Fight To The End In Second Of Autumn Series

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second in its Autumn Series last Sunday 12 October in a pleasant force three north-easterly breeze.  Lead by John Tappenden, in his Blaze, the fleet all beat towards the shore on the first leg to the windward buoy, in order to try and cheat the freshly flooding tide.  There was, however, one exception to this as Brogan Bates and Nick Cottee headed out to sea in their Hobie 405 but this defiant tactic failed to make any impression and in fact lost them some considerable time.  The second leg was a broad reach back to the ODM and this gave Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens the opportunity to hoist the asymmetric spinnaker on their RS 400 and pull away slightly; the 405’s similarly flying their kites.  There then followed a beat to the Kingscliff buoy before a second reach, this time out to the Seaward mark.  Once again the spinnaker boats picked up their skirts and flew but Tappenden wasn’t having any of it, determined to keep his single handed craft in the running for top position.  In the 405’s it was Conor and Finlay Williams that lead the class but found that, on handicap, Peter Downer was pressing them hard in his Comet, and by the end of the first lap he just had the edge on them; Clarke and Cossens holding the top spot overall.
The second lap saw positions starting to settle down but unfortunately, in all this excitement, Eddie White took the wrong course in his Solution; whilst not disqualified, he just put a lot more mileage on the sea clock and dropped right back in the rankings.  Meanwhile Tappenden worked hard to drive his boat through the fleet and looked as though he might just take the honours but once all the handicaps had been calculated he was pushed into second place, just five seconds behind Clarke and Cossens.
Autumn Series - 2
1. RS 400 – Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens
2. Blaze – John Tappenden
3. Comet – Peter Downer