Mitchell Takes The Winning Gun

Gunfleet Sailing Club concluded its Autumn Series, which had seen 22 dinghies taking part, with a win for Robert Mitchell in his Laser, and giving him the series overall by just one point.

For the second week running the competitors faced strong offshore winds, resulting in a mix of full, radial and 4.7 rigs on the Lasers, and the Toppers all having their 4.2 sails up.  Mitchell was smack on the line at the start, followed by the RS Aeros of John Tappenden and Dave Ingle; Tappenden then pulling away.  However, Mitchell got a sudden lift and managed to come inside Tappenden as the fleet reached down the coast to the Kingscliff buoy.  Conditions proved a bit too lively for the Solo sailors who decided to sit this race out; the sudden gusts catching most of the helms out.  As they rounded the first mark it was then a broad reach out to the Seaward buoy, although the slight wind shifts brought many dinghies onto a run; a few unintentional gybes keeping everyone on their toes.  It was interesting to see the three Lasers of Brian Allen, Paul Stanton, and Yvonne Gough all bunched at this time as, between them, they had all three rigs set.  By now Mitchell had pulled away from the rest of the competitors and he maintained the position as the craft beat in to the AWS buoy and then fetched back to the Kingscliff mark.  Slightly further back, taking a slightly more “safe and steady” pace were father and son Simon and Adam Kedge in the Topaz.  The fifth leg was a run out to Preston Park buoy before a reach to AWS, on to the Eastcliff buoy, and finally a close haul back to the line.  And indeed as the helms gybed around Preston Park so both Allen and Ingle capsized, practically on top of each other.  Meanwhile, as the leaders came through the line it was Mitchell first, followed by Dunnett, and then Gough in third place.  As the second lap got underway so Allen stalled for a while, letting Ingle and Stanton sail past him, whilst Dunnett was definitely closing the gap on Mitchell.  As they once again got to the Seaward buoy it looked like Dunnett was about to take Mitchell, but the latter pulled away again on the beat towards the shore, going on to take first place, Dunnett second and Tappenden third.

Results – Autumn Series - Overall:  
1.    Laser – Robert Mitchell
2.    Laser – Andy Dunnett
3.    Laser – Brian Allen

Course Board
Date 25 September 2022
Race Autumn Series - 4
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3 to 5
Wind Direction North/North Westerly
High Tide 12:28
Course K - S - AWS - K - PP - AWS - E - Line