RS600 Gains Convincing Win

The Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the Bill Clarke Shield last Sunday 28 September in almost summer-like conditions. Blue skies, bright sunshine and a light southerly breeze set the scene for a gentle sail albeit one where tactics really counted. With four of the Club’s Solution dinghies away at an Open event at Hunts Sailing Club and the Xenon at a Hertford County Yacht Club Open it diminished the fleet to ten boats taking part in the race. First to cross the start line was Andy Dunnett in his Laser with Paul Stanton, also in a Laser, hot on his heels. The first leg was a long beat up to St. Michael’s buoy fighting the strengthening ebbing tide all the way. The boats hugged the shore to minimise the adverse current and it wasn’t long before they had rounded the mark and were heading out on a reach to the Seaward buoy. By this time Ken Potts had pulled ahead to establish an impressive lead in his RS600 with John Tappenden chasing him hard in his Vortex. The Lasers as usual were having their own battle with Eddie White in amongst them in his Solution. In the slow handicap fleet Peter Downer led in his Comet Mino with Fred Webster second in his Sea Ranger and Lesley Sacre third in her Pico. At the end of the first lap Potts had a commanding lead whilst in the Laser fleet Yvonne Gough using a radial sail went through the line ahead of her husband Matt who had his full rig up. The second lap saw the Goughs’ positions reverse whilst White pushed his Solution into fourth position. However it was evident that nothing was going to stop Potts from claiming overall victory. Results: Bill Clarke Shield: 1. RS600 – Ken Potts 2. Vortex – John Tappenden 3. Laser – Andy Dunnett