Laser.  Once round the first mark, the Eastcliff buoy, it was an exhilarating reach out to Seaward, the gybe mark, and this manoeuvre caught several sailors out.  Derroll Pedder was the first to capsize, in his Solution, but seemed to have it back up in seconds.  Rob Lockett, who normally makes a habit of capsizing at this point, made a clean gybe and kept in with the rest of the fleet; and if the fetch into the AWS buoy seemed lively, the reach back out to sea provided even more excitement.  Beth Elliott and Maddie Corbett capsized their 405, but they certainly weren’t alone.  In the slow handicap fleet, Eddie White found it too much in his Topaz and retired back to shore whilst Shona Goodchild and Daisy Swinbourne just lapped-up the conditions in their Topaz.  There followed another gybe out at sea and yet more reaching, this time up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy before a beat back through the line.  
At the end of the first lap the Williams boys still lead, but only by a slim margin.  A second lap, and several more capsizes, saw places changing;  very noticeable were Dave Fowell and Jeremy Goodchild in their GP14, who overtook several other boats and moved up to sixth position, putting them well into the top half of the fleet.  Just as it looked like the Williams brothers had pulled it off, and were heading for a win, Gough just managed to squeeze ahead and take the winning gun.
Results – Autumn Series 1:
1. Laser – Yvonne Gough
2. 405 – Conor and Finlay Williams
3. Solution – Derroll Pedder
Course Board
Date 25 September 2016
Race Autumn Series - 1
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 5 gusting 6
Wind Direction West/South-west
High Tide 07:06
Course E - S - AWS - S - K - Line