Reports 2017

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the Bill Clarke Shield last Sunday morning with John Tappenden taking the honours in his Laser.

It was certainly a very busy weekend for Gunfleet Sailing Club when it held its annual Regatta on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June 2017, sponsored by Discount Windows and Conservatories of Clacton.

Gunfleet Sailing Club’s third race in its Summer Series was held on Wednesday evening 14 June in almost idyllic conditions with a steady force 3 easterly breeze, blue sky and sunshine.  The prize for being right on the line at the start, and so leading the competitors on the first leg to the Kingscliff buoy, went to Michael Gutteridge and Derroll Pedder in their GP14, but brother Robert Gutteridge was not prepared to accept that for long and drove his Laser into the lead, with Andy Dunnett, also in a Laser, alongside.

Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Cadets and Otters (those under 18 years of age) had a great sail last Saturday morning 10 June with the SOS Cat & Mouse Race.  The first away was the Topper fleet followed, some four minutes later, by the Topazes.  Nearly 11 minutes after the Toppers set off it was time for the Hobie 405 class to get underway; the sole intention to get in front of everyone by the time the race finished.  Korben Symmonds stayed in front for a while in his Topper whilst Harrison Smith and Mac Symmonds lead the Topaz fleet.

Gunfleet Sailing Club launched its weekend of activities with the Cadet and Otter Bring A Friend Sailing as part of SOS - Sailing On Saturday on 3 June 2017.  A group of excited and eager young visitors got their first taste of handling a dinghy at sea and all agreed it had been a great success, confirmed by the 41 hot-dogs and burgers consumed!

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the first race in the SOS Cadet and Otter Class Points series last Saturday 27 May with a healthy turn-out of boats.  Unfortunately the separate courses for separate classes caught one or two out as they had misread or misunderstood where they were meant to go.  In light airs there were no capsizes, and with the wind becoming more fickle the number of laps was shortened, much to the relief of everyone.

Gunfleet Sailing Club had a busy weekend on 20/21 May, starting Saturday morning with the first in the Cadet and Otter Sailing On Saturday programme.  Under the close supervision of the Cadet Officer Claire Aylen, the young members got their boats out on the water and spent a number of hours getting some good practice.  In a fresh breeze, this proved the perfect opportunity to hone the skills of beating, running and reaching, as well as tacking tight and gybing; making full use of the tide.

It was victory for John Tappenden in his Laser last Sunday 14 May when Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the Wallet Trophy.  

Gunfleet Sailing Club held it London Trophy race exclusively for the faster boats on Sunday 7 May, with 14 dinghies venturing onto the water and victory going to Ken Potts in his Laser.

The fifth and final race in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Spring Series was held last Sunday in lively conditions, with Ken Potts winning both the race and the series overall; beating 22 other competitors.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the fourth, and penultimate, race in its Spring Series last Sunday 23 April with blue skies and bright sunshine masking the chill in the air, despite very light airs.  The onshore wind was, in fact, registering force 1 as the dinghies hung round the line and, as the start gun sounded, it was Peter Downer that lead the way in his Comet.  The fleet made slow but reasonable progress, fighting the freshly ebbing tide, as it headed down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy.

Gunfleet Sailing Club members enjoyed two days of racing over the Easter Bank Holiday.  Sunday’s race saw the third in the Spring Series get underway with the individual recall flag being hoisted at the start due to Alex Corbett and Henry Spooner being well over the line in their 405.  Unfortunately a number of other competitors, that were very close, wrongly assumed it must be them and also returned to re-cross the start line, so immediately putting them at a disadvantage; this included Ken Potts in his Laser which placed him at the back of the fleet.

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Spring Series last Sunday 9 April and whilst the weather was absolutely perfect for visiting the seaside, sadly for the sailor there was a distinct lack of wind.  

Gunfleet Sailing Club certainly picked a fine day to start its Spring Series of races; blue skies, unbroken sunshine and a light offshore breeze greeting the competitors last Sunday morning - 2 April.

Gunfleet Sailing Club welcomed the start of its 2017 sailing season last Saturday 25 March with the traditional Fitting-Out Supper in the Clubhouse; Commodore Richard Walker looking forward to a full and varied programme for the year, both on and off the water.

The next morning, Sunday 26 March, many of the Club’s members eagerly rigged-up their boats for the very first race of the year – the March Hare.  The blue skies and sunshine helped mask the strong winds – a force 5, gusting 6, north easterly that brought in some large rollers on a rising tide.