What - No Wind!??!

The members of Gunfleet Sailing Club were greeted by blue skies, pleasant autumn sunshine but a complete lack of wind last Sunday 2 November but preparations continued for those taking part in the second race in the Winter Series. Eight boats launched very gracefully into the flat North Sea and struggled to fight the strengthening flood tide as they attempted to head for the start line. For many it seemed the effort was pointless as boats drifted backwards towards Clacton Pier; so in order to allow time for the Club Rescue Boat to haul the competitors to the rights side of the line a quarter of an hour postponement was signalled. With just seconds to go to the revised start both Dave Fowell in his Solution and Geoff Battersby in his Blaze slipped the wrong side of the line and lost very many minutes clawing their way back. Leading at this point was Peter Downer in his Comet, closely followed by Simon Clarke in his Solution, and with the tide under them they majestically headed for the Eastcliff buoy. Seeing how painfully slow this was all becoming Kelvin Morton in his RS600, Yvonne Gough in her Laser and Mark Venables in his Solution all chose to retire and sit it out on the shore. The remainder of the fleet, once at the Eastcliff mark then tried with little success to make against the tide in order to complete the second leg. After half an hour it was clear that progress was negligible at best, and for some the challenge was simply to avoid drifting away from their destination. At this point the Officer of the Day abandoned the race and the Rescue Boat brought the competitors back to the Club.