Clarke & Cossens Cut The Mustard

Hazy sunshine and very light airs were the order of the day for the competitors at Gunfleet Sailing Club when they took part in the race for the Club’s oldest trophy – the Tee Dee Challenge Cup last Sunday 28 September.  As this race also counted towards the final results of both Class Points and the Cadet Spirit of the Wind series it made the whole event a very tense affair.  At a closely bunched start it was Richard Walker in his Sea Ranger that sat perfectly on the line but was very soon overtaken by Andy Dunnett in his Laser and John Tappenden in his Blaze; the force two north-easterly breeze, coupled with a strong flood tide making it a tough beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy.  After a bit of close-shore tacking the first to get round the mark was the RS 400 of Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens, and they immediately hoisted their asymmetric spinnaker and headed back to the AWS buoy.  They were followed by Ken Potts in his RS 600 and Tappenden’s Blaze with Dunnett just behind.  The leg that fooled everyone was from AWS to Seaward for, in theory, it should have been a comfortable fetch but the light airs and strengthening tide turned it into a tight close haul, catching almost everyone out.  Sonny Hart in his Solution, assessing the situation very early on, pointed as high as he could and looked like he was going to make it in one but Dunnett had to tack and forced Hart to go about using the starboard racing rule.  Eddie White, also in a Solution, chased after Hart but failed to catch him, whilst further back Derroll Pedder in his Solution was battling it out with the Williams brothers in their Hobie 405.  A little later the slow handicap boats took the long slog out to sea and struggled with the tide, making it a painful leg for the helms as they were swept past the offshore buoy, on several attempts; the boats bunching-up as they struggled to stem the tide.  The next leg was a swift reach to the Eastcliff mark before a slow beat back to the line.  After the first lap it was Tappenden in first place, with Clarke and Cossens lying just behind but as the second lap progressed so the RS 400 started to pull ahead, eventually taking the winning gun with some ease.
Tee Dee Challenge Cup
1. RS 400 – Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens
2. Blaze – John Tappenden
3. RS 600 – Ken Potts
Class Points Winners Overall:
Solutions:  Sonny Hart
Lasers:  Andy Dunnett
Hobie 405s:  Brogan Bates and Nick Cottee
Topazes:  Steve and Daisy Swinbourne
Toppers:  Harry Swinbourne
Sea Rangers:  Richard Walker
Cadet Spirit of the Wind Series Overall:
1. Hobie 405 – Conor and Finlay Williams
2. Laser – Robert Gutteridge
3. Topper – Harry Swinbourne