Andy Dunnett Takes The Honours

The Bank-Holiday weather caused quite a bit of disruption to the Gunfleet Sailing Club’s programme but it still managed to hold a couple of races over the three days.  On Monday the previously postponed race for the March Hare Trophy got underway in lively conditions, with a good force five, gusting six, westerly wind blowing.  As the boats jockeyed for position prior to “the off” it looked like Robert Gutteridge in his Laser was going to lead the fleet, but he was just seconds too early and found himself the wrong side of the line.  In an instant the individual recall flag was flying from the yardarm and Gutteridge, realising his error, made a speedy return to correct himself.  

First away was the RS200, with Harry Swinbourne and Jess McLean-Wright heading out to sea to make the most of the flood tide, as they tacked down the coast to the windward mark.  Hard on their heels was Andy Dunnett in his Laser, and by the time they made the first buoy, Dunnett had gained top position, his mainsheet block to block as he cranked on the power.  But already the strong, and gusting winds were taking their toll.  Yvonne Gough bowed-out early on, in her Laser, recognising that conditions were too harsh, and heading back to shore just after the start was Harrison Smith in his Topper. 

The second leg was a very broad reach out to the Seaward buoy before a hair-raising gybe and a really stonking fast reach towards shore and the Kingscliff buoy.  The exhilaration then gave way to more beating, down the coast to Eastcliff before a run back to Kingscliff and a final beat through the line.  Ed and Tom Philpot, sailing the 405, wisely decided not to hoist their asymmetric spinnaker for fear of an inevitable capsize and possible damage to the boat.  Derroll Pedder and Michael Gutteridge also chose not to use their spinnaker but encountered some problems with the jib on their GP14, stoically carrying on.  The slight caution by the Philpots in avoiding the use of the kite still resulted in two capsizes, despite Tom being flat out on the trapeze wire.

By the end of the first lap it was Dunnett that had a strong lead and despite a momentary lack of concentration in the second lap he took the winning gun.

Results:  March Hare Trophy
1.    Laser – Andy Dunnett
2.    Laser – Robert Gutteridge
3.    GP14 – Derroll Pedder & Michael Gutteridge 

On the Saturday the Club held the third race in its Cadet SOS – Sailing On Saturday Class Points Series with victory in the Toppers going to Harrison Smith and, in the Topaz fleet, to brother and sister Owen and Lauren Hooper.

Course Board
Date 27 August 2018
Race March Hare
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 5 gusting 6
Wind Direction West/South West
High Tide 13:18
Course E - S - K - E - K - Line