Force Seven Keeps Competitors On Their Toes

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its penultimate race of the 2012 season last Sunday, in lively conditions, as part of its Autumn Series.  In a south/south westerly wind, blowing force 5 to 6, it was Ken Potts that stormed away at the start, followed by the Laser fleet.  The competitors beat down the coast, staying close to the shore as they fought the strengthening ebb tide, until they reached the Eastclff buoy; at which point they reached at an alarming pace out to the Seaward mark.  The boats then had to gybe and reach down to the AWS buoy before fetching back out to sea.  It was rounding the AWS buoy that caught Andy Dunnett out when the tide swept his Laser onto the mark and he was forced to undertake a 360 degree penalty, losing him valuable time.  Once back out at Seaward it was a second gybe before a very broad reach down to the Kingscliff bouy and a beat back through the line.  As the race progressed so the wind began to freshen and was soon hitting Force 7, but this didn’t deter the competitors.  However, some of the Cadets found it a bit much and after capsizing, both Tommy Martin in his Topper and Aaron Baker in his Topaz, wisely headed back to shore.  Whilst the helms continued to manage the increasing wind, it was the lumpy seas that kept everyone on their toes, and whilst Potts thrived on the conditions it was evident others were finding it really too much.  However, all credit must go to the only female competitor, Yvonne Gough, who worked tirelessly to drive her Laser into a very well deserved second place at the end of three laps.   

Results – Autumn Series 2:

1. RS600 – Ken Potts
2. Laser – Yvonne Gough
3. Phantom – Simon Clarke