Busy Bank-Holiday Weekend At Gunfleet

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the race for the Coronation Trophy last Sunday 5 May, in glorious sunshine and blue skies but, sadly, very little wind.  It was Chris Maloney that got the best start in his Solo, followed By Robert Mitchell’s Laser, John Tappenden’s RS Aero, and Belle Hart’s Topper.  The fleet reached down the coast, very slowly, as they stemmed the strong ebb tide, and by the time they reached the first mark, at St. Michael’s, it was Dave Ingle leading in his RS Aero, followed by Tappenden, then Ken Potts in his Laser.  The fleet then tacked out to the Seaward buoy but the angle of wind, plus the tide, meant some well planned tactics were the order of the day.  Once round Seaward it was a broad reach in to the AWS mark and all the boats banana’d this leg as the adverse tide pulled them away.  As the dinghies went round AWS, the two Aero’s remained in first and second place, but Mitchell had now moved up to third position.  The beat back out to Seaward was painful to watch, although the following leg to Preston Park proved far quicker; a short hop to Kinscliff saw Tappenden just nudge past Ingle but the latter regained his lead very quickly.  The next three boats were all Lasers and it was a real traffic jam as they rounded the last buoy.  Slightly further back was the Laser of Andy Stafford, whilst the one to impress the onlookers was Paul Jackson who, single-handed in his GP14, managed to fly his spinnaker.  The Race Officer, having watched the slow progress, shortened the course to one lap, and on handicap it was a victory for Potts.
Results – Coronation Trophy:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    RS Aero – John Tappenden
3.    Laser – Robert Mitchell

The Club then, on Monday 6 May, held the second race in its Class Points Series and in the RS Aero fleet it was Brian Allen that lead to the first two marks but problems with his halyard slipping allowed both John Tappenden and Dave ingle past.  In the Lasers it was Andy Dunnett that was first away but, surrounded by his fellow sailors, it wasn’t too long before Tim Dye challenged him and slipped ahead, gradually opening the gap.  Paul Stanton had a problem with his clew coming apart, which forced him to retire, leaving Dunnett and Robert Mitchell to chase after Ken Potts.  In the GP14 class it almost appeared that the leading two boats were stuck together, and they went round the course neck and neck throughout the race; sometimes Paul Jackson and Chris Sutton nudged ahead, but then Simon Kedge and Dave Rayfield just got in front.  As far as the Solo and Europe class was concerned it was Simon Clarke that had the race, right from the off.  Lastly, in the Toppers, it was Finley Taylor that took an early lead, leaving Belle Hart having to be satisfied with second place.

Results Class Points 2 - Winners:
RS Aero – John Tappenden
Laser – Tim Dye
GP14 – Simon Kedge and Dave Rayfield
Solo/Europe – Simon Clarke
Topper – Finley Taylor 

Course Board
Date 5 May 2024
Race Coronation Trophy
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2
Wind Direction South/South-Easterly
High Tide 10:24
Course St. M - S - AWS - S - PP - K - Line
Course Board
Date 6 May 2024
Race Class Points
Start Time 11:00 onwards
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 4
Wind Direction North-Easterly
High Tide 11:19
Course See Course Boards Below