Lively Conditions Greet Competitors For Bill Geddes Trophy
Gunfleet Sailing Club played “catch-up” last Sunday 16 September when it held the race for the Bill Geddes Trophy, previously postponed due to extreme weather. Fourteen dinghies took part in what proved to be a very lively event with winds peaking at the very top of a force 6. In a stiff south westerly wind, large seas and a strong ebb tide the fleet beat down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy. Despite tacking close inshore, to mitigate the effects of the adverse tide, many found it a slow old drudge and it was interesting to see Richard Walker in his Sea Ranger, which was the slowest handicapped craft, remaining in front of many of the faster handicapped boats for much of the time. There then followed a lively reach out to the Seaward mark before a rather lively gybe and another reach into the AWS buoy. By this time several of the competitors had capsized including Tom Fadden in his Laser, Tommy Martin in his Topper and Zak Kurtulus, also in a Topper; all three retiring back to the shore. The remainder of the fleet, having rounded the AWS mark then ran up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy and it proved a tough call whether to deliberately gybe twice on this leg or to try and maintain the wind on the port beam throughout. With the wind continuing to freshen, hitting 27 mile per hour, further capsizes were inevitable and the Club Rescue Boat was kept busy throughout the event. This race was also the final one that counted towards class points.