Andy Wins Second Race In Autumn Series

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Autumn Series on Sunday 17 September, with Andy Dunnett taking first place in his Laser.

In contrast to the previous week’s strong winds, a light but gusty offshore wind greeted the competitors as they launched onto a flat sea.  First over the start line was Peter Downer in his Comet, with Jack and Elliot Berry’s Fireball very close behind.  The Berry’s sat close to the Inner Distance Mark and immediately hoisted their spinnaker which, once set on what was a very tight reach, took them out in front of the other boats.  They were first round the St. Michael’s buoy and seemed to have a reasonable lead over the two front Lasers, sailed by Dunnett and Harry Swinbourne; these two literally reaching out to sea parallel with each other.  The fleet hardened-up as they swung round the Seaward mark and headed, on a beat towards the shore, to the AWS buoy.  It was on this leg that Swinbourne got ahead of Dunnett.  Following a run back out to sea there was a second beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy and Peter Downer decided to beat straight into shore before tacking up towards the mark; his logic for this being that the ebbing tide would help push his boat towards the buoy.  Almost all the others sailed close hauled along the coast, before tacking in line with the Kingscliff.  Downer’s tactic paid off as he gained a good lead on Eddie White in his Laser.  Taking the maiden voyage in their brand new GP14, Dave Fowell and Jeremy Goodchild soon had the boat cutting through the water and found the spinnaker really helped increase speed on the run.

At the end of the first lap Swinbourne was in first place with Dunnett a very close second, followed in third place by Downer.  On the second lap the Fireball was slightly quicker than first time round, while the Lasers were slightly slower.  Dunnett had also taken over from Swinbourne as lead boat and continued to sail a clean course, so taking the winning gun.  Just missing out on the top three places were Fowell and Goodchild whose impressive second lap time in their GP14 took them into fourth place.

Results: Autumn Series - 2:

1. Laser – Andy Dunnett

2. Comet – Peter Downer

3. Fireball – Jack and Elliot Berry