Eggs and Bacon plus Squalls makes for Interesting Racing

Gunfleet Sailing Club held two races last Sunday 7 September in very mixed weather conditions. The first was an early morning race to complete the Egg and Bacon Series with ten boats taking part. A westerly wind which varied in strength kept the helms on their toes as they fetched to the Eastcliff buoy. There then followed a broad reach back to the AWS mark followed by a gybe and a broad reach out to the Seaward buoy. Despite Ken Potts leading the fleet in his RS600 across the water, at the end of the first lap Simon Clarke was actually holding first position in his Solution on handicap, followed by Richard Walker in his Sea Ranger. Derroll Pedder capsized a number of times in his RS600 and was forced to retire on the second lap when his tiller extension broke. In the Laser class Andy Dunnett and John Tappenden were having a really close battle and as they passed through the line having completed their first lap they were absolutely neck and neck, but Tappenden managed to eventually edge ahead and took third place in the race and first overall in the series. Results: Egg and Bacon 2: 1. RS600 – Ken Potts 2. Solution – Simon Clarke 3. Laser – John Tappenden Egg and Bacon Overall: 1. Laser – John Tappenden 2. Solution – Simon Clarke 3. Laser – Andy Dunnett The sailors then all retired to the clubhouse for a full English breakfast. In the afternoon twelve boats entered the race for the Fleet Championships, by which time the wind had freshened quite a bit. The boats coped well with the beat to the St. Michael’s buoy, followed by the run to the Seaward mark, but as they then beat back to the Eastcliff buoy storm clouds gathered. Soon the wind increased and a heavy rainsquall blew through, hiding the hulls of the boats, causing Michael Pedder to capsize his Q’ba as he reached to the AWS buoy. It wasn’t long before the squall had blown through and the wind moderated for a while. Gear failure and unpleasant conditions led to a number of retirements, including Potts, Tappenden and Matthew Gough. During the second lap another squall blew through and both Sonny Hart in his Solution and Yvonne Gough in her Laser capsized by the Seaward buoy. Antony Reeve, the only Laser sailor with a full rig, coped very well in the conditions and gained a very creditable fourth position at the end of the race. Results: Fleet Championships: 1. Comet – Peter Downer 2. Solution – Simon Clarke 3. Laser – Andy Dunnett