Paul Takes The Trophy

Last Sunday 1 September members of Gunfleet Sailing Club took part in Clacton Sailing Club's Double Dan race.  The Trophy, which dates back to 1958 and has been won by sailing legends including Reg White, starts at Brightlingsea Sailing Club with competitors then sailing around the coast and back to Holland on Sea.

In the morning the competitors from both Clubs had a leisurely sail round to Brightlingsea, accompanied by three safety boats, and landed in time to take refreshment before the race commenced.

At 14:00 sharp the start gun sounded across a packed Brightlingsea line with Gunfleet's Paul Stanton, a previous winner, sailing his Laser and getting a perfect start, then Clacton Sailing Club’s Larry Foxon and Ian Wright sailing their Hurricane SX catamaran, followed by the rest of the fleet, including CSC’s Brian Allan and Robert “Sparks” Mitchell sailing the F18 catamaran with a damaged rudder, which had occurred on their journey to Brightlingsea.  All was set with the much faster craft needing to gain significant distance in front of the slower boats as with the handicap system you can be last over the finish line but still be the winner.

With the impressive procession coming out of the Creek it was calamity for the leading catamaran team Foxon and Wright, their gennaker flying, as they suddenly caught a gust and spectacularly capsized, sending the helm and crew flying; Larry also crashing through the main sail.  With time of the essence this proved to be disastrous. 

Stanton had his eyes on the prize and kept in striking distance all the way with Gunfleet’s Andy Dunnett, also sailing a Laser, coming right through the fleet and pushing Paul with just seconds between them.  Michael Gutteridge and Derrol Pedder, sailing their GP14, enjoyed a real battle with a Xenon being sailed by Clare and Michael Giles; both boats coming from Gunfleet. 

With the destination in sight spectators were treated to a dash to the finish line with everything to play for; Clacton Sailing Club’s Rob “Chopper” Mitchell on his Dart 16 making the most of the problems suffered from the bigger cats, being first catamaran home on handicap.  But when all the numbers were crunched it was Paul Stanton who took the honours.

Results – Double Dan:
1.    Laser – Paul Stanton
2.    Laser – Andy Dunnett
3.    GP14 – Michael Gutteridge & Derroll Pedder