GUNFLEET Sailing Club held their race for the Wallet Trophy over the May Bank Holiday with Andy Cornforth securing victory in his Laser.

The rather unsettled weather did not deter competitors, with the flat sea masking the gusty offshore wind conditions.

Cornforth placed himself in a strong position on the start line but, as the race commenced, it was Andy Dunnett, in his Laser, that managed to harness a sudden gust of wind and literally fly past the other boats.

The first leg was a reach to the Kingscliff buoy and the opportune lift ensured Dunnett got round the mark first, having carried out a very clean gybe, and led the way on the second leg out to the Seaward buoy.

Despite a rather poor start, Eddie White was quick to catch the tail-enders in his Laser, some cunning tactics keeping him well and truly in the game. As the dinghies reached the offshore mark, the helms hardened-up for the beat down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy.

With the flood tide under them, it made sense to lay a course that would pull each boat onto the mark, avoiding overstepping it, which would have resulted in valuable time being lost.

Dunnett had held onto his lead and, having rounded Eastcliff, stumbled on the realisation that he wasn’t sure which mark was next; a problem when you have nobody to follow.

Cornforth saw his opportunity to close the gap by heading directly for the AWS buoy.

Dunnett, by now spotting the exact course he had to take, headed directly to the mark, cleanly rounding it and fetching to the line in time to take the first lap; Cornforth a close second and Peter Downer third in his Comet. Halfway round the second lap, it looked like Dunnett was able to prevent Cornforth closing the gap but then disaster struck.

Rounding the Seaward buoy and sheeting in tight, Dunnett capsized, allowing Cornforth to slip by.

Further back in the race it was interesting to see White having a tussle with Clare Giles in her Europe, a dinghy class new to Gunfleet.

Also, at this point, the wind backed more south-westerly, turning what was a beat into a fetch and reducing the time taken to complete the second lap; the subsequent third and final lap seeing no change in position.

Results: Wallet Trophy: 1 Laser – Andy Cornforth, 2 Laser – Andy Dunnett, 3 Comet – Peter Downer.