GUNFLEET Sailing Club’s 2017 Cadet Week, sponsored by DONG Energy, proved both exciting and fun - despite mixed weather.

There were four races for each of the four different classes and it was good to see the cadets and otters’ skills come to the fore.

The single-handed Toppers had fairly small courses and to be commended was Lauren Hooper, who battled hard throughout but just failed to take the top spot. The Topaz fleet, sailed with helm and crew over a larger course, saw places changing frequently and several capsizes, with some nailbiting tussles.

Maddie Corbett and Francesca Cottee were consistent in getting second places while the third placing seemed to change at each race.

Jude Aylen and Esme Symmonds took it in the first race, while Harrison Smith and Mac Symmonds gained third in one race and Owen Hooper and Joshua Aiken in another.

Thomas Aiken and Hannah Aylen were also up near the top in a couple of the races.

In the 405 fleet, there was a lot of tension.

These youth skiffs, sailed by two persons, require the crew to trapeze out on a wire in order to keep the boat upright and, in a blow, are quite a handful.

There is also the decision as to whether to hoist the asymmetric spinnaker on the downwind legs of the large courses - set correctly and the 405 really takes-off but get it wrong and the boat is over.

Alex Corbett and Henry Spooner took the approach of caution and it seemed to pay off at times but sadly never got them a first place.

Ross and Caleb Aylen showed their boat to be a real pocket rocket and achieved a convincing win in the third race.

Meanwhile in the Menagerie fleet, Alfie Searles drove his Pico hard and this gained him victory in the first race.

Onshore, while the racing was in full flow, the younger, inexperienced club members were given sail training, although the strong winds did restrict the opportunity to actually put much theory into practice on the water.

The rest of the week was taken up with team games, both on and off the water, including Numbers-Up, Watery Word Search, All Aboard Race and Save the Mascot.

Some 25 adult members helped run the week and, at the cadet week party, the cadets and otters presented thank-you gifts.

Cadet officer Claire Aylen, who organised the whole week, gave-out unique T-shirts to everyone taking part and also certificates for most supportive, positive, and polite as well as hungriest, cheekiest etc cadet or otter.

Finally, the following trophies were presented:

Swallows Trophy – Toppers: Ted Newson; Amazons Tropy – Topaz: Beth Elliott/Finlay Williams and Freddie Spooner; Captain Flint Trophy – 405: Tom and Ed Philpot; Long John Silver Trophy – Menagerie: Laser – Harry Swinbourne; DONG Energy Trophy for winning Team – “Frank N Stick” Team: Ross Aylen, Caleb Aylen, Beth Elliott, Finlay Williams, Alfie Searles, Owen Hooper, Joshua Aiken, Freddie Spooner, Ted Newson, Hannah Gittins, Emily Newson and Jessie Searles. The other two teams – “Piggy Power” and “K F Sea” came joint second.