WOT - No Wind? But Great End To Season

Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club concluded their 2011 sailing season last Sunday 2 October in conditions befitting of a perfect summer’s day, and all that was lacking was any form of wind. 

In the morning the Officer of the Day hoisted the 15 minute postponement flag and this was just long enough to see a very light breeze fill-in from the south.  Under a blue sky and unbroken sunshine eight boats limped slowly to the line on a sea that resembled a sheet of glass.  With the freshly flooding tide the boats put in a small tack and made the Eastcliff buoy with little difficulty, although the boats remained tightly bunched irrespective of handicaps.  Once around the mark the next leg proved tougher as the craft reached back against the tide as they headed out to the Seaward buoy.  Even at this point there were some interesting positions on the water with Cadet Robert Gutteridge rounding the mark in a borrowed Laser ahead of veteran Laser sailor Paul Stanton.  There then followed a run down to the Kingscliff mark and whilst the competitors made their way along this leg the wind died and then gradually came-up from a slightly different direction.  It was a relief to all those taking part to see the shorten course flag hoisted up the yardarm, albeit limply, as they ghosted back towards the line.

Results: Autumn Series 3
1. Solution – Simon Clarke
2. Comet – Peter Downer
3. Sea Ranger – Richard Walker

Autumn Series Overall
1. RS600 – Ken Potts
2. Solution – Simon Clarke
3. Blaze – John Tappenden

In the afternoon the Club held its final race of the main 2011 season, for the Bill Geddes Trophy, which was an event held over from earlier in the season when the wind was too strong.  This time proved to be the very reverse and the twelve boats taking part resembled a slow motion replay as they headed very gracefully toward the Eastcliff buoy.  At an early stage Derroll Pedder went into the lead and had his Vortex cutting through the water despite the lack of wind.  It was once again the leg out to the Seaward buoy that proved the hardest with the slower handicapped craft struggling to stem the strengthening tide, and as it was realised that they were actually going backwards, one by one the helms started to retire.  However, it was all credit to those that persevered that their patience paid off and very slowly they made it round the course.  Particular praise must go to cadets Conor and Finlay Williams in their Topaz who, having watched so many of their colleagues retire, carried on to take a very creditable fifth place.  Once again the race was shortened to one lap, and even this took 1½ hours to complete for some boats.  The race also counted towards Class Points and therefore concluded this Series.

Results: Bill Geddes Trophy
1. Vortex – Derroll Pedder
2. Solution – Paul Davis
3. RS600 – Matt Downing

Overall Class Points Winners:
Solutions – Simon Clarke
Lasers – Paul Stanton
Topazes – Conor and Finlay Williams
Toppers – Robert Gutteridge
Sea Rangers – Richard Walker