Simon Wins The Third Summer Series Race

Gunfleet’s third race in its Summer Series was held last Wednesday evening, 3 July, in a chilly west/south-westerly blustery wind and very “unlike summer” conditions; needless to say it attracted a keen group of sailors, eager to take part.

As the competitors rigged their boats on the beach, the wind suddenly freshened quire dramatically, sails started disconcertedly flogging, and smattering of drizzle from the grey sky set the scene.  Fortunately things improved a little as the sailors launched their dinghies.  At the start it was Simon Clarke first away in his Europe, windward of Ken Potts in his Laser, as the fleet tacked down the coast to the first buoy at Eastcliff.  With the tide flooding, the helms headed out to sea to gain the extra lift, and it was Potts that rounded the windward mark ahead of Clarke, followed by Dave Ingle in his RS Aero, and then Brian Allen, also in an RS Aero.  The strong winds forced Simon Kedge to retire in his GP14, and both Laura Kedge and Brooke Sayer thought better of it and returned their Toppers to the dinghy park.  Back in the race, the second leg took the competitors on a reach, out to the Seaward buoy where they gybed before a second reach in to the AWS mark.  Although everyone successfully rounded Seaward, Paul Jackson then capsized his Solo and ended up turtling it; the Club’s Safety Boat standing by until he was safely upright and then escorting him back to the shore.  Meanwhile the fleet beat from AWS to Eastcliff before running up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy and then beating back to the line.  Ingle capsized near Kinscliff, righted his boat, capsized again, and righted again, but by this time Allen had passed him and carved out quite a lead.  As the first lap was completed it was Potts that had a one second lead, on handicap, over Clarke.  On the second lap it was the turn of Adam Kedge to capsize his Laser having just rounded the Eastcliff buoy but he lost little time righting his craft and chasing after the others.  By the end of the second lap, Potts had had opened the lead by seven seconds, and whilst Ingle had worked hard to make up for earlier lost time, he capsized at the offshore gybe mark on the third lap, hit his head on the boom, and saw more stars than boats in front of him; resulting in retiring back to the shore.  All the time Clarke closed the gap on Potts and as the boats crossed the finishing line his hard work was rewarded with a win, some thirteen seconds ahead of his rival.

Results – Summer Series - 3:
1.    Europe – Simon Clarke
2.    Laser – Ken Potts
3.    RS Aero – Brian Allen

Course Board
Date 3 July 2024
Race Summer Series 3
Start Time 19:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3 to 5
Wind Direction West/South-West
High Tide 22:55
Course E - S - AWS - E - K - Line