Gunfleet Returns To Racing - And It's A Great Success

Gunfleet Sailing Club returned to the water for some racing last Sunday 23 August, observing the restrictions and guidelines as a result of Covid 19.  Despite the strong gusting winds, nine single-handed dinghies launched, the helms just pleased to be back on the briny for the first race of the season.  In fact the event, for the Club’s oldest trophy – the Tee Dee Cup, comprised of three short back to back races, the positions in each one counting towards the overall placing.

In the first race it was Ken Potts first away in his Laser Radial, closely followed by Andy Cornforth, also in a Laser Radial, and then Clare Giles in her Europe.  The boats headed out into the flood tide which assisted them on their way, on the beat to the windward buoy.  But already, at this early stage, the strong and variable winds were causing a number of capsizes.  First over was Eddie White in his Laser 4.7, followed shortly after by Michael Gutteridge in his Solo; both boats requiring the assistance of the Club’s Safety Boat and then retiring.  Next to capsize was Carlo Bardetti, sailing a full rig Laser, but he soon had the boat upright and carried on his way.  As the competitors made the first mark it was a flurry of Lasers, followed by Giles in her Europe who looked like she might have the better of them on handicap but was to then capsize in a gust, allowing Derroll Pedder in his Solo, and Yvonne Gough in her Laser 4.7 to catch-up.  By the time the dinghies had reached the Seaward buoy it was Cornforth in the lead, with John Tappenden second in his Laser Radial, and Potts third.  The boats soon made the next mark on a fetch and then it was a hard beat down the coast when Tappenden slipped into the lead for a brief time.  The broad reach/run back towards the line allowed Potts to nudge ahead of Tappenden to make it a Cornforth, Potts, Tappenden finish.  The second race saw Giles have a cracking start in her Europe, only to see Cornforth and Potts get to the windward buoy first.  It wasn’t long before Pedder had cleared himself from all but two of his competitors but was finding it impossible to make any real impact on Potts and Cornforth, who took the finishing gun in that order.  The third and final race saw both Cornforth and Giles over the line at the start and whilst Giles returned to correct her error, Cornforth chose to crack-on and was disqualified.  This allowed Potts to take the race, with Gough sailing hard to take second place, and Pedder third.

Results Overall – Tee Dee Challenge Trophy:
1.    Laser Radial – Ken Potts
2.    Laser 4.7 – Yvonne Gough
3.    Solo – Derroll Pedder

Course Board
Date 23 August 2020
Race Tee Dee Challenge Trophy
Start Time 11:00 - 11:33 - 12:01
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4 - 6
Wind Direction Westerly variable
High Tide 15:46
Course E - S - ODM - E - ODM - Line