Reports 2012

Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club had an early start last Sunday 5 August when sixteen boats took part in the final race of the Egg and Bacon Series.  In a very light southerly wind the craft struggled to stem the freshly flooding tide as they made their way, on a reach, to the Kingscliff buoy; with Andy Dunnett in his Laser leading the fleet.  By the time they made the first mark there was still some confusion as slow and medium handicapped boats remained very closely bunched.

Last Sunday 29 July members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club headed up to Clacton Sailing Club to participate in their Regatta and, in the first race, it was Gunfleet’s Ken Potts that won the event in his RS600, with Gunfleet’s Conor and Finlay Williams being the first under 18’s home in their Hobie 405.  With squally weather on its way the Gunfleet Club members made a speedy return to their base at lunchtime, so unfortunately missing out on the second race.  As the crews headed back to their Club so the winds hit 30 miles per hour, coupled with rain squalls.

Last Sunday 22 July the Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the Austin Ladies Trophy and six helms signed-on to take part.  The weather was absolutely perfect with a gentle force 3 to 4 southerly wind, blue skies and bright sunshine.  Leading the fleet at the start was Darcie Baker in a Topper with Bethany Ford hot on her heels in a Topaz.  The boats sailed close hauled down to the St. Michael’s buoy, with the tide under them, making quick work of the first leg.  There then followed a reach out to the Seaward mark, by which time Yvonne Gough had pulled ahead in her Laser.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held two races last Sunday 15 July, the first one being for the Potterer’s Pot; an event specifically for the slower handicapped boats.  Whilst it made a pleasant change to have blue skies and sunshine, the wind was variable in direction as well as strength.  Starting by the Inner Distance Mark, Peter Downer in his Comet lead the fleet on a close haul to the Eastcliff buoy.  Both he and Richard Walker, sailing his Sea Ranger, managed to point high enough on the westerly windshifts to make the mark in one whilst the other competitors were forced to put a tack in.

The present weather pattern is proving a real enemy of the Gunfleet Sailing Club, with more races rescheduled due to adverse conditions than in any previous year.  Last Sunday 8 July the race specifically for the slow handicapped dinghies had to be postponed due to the total lack of wind, coupled with torrential downpours of rain.  The event, for the Potterers’ Pot, will be held this Sunday 15 July at 1:00 p.m. with the scheduled race for the Tee Dee Challenge now commencing at 3:00 p.m. 

Last Sunday afternoon 1 July the Gunfleet Sailing Club was planning to hold its annual Pursuit Race for the Ken Potts Trophy, but with the winds gusting 34 mph (Force 8) the Officer Of the Day (OOD) once more hoisted the “Race Postponed, No More Racing Today” flags signal.  Although that certain well-known law then came into force which saw the wind rapidly decrease it soon climbed back up and continued to gust between 29 and 32 mph over the next couple of hours.

Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club could only watch in frustration last Sunday morning 24 June as the Officer of the Day hoisted the “Race postponed – no more racing today” flags with the wind gusting to 31 knots; resulting in the race for the Bill Geddes Trophy being rescheduled for Monday 27 August.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its Long Distance Race for the Jim Suckling Trophy last Sunday afternoon 17 June when ten boats took part.  Earlier in the day there had been strong winds but, in line with the forecast, these had abated and by the time the race got underway it was a light force two southerly wind.  The craft headed down the coast to the Pier buoy, staying close to the shore to mitigate the strong ebbing spring tide.

Toppo Single Helm/Cadet Single Helm - Course: Kingscliff - Seaward - AWS - Seaward - St. Michael's - Line

Bill Clarke Shield Course....Kingscliff - AWS - Seaward - Eastcliff - Seaward - Eastcliff - Line

The weather proved ideal last Sunday 27 May when Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the London Trophy, only open to those boats with a yardstick number faster than 1189.  Thirteen dinghies took part, under blue skies and unbroken sunshine, in a pleasant force two gusting force four east/north-easterly breeze.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its first cruise of the season last Saturday 19 May when ten dinghies, accompanied by the one of the Club’s Rescue Boats, headed “Westward-Ho”.  In a force two to three onshore breeze the small armada headed down the coast to the Jaywick Martello Tower where a re-enactment of a Napoleonic battle was taking place.  As the boats reached past Clacton Pier the crews could hear the sound of gunfire as the battle raged.

Last Sunday morning 13 May fifteen boats took part in the Gunfleet Sailing Club’s race for the Wallet Trophy under blue skies and bright sunshine which, coupled with a force three touching four south/south westerly breeze, made for almost perfect conditions.  The first leg was a beat down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy, the dinghies tacking close to the shore to mitigate the adverse affect of the last of the ebb tide.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the fourth race in its Spring Series last Sunday 6 May in fairly miserable conditions, with grey skies and a moderate north/north easterly breeze.  All the competitors were bang-on the line at the start with Paul Davis quickly pulling away in his Solution.  The fleet sailed close hauled to the Kingscliff buoy, assisted by a strengthening ebb tide, and then ran out to the Seaward mark; by which time the two Contenders of Simon Clarke and Matt Downing had taken the lead.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Spring Series last Sunday 15 April, under mixed skies and a chilly force four gusting six north/north easterly wind.  With the craft starting on a fetch, and the ebb tide under them, there was an expectation that some competitors might jump the line but the Officer of the Day recorded a “clear start”.  The boats made quick work of the first leg, to the Kingscliff buoy, revelling in the offshore gusts, and having successfully gybed around this first mark reached out to the Seaward buoy.