Gunfleet Sailing Club welcomed members of neighbouring Clacton Sailing Club last Sunday 30 June when the pursuit race for The Chase Trophy was held.  The race is based on staggered starts, the slowest handicapped craft leaving first, followed by the next slowest etc., until the fastest handicapped competitors complete the order of play.  This meant, based on a 12:30 p.m. finish, that the first start was the Topper at 11:00 a.m. and the last was the Hurricane 5.9 SX some 44 minutes later.  The Laser fleet split into three groups, the small 4.7 sail was away first, followed by those with the radial sail, who seemed reluctant to get underway, and concluding with the full rig.  After what felt like an age, the Dart 18 Catamaran had its turn to start and, finally the mighty Hurricanes were unleashed.  Unfortunately, in the latter fleet Larry Foxon and Mike Rolfe were just over the line and were forced to make a hasty return to correct their faux-pas.  Matt Burrell and George Venables caught  a sudden gust of wind on their Hurricane and nearly capsized but settled down quickly and headed out to sea, joined by Mark Venables and Francesca, and Brian Allen and Robert Mitchell.  Foxon and Rolfe sailed close to the shore, in an effort to mitigate the effect of the strong ebb tide, a move they came to regret.  

Meanwhile Derroll Pedder and Michael Gutteridge lead the race in their GP 14 and, after a hard beat down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy, rounded it sharp, hoisted their spinnaker, and ran smartly back to Eastcliff, maintaining the power of their kite on the reach to the AWS buoy before fetching out to the Seaward mark.  Further back the Lasers were having their own private battle; Andy Dunnett had set the pace with Rob Lockett and John Tappenden behind him, neck and neck for much of the way.  Slightly further back were Yvonne Gough and Eddie White, whilst Nadia MacDonald retired quite early on.  

The Hurricanes made a particularly impressive sight, tacking downwind with their colourful asymmetric spinnakers set, the ebb tide under them.  Disappointingly the force 4 west/south-westerly wind fell away and after reaching from Seaward to the Kingscliff buoy, the fleet battled the tide on the long beat back, through the line, to the St. Michael’s buoy.  With an apparent hole in the wind, right outside the Clubhouse, Dunnett managed to sail past the GP14, and from then on he just pulled away to carve a commanding lead.  On the catamaran front the Dart 18 of Pete Boxer and Dan Brzezinski kept a very respectable distance in front of their cat-mates and were busy picking off the dinghies, just falling short of third place when the race ended.  
Results:  The Chase
1.    Laser – Andy Dunnett
2.    GP14 – Derroll Pedder & Michael Gutteridge
3.    Laser – John Tappenden
4.    Dart 18 – Pete Boxer & Dan Brzezinski
5.    Laser – Rob Lockett
6.    Hurricane – Brian Allen & Rob Mitchell
7.    Hurricane – Matt Burrell & George Venables
8.    Hurricane – Mark Venables & Francesca
9.    Hurricane – Larry Foxon & Mike Rolfe
10.    Xenon – Clare Giles & Crew
DNF.  Laser – Nadia MacDonald
DNF.  Laser – Yvonne Gough
DNF.  Laser – Eddie White 


Course Board
Date 30 June 2019
Race The Chase
Finish Time 12:30
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4 falling
Wind Direction West/South West
High Tide 10:44
Course St.M - E - AWS - S - K - Line