Cadets Take Part In Third Class Points Race

Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Cadets and Otters were busy playing catch-up on their class points racing last Saturday 14 September when they took part in the third of their five series event.  A fresh offshore wind greeted the competitors as they took to the water.  Six boats jostled at the start line in the Topper class and it was Robert Gutteridge that instantly took the lead, followed by Tommy Martin, Harry Swinbourne and Max Bates.  Five minutes later the Topazes were away and Beth Elliott lead the fleet with Brogan Bates and Finn Harkin hard on her heels.  Finally the Hobie 405’s set sail.  The strong flood tide made the reach to the Eastcliff buoy, on the first leg, a very quick affair and then it was a broad reach out to the Seaward mark, the 405’s always making a fine sight with their asymmetric spinnakers flying.  The next leg was a beat into the AWS buoy and that is when the helms really felt the full impact of the tide, finding themselves being swept away from the rounding mark just as they thought they had laid it with comfort.  Even the run back out to Seaward caught a few out as their boats were dragged towards the pier on that leg.  A slight wind shift forced a second beat as the competitors sailed to the Kingscliff buoy before reaching back through the line; a sigh of relief being felt to see the shorten course flag flying from the Club yardarm.  The race was otherwise uneventful except for a few capsizes and one or two retirements due to technical issues and gear failure. 
Results – Cadet Class Points – 3
1. Robert Gutteridge
2. Tommy Martin
3. Harry Swinbourne
1. Nick Cottee
2. Brogan Bates and Finn Harken
Hobie 405:
1. Charlie and Harry Spence
In the evening the Clubhouse burst into life once more when the Gunfleet Beetle Drive took place.  Beetle-building became fast and furious until the halfway stage when everyone stopped to enjoy fish and chips, followed by gateau and cream.  Then battle commenced once more until all 12 games had been completed.  Susan Baker and Nick Cottee both had the same highest score but, at the throw of a dice, it was Nick that became this year’s champion.
Due to very strong winds on the following day the Club’s first race in its Autumn Series had to be postponed and is rescheduled for Sunday 6 October.