Reports 2013

The bright sunshine and warm airs masked the strength of Sunday 21 July's wind as twelve boats competed in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s long distance race for the Jim Suckling Shield.  It was only as competitors launched from the lee of Star Point that they realised the wind was force five, gusting six, from the north/northeast; this resulted in quite a confused start.  The first leg was a beat up the coast to the Haven Outfall buoy and early on there came a number of retirements.
Fifteen boats took part in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s single handed race for the Toppo Trophy last Sunday 14 July.  As this also included the Cadet Single Handed Trophy for the first under 18 year it was not surprising that seven of the entries came from the junior side of the Club.  At a closely bunched start line it was Matt Gough who was “right on the button” in his Laser and he lead the fleet away, with Andy Dunnett, also in a Laser, and Paul Davis in his Solution literally snapping at his feet.

Last Saturday 6 July the Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Cadets and Otters took part in their first race of their SOS Class Points Series under blues skies, unbroken sunshine, and a pleasant easterly breeze.  First away were the Toppers and with seven boats taking part it made for some exciting sailing as they battled round the course.  As the dinghies beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy it was Robert Gutteridge that took an early lead and as they rounded the mark and reached to the Seaward buoy it looked as though he was comfortably settled into the top spot.

Last Saturday 29 June saw fine weather for the Cadet and Otter’s SOS afternoon, with two training courses operating.  Level 1 had seven boats with their crews learning to master the basics whilst Level 2, for the experienced young sailor, also had seven boats but their crews were learning to be in the right place at the right time on the start line.

For the third Saturday in a row strong winds put paid to the Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Cadet and Otter Sailing On Saturday 22 June.  With the winds gusting up to 45 mph there was no hesitation in hoisting the sailing abandoned flag.

With winds gusting up to 42 miles per hour last Saturday 15 June the first race in the Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Cadet and Otter Class Points had to be postponed but fortunately Sunday’s weather proved more favourable for the race for all members for the Jubilee Cup.  In a force 5 south/south-westerly wind Club Commodore Richard Walker sailed down the line in his Sea Ranger on starboard tack, calling for right of way to the majority of competitors who were powering-up on port tack by the Outer Distance Mark.

Last Wednesday evening 5 June Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Summer Series and with grey overcast skies, strong north easterly winds and large lumpy sea conditions it was difficult to decide whether the race was going to be tricky or just darn-right unpleasant.  The first leg was a beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy and as the craft rounded the mark John Tappenden lost his balance and capsized in his Blaze.  More unfortunate was Aaron Baker in his Laser when he capsized and turtled the boat, and in trying to right his craft snapped the mast.

Last weekend, 1st and 2nd of June, was a very busy one for the Gunfleet Sailing Club when it held its annual Regatta.  It all started on Saturday with Cadet Day when 25 of the Club’s younger sailors took part in a variety of events including a race and a number of games.  The race, an all-in handicap, saw Robert Gutteridge getting off to a blinding start in his Topper.  The fresh offshore winds made it a lively affair as the boats reached to the Eastcliff buoy, and an even livelier one out to the Seaward buoy.

It was a full and varied bank-holiday weekend for the members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club.  Saturday 25 May saw the first of the SOSSailing On Saturday for Cadets and Otters; there being one every week right the way through until September.  This week it was sail and race training with two separate levels – a basic course for novices and an improvement course for those already able to sail.

The Weekend of 18 & 19 May went with a real swing down at the Gunfleet Sailing Club.  On Saturday evening it was a complete sell-out for the Eurovision Karaoke.  The Clubhouse rocked as the Cadets and Otters sung some of the most recent hit records, and it rolled as the older members leapt into some classics of the 1960’s.  Couples got-up and serenaded each other and few will ever forget Ken’s rendition of “Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire”.

Strong and variable gusting winds did not put off competitors from entering Gunfleet Sailing Club’s first race in its Egg and Bacon Series last Sunday morning 12 May.  With 20 degree wind-shifts and the wind force varying from a four to a six it certainly kept the crews of the ten boats on their toes as they set off for the Eastcliff buoy.  In fact there were surprisingly few capsizes although Tom Fadden went over in his Laser on the first leg, however he was soon upright again and chasing the rest of the fleet.

Last Sunday afternoon 5 May twelve boats took part in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s race for the Wallet Trophy in unbroken sunshine and an onshore breeze, touching force four at times.  The first leg was a reach to the Kingscliff buoy and it was Paul Davis in his Solution that lead the way, whilst Nadia MacDonald capsized her Laser and was forced to retire back to the shore.  On the second leg, a beat out to the Seaward buoy, Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens moved up the fleet in their Scorpion and were lying in third place; Ken Potts leading in his RS600 and John Tappenden second in his Blaze.

Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club were greeted by unbroken sunshine and a pleasant force three to four southerly wind last Sunday 21 April when they took part in the fourth race of the Spring Series.  First across the start line was John Tappenden in his Blaze, closely followed by Paul Stanton in his Laser, but by the time the boats had reached the first mark, the Kingscliff buoy, Ken Potts had slipped ahead in his RS600.

Wind Guru warned members of Gunfleet Sailing Club that it was going to be windy last Sunday 14 April and it therefore came as little surprise that SSW squalls touching 32 mph were recorded just prior to the morning race.  In light of this the Officer Of the Day wisely hoisted the code flags signalling that the day's racing was postponed, and reset the date of the event to Sunday 26 May at 11:00 a.m.

Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club were greeted by blue skies and unbroken sunshine last Sunday afternoon 7 April when they took part in the second race of the Spring Series, although a cold south easterly breeze ensured a low wind chill factor.  Twelve boats took to the water including, once again, a number of Cadets.  First casualty was Sonny Hart in his Solution when a technical problem with his centreboard forced him to retire.