Exciting End To The Gunfleet Autumn Series

Gunfleet Sailing Club’s final race in its Autumn Series saw Ken Potts claiming victory in both the race and the series overall.

A force two to three offshore wind, with sudden gusts, kept the competitors on their toes as they jockeyed for position on the busy start line.  Such was their eagerness that the individual recall flag was immediately hoisted as two Lasers ventured the wrong side, but they were clearly aware of their error and hastily returned.  Meanwhile another Laser, helmed by Andy Cornforth, immediately took a good lead, with Michael Gutteridge and Derroll Pedder in their GP14 seconds behind.  With a strengthening flood tide under them the boats made short work of getting to the Eastcliff buoy but not without incident.  An unexpected gust caught Yvonne Gough out and, struggling to uncleat her mainsheet, the boat headed up into wind, and almost into Dave Fowell’s GP14 if he hadn’t been quick to take avoiding action.  Unfortunately the GP14 went about quicker than its helm and both boats ended-up capsized, the Club’s Rescue craft being immediately on the scene.  In the meantime, witnessing the whole mishap were son and father Owen and Stuart Hooper, and Stuart, spotting that the GP14 was having difficulty, jumped overboard from the Topaz in order to give Fowell some assistance.

Meanwhile Potts had slipped past Cornforth to round Eastcliff buoy first, with Eddie White next in his Laser.  The second leg was basically a run out to Seaward, and Gutteridge and Pedder immediately hoisted their spinnaker.  Cornforth, now laying third, took a different tactic to everyone else and headed out to sea in a form of downwind tacking; this paid off and he rounded the Seaward buoy first, to then come close hauled down to the AWS mark; Potts literally snapping at his heels.  The following long leg down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy caught a few more out, with Andy Dunnett capsizing his Laser, followed by White, who also took a quick dunking.  Lead position changed, then changed again, as the first lap progressed.  A broad reach out to the Seaward mark, for a second time, saw Cornforth cunningly taking the top spot, only to have it snatched back by Potts, following a second reach to Kingscliff and a final beat through the line.  A second lap saw further changes and at the end of the race it was Potts first, Cornforth second, and Dunnett third.

Results:  Autumn Series – Overall:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Laser – Andy Dunnett
3.    Laser – Yvonne Gough

Course Board
Date 30 September 2018
Race Autumn Series - 4
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2 plus
Wind Direction North West
High Tide 15:39
Course E - S - AWS - St.M - S - K - Line