Reports 2009

Gunfleet Sailing Club held a race for its oldest trophy last Sunday 9 August, The Tee Dee Challenge Cup, with 20 boats taking part.  Under blue skies, unbroken sunshine and a light easterly breeze the craft all bunched together by the Outer Distance Mark ready for the off.  As the class flag fell from the yardarm, signalling the start, the boats all beat up to the Kingscliff buoy.  The slower handicapped craft all stayed close to the shore in order to minimise the impact of the flood tide and several lost time as they found themselves unable to quite make the mark at the first attempt.  The

Once again the members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club had a very busy weekend that started on Saturday 1 August with a picnic cruise.  Ten Boats plus a Club Rescue Boat headed up the coast to Frinton, enjoying a pleasant reach as the craft took the last of the ebb tide.  As the crews all relaxed and took refreshment so the dark clouds began to gather and the breeze freshen.  The wind then swung south westerly and as the boats beat back it picked up further, resulting in a lively but speedy return to the Club.

It was the turn of the slow handicapped boats at Gunfleet Sailing Club last Sunday 26 July when the race was held for the Potterers’ Pot.  A southerly force 4 to 5 wind and large seas greeted the nine boats that took part, and once the competitors got on the water so the conditions seemed to freshen still further.  Derroll Pedder in his Qba looked as though he was going to get a flying start but capsized just seconds before the “off”.  This resulted in Club Commodore Richard Walker leading the way in his Sea Ranger but it wasn’t long before the slightly faster handicapped boats overtook him

Gunfleet Sailing Club played host to the East Coast Laser Challenge last Saturday 18 July with visiting helms from Clubs around the eastern region.  The competitors were greeted with a force four gusting six westerly wind and a rolling sea complimented by white horses.  As the boats rigged so the wind dropped a little, although gusts of 27 knots were still being recorded; and with these rather unsettling conditions a number of helms decided to sit the first race out.  Never-the-less twelve boats came to the start line and were soon heading to the Eastcliff buoy.  On the run that followed, o

Very mixed weather conditions greeted the members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club last Sunday 12 July when fifteen boats took part in the single-handed race for the Toppo Trophy.  Six of those taking part were Club Cadets or Otters as the first young person home won the Cadet Single helm.  Under a somewhat overcast sky and a stiff westerly wind it was Andy Dunnett in his Laser that got away to a good start on port tack, with half the fleet following him, whilst on the starboard tack it was Simon Clarke who lead the way in his Solution.  Kelvin Morton was the first to capsize in his RS600, on t

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the race for the Bill Geddes Trophy last Sunday 5 July in almost perfect conditions.  With a backdrop of unbroken blue skies, sunshine, and a pleasant force three southerly wind, twelve boats jockeyed for position at the start line.  Such was their eagerness that Ken Potts in his RS600, and Paul Davis and Dan Challis in their Xenon jumped the line, and despite the appropriate flag being hoisted only Potts returned to correct his error; this resulted in the Xenon being disqualified.  The boats positively romped to the Eastcliff buoy and once round headed back to th

A thick sea mist greeted members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club last Sunday 28 June when they took part in the race for the Bill Clarke Shield.  With the sun trying to burn through and a light easterly breeze filling in, it cleared the mist sufficiently for the Officer of the Day to be able to set a course.  All boats headed to the start line on starboard tack with the exception of Keith Lamdin in his Comet who ran along the line on port tack and then, as soon as the start flag fell from the yardarm, swung onto the opposite tack.  Fred Webster got a good start in his Sea Ranger with the rest

Gunfleet Sailing Club members headed straight out to sea last Saturday 20 March when a fleet of boats went on a cruise to the Gunfleet Wind Farm.  In a pleasant south westerly wind the boats, packed to the gunwales with members, fairly romped out to the Wind Farm accompanied by one of the Club’s Rescue boats.  Once out there the members were able to witness at close hand the work being undertaken on the turbines as well as getting a real feel for the actual size of the structures.  The elements were a little crueller on the way back and the wind swung round to the north a bit more, forcing

Seventeen boats from the Gunfleet Sailing Club took part in the annual pursuit race for the Potts Shield last Sunday 14 June.  Weather conditions appeared quite idyllic as the competitors prepared their craft, with a light southerly breeze, flat sea, blue sky and unbroken sunshine.  This event turns the race on its head and staggers the start for each class, so the slowest handicapped craft goes first, and at fixed time intervals the faster handicapped boats get underway.  At a given time the race ends and in theory all the competitors should be at exactly the same point.  First off were th

It has been yet another busy time for members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club.  On Saturday evening 6 June, supported by their colleagues from the Gunfleet Boating Club, members swapped their boats for bikes to take part in the annual Bicycle Treasure Hunt.  Searching for clues around Holland on Sea, it was a team from the Boating Club that scored the highest points and, for the second year in a row, took the trophy.  However, the real winner was the RNLI when, as part of Clacton Lifeboat Flag week, the Sailing Club raised £220 from the event for Clacton Lifeboat Station.

Once again Gunfleet Sailing Club members were out in force last Sunday 31 May when fourteen boats took part in the race for the Jubilee Cup.  The race had attracted a lot more entrants but the strong winds and lively conditions resulted in several would-be competitors watching the action from the shore.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its first cruise of the season last Saturday when 14 dinghies and the Club Rescue Boat went “Westward-Ho”.  Some 30 members headed down the coast, their boats loaded with refreshments, and sailed to St. Osyth on a broad reach.  After stopping-off to eat, drink, and socialise the boats made the return journey, with the ebb tide speeding the craft on their way back to the Club.

A fresh southerly force four wind greeted Gunfleet Sailing Club members as they arrived last Sunday morning 17 May to take part in the race for the Hertford County Shield.  White horses were already starting to appear and as the competitors prepared their craft so the wind freshened, and 15 minutes before the “off” the strength had increased to force five gusting six.  This was enough to deter a number of would be entrants who de-rigged their boats but stayed dressed in wetsuits in order to help launch both the Club Rescue Boat and the seven boats whose helms decided to give it a go.

Once again sunshine, blue skies and light winds greeted the members of Gunfleet Sailing Club when they took part in the first race of the Egg and Bacon Series last Sunday 10 May.  Ten boats jostled for position at the line, and off to a flying start was Cadet Matt Downing in his Laser.  In a gentle easterly wind the boats beat to the Kingscliff buoy, staying close to the shore to avoid the flooding tide.  As the craft made their way round the mark it was clear that Simon Clarke had pulled out in front in his Solution and on the reach out to the Seaward buoy he continued to open the gap.  As

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the fourth and final race in its Spring Series last Sunday 3 May and, as in all good finals, there were a number of contenders for the top position.  A strong westerly wind greeted the fourteen boats that took part and, with sudden gusts blowing through, capsizes were inevitable.  Even before the race got underway a number of boats went over, but undeterred the crews soon righted their craft and jockeyed for position on the line although Dave Rathbone unfortunately suffered gear failure in his Byte and was towed back to the shore by the Club Rescue Boat.  It was A