Clare Beats Carlo, But Only Just

Gunfleet Sailing Club held a race with a difference last Sunday 22 August 2021 when the final results were all based on personal handicaps, calculated on each competitor’s past performances throughout the 2021 season.  

The weather was decidedly mixed with a grey sky looming over the boats as they were being rigged on the beach, and a westerly force two to three wind blowing.  The helms were soon on the water and determining the best place on the line in order to have the initial advantage, but as the class flag fell from the yardarm there were sufficient boats that had jumped the line to require a general recall.  Ten minutes later and the fleet was off with Robert Mitchell leading the way in his Laser, closely followed by Clare Giles in her Europe and then Yvonne Gough in her Laser.  Sheeted hard in, and with the flood tide assisting them, the craft were soon at the windward mark; by this time Andy Dunnett had slipped ahead in his Laser.  Out for the first time in his new Comet was Eddie White who had the boat just creaming along.  The second leg was a run to the AWS buoy, with no mishaps occurring, and then a reach out to Seaward.  Andy Dunnett started to build a strong lead, with Mitchell lying second and Gough third, but Andy’s son Gregg Dunnett was now lying in fourth place and Carlo Bardetti almost parallel.  Everyone cleanly gybed out at sea, fetched to the Preston Park buoy before beating towards the shore and rounding the Kingscliff mark.  The final leg was a close haul back to the line, and at the end of the first lap, on personal handicaps, it was Bardetti with a strong lead, followed by Giles and then Dave Fowell in his Solo.  During the second lap Mitchell started closing the gap on Andy Dunnett whilst Gregg Dunnett overtook Gough, but Bardetti looked to be holding his strong lead until disaster struck.  As the dinghies gybed around the Seaward buoy so Bardetti capsized and, unlike his normal razor-sharp righting, he lost valuable minutes getting the Laser upright.  Meanwhile Mitchell continued to gain on Andy Dunnett but Giles, tacking out into the tide and gaining its full assistance, overtook several of her rivals and took the winning gun; not only on personal handicap but also on RYA national yardsticks.  Star of the day was, however, Bardettii who, despite his mishap, still came in second overall.   

Results – Personal Yardstick Race:
1.    Europe – Clare Giles
2.    Laser – Carlo Bardetti
3.    Laser – Robert Mitchell

Course Board
Date 22 August 2021
Race Personal PY Trophy
Start Time 11:10
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2 to 4
Wind Direction Westerly
High Tide 12:40
Course E - AWS - S - PP - K - Line