Gunfleet Regatta A Great Hit

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its 2008 Regatta last weekend 26 & 27 July and it was heralded an overwhelming success by all those that took part, which included visitors from Hertford County Yacht Club, Alton Water Sailing Club and Clacton Sailing Club. The weather could not have been better with blue skies and unbroken sunshine, along with a light onshore breeze. The fun started on Saturday when the Club’s Cadets and Otters had a special day packed full of fun and games both on and off the water. Cadet Officer Andy Ford led seven teams through a variety of events, including Numbers Up, a water-based Treasure Hunt, Find the Word, a Swimming Relay, and concluding with an Egg Throwing contest. At the end of the day, after all the scores had been added up, it was the Cheetah Girls team of India Ford and Heather Heath that took first place. The fun then continued long into the evening with members holding a barbecue.

On the Sunday over thirty boats took part in the racing and this proved a spectacular sight to the very many members of the public watching from the shore. However, for a while the distinct lack of wind looked like it might put a halt to the plans for any sailing but some 20 minutes before the start a light onshore breeze kicked in and boats made their way to the start line. The first race was for the RNLI Shield and as the boats sailed up and down waiting for the off Clacton’s two lifeboats turned up to pay the Club a very welcome visit. The first leg of the course was a fetch against the tide to the St. Michael’s buoy and once around this mark the fleet then reached back to the AWS buoy. At this point Ken Potts led the fast handicapped boats whilst John Tappenden helmed the leading Laser, Sonny Hart the leading Solution and Fred Webster the leading Sea Ranger. The beat out to the Seaward buoy saw some close tussles and one or two positions changing but things settled down again on the run down to the Kingscliff mark. Gracefully cutting through the water were the two Xenons, their black asymmetric kites standing out against the bright blue sky, and on handicap they took the top positions.


RNLI Shield
1. Xenon – Paul and Katie Davis - Gunfleet Sailing Club 
2. Xenon – Paul Doyle and Chris Wye - Hertford County Sailing Club
3. Sea Ranger – Richard Walker - Gunfleet Sailing Club
1st under 18. Solution – Sonny Hart - Gunfleet Sailing Club

After lunch, and in even lighter winds, there was class racing starting with the Sea Rangers. Five minutes later the Toppers were off, followed by the Topazes. Lasers were next to go, then the Solutions, and finally the Menagerie fleet. The tide had by this time turned and was now making, helping all the boats to the first mark at Eastcliff but there then followed the beat back up the coast which proved to be a somewhat long and tortuous affair for the slower handicapped boats. 


Trefoil Trophy, Sea Rangers – Fred Webster
Mad Hatter Challenge Cup, Toppers – Bethany Ford
Dave Fowell Trophy, Topazes – Charlie Venables and Michael Pedder
Paxton Jug, Lasers – John Tappenden
Tim Webster Tankard, Solutions – Simon Clarke
1893 Regatta Trophy, Menagerie Fleet – Paul and Katie Davis 

The previous Wednesday evening the Gunfleet had held its penultimate race in the series for the Tony Chadd Trophy. Fifteen boats took part in a light north easterly wind and flat sea and it made a very serene picture as the fleet picked its way around the marks.


Tony Chadd Trophy 3:
1. RS600 – Ken Potts
2. Laser – John Tappenden
3. RS600 – Glen Bacon