Busy Weekend For The Club's Cadets And Otters

Once again it was a “full-on” weekend for members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club.  On Saturday 3 September the Gunfleet Cadets and Otters concluded their programme of Sailing On Saturday with two races, one for the Topper class and the other for the Topazes.  In both events competition was stiff and the determination was strong.  The Toppers were first away with Robert Gutteridge leading the fleet as the class reached to the Kingscliff buoy, hotly pursued by Madeline Wyss.  By the time the mark had been rounded Zak Kurtlus had taken the lead with his brother Jake a close second.  The next leg was to the AWS buoy and positions settled but as the craft beat out to the Seaward mark Gutteridge tacked towards Frinton, despite an ebb tide, managing to pull ahead from the Kurtulus boys who had both tacked towards Clacton.  Gutteridge clung onto this lead as he ran to the Eastcliff buoy and held onto it to take victory and the Double G Trophy

Results: Double G Trophy - Toppers
1. Robert Gutteridge
2. Jake Kurtulus
3. Darcie Baker

Ten minutes after the Toppers had started the Topazes were off.  The boats had hovered around the start line and it was of little surprise that three of them jumped the line.  With the hoisting of the individual recall flag Beth Ford and Tom Dench returned to correct their error but Zak Thomas and Josef Sullivan carried on and the boat was therefore disqualified.  Also disqualified were Abigail Hayes and her crew Sebastien Mathewson who, having had an almost perfect start were just a touch to eager but unfortunately failed to realise and return.  Charlie and Harry Spence were having a very close tussle with Aaron Baker and on the fetch from the Kingscliff buoy to the Seaward buoy it was difficult to tell who might arrive first at the mark.  Meanwhile Ford and Dench were working hard to make up for the lost time they had at the start.  In the end the Spence brothers pulled ahead sufficiently to secure themselves first place and win the Bob Agate Trophy.

Results: Bob Agate Trophy – Topazes
1. Charlie and Harry Spence
2. Bethany Ford and Tom Dench
3. Aaron Baker

On Sunday 4 September fifteen boats took part in the race for the Fleet Championships.  Under an overcast sky the south/south easterly wind was blowing force three to four, making for ideal sailing conditions.  As the class flag fell from the yardarm, signifying the start of the race so the craft headed down the coast on a fetch to the St. Michael’s mark.  Simon Clarke lead the Solutions, Aaron Baker the Topazes, Robert Gutteridge the Toppers and Richard Walker the Sea Rangers.  By this time the tide had just turned and was beginning to flood, so making the passage a fairly quick affair.  There then followed a close reach out to the Seaward buoy before a very broad reach in to the AWS mark, and then a beat out to sea which was the real opportunity to break the fleets up.  As the race continued so the wind freshened slightly and such was the match racing that Clarke was constantly being challenged by Paul Davis in the Solution fleet and Gutteridge by Zak Kurtulus in the Toppers.  The biggest change in places though was in the Topaz fleet when Conor and Finlay Williams who, having pulled ahead of the Spence brothers, then went on to pass Baker and be the first Topaz home.  The Championship Trophy was however won on handicap by a boat that did not form part of one of the Club’s fleets.

Results: Fleet Championships
1. Blaze – John Tappenden
2. RS600 – Ken Potts
3. Solution – Simon Clarke