Annual Regatta Update

Annual Regatta Update 18th July 2010

Annual Regatta 18th July 2010

Imagine the scene, bright sunshine, winds force 3 and gusting into 4, tide on the turn and waves beginning to mount – an ideal start to the Regatta, with about 20 boats from both Clacton and Gunfleet clubs taking to the water for the RNLI Pennon Race.

The long course had been set to test the sailors as the winds were forecast to rise, a short start line made for quite exciting boat handling and they all got away as the flags dropped. It soon became 2 separate races, with the flotilla being divided into cats and monohulls, with fierce competition right through the fleet. The heavy-weather specialists from Gunfleet were revelling in the conditions – very fast reaches and taxing beats to windward – with almost the whole of the Clacton’s Darts powering through the white caps.

However, the most impressive performance of the morning was the skills of Gunfleet cadets Oli & Ben Williams, just taken to sailing and slogged round the course without a capsize. They came ashore wet through but triumphant!

The Pennons were presented by the leading member of the visiting Clacton & Walton Lifeboat crews, with the results being:

1st in the Race and first cat                 Rob Mitchell & Marco Bell    Clacton            Dart 16

First Mono                                          John Tappenden                      Gunfleet          Blaze

First Cadet                                          Oli & Ben Williams                 Gunfleet          Laser 3000

A superb lunch enticed the sailors to take to the water again, the waves turning into a nasty white-horse chop as the tide began to rise, despite the winds beginning to howl and creep into force 5. The afternoon’s Race for the prestigious CUDC and Centenary Cups got away smartly into the spanking breeze, with the monohulls mixed in with the cats up to the first turning mark.

Then the individual battles began to take shape, with Dart 18 of Martin & Simon Chivers having a close tussle with John Sewell & Ian Wright, positions constantly changing as they sliced their way through the building seas. The smaller monos from Gunfleet were again enjoying the wild conditions, with wily old fox Andy Dunnett giving a lesson in strong wind racing, with the heroic Williams boys perhaps not realising sailing wasn’t always like this!

All the boats came ashore safely and cleared from the dwindling beach as the tide advanced to crash up the sea wall.

Councillor Joy Broderick had been watching the racing all day and presented the silverware to:-

CUDC Cup and first cat                     John Sewell & Ian Wright      Clacton            Dart 18

Centenary Cup & first mono              Andy Dunnett                         Gunfleet          Laser

Centenary Cup & first cadet               Oli & Ben Williams                 Gunfleet          Laser 3000

All the money raised will go to Clacton’s Lifeboat Station, £300 already been presented and a further £80 in race fees and donations to be added to any other profits on the day.