A Great Day For Gunfleet - An Even Better Day For Ken
Monday, September 28, 2015 - 12:10
Gunfleet Sailing Club’s Ken Potts celebrated a run of success after winning both races last Sunday in his RS 600.
In the morning the second and final race of the Club’s Egg and Bacon Series got underway in some lively seas, albeit the wind stayed a fairly constant north-easterly force four. Beating up the coast to the windward buoy, against the last of the flood tide, appeared a reasonably easy affair for the lightweight fast handicapped craft, but it proved a little more challenging to the slower handicapped dinghies that were unable to point as high. With both wind and tide under them, all the boats made quick work of the run to the AWS buoy which was followed by a gybe, a reach into the ODM and a second beat back to the windward mark. The competitors then settled down to a broad reach out to the seaward buoy, a second gybe, and a reach down the coast before beating back to the line.
A good tussle took place between Rob Lockett, in his Laser, and Brogan Bates and Nick Cottee in their Hobie 405, but Lockett lost out when he capsized at the offshore mark. Robert Gutteridge inadvertently sailed the wrong course which, whilst not disqualifying him, added quite a bit of extra time onto his race but he still achieved an impressive fourth place. Andy Dunnett was forced to retire when his Laser developed gear failure and John Tappenden capsized in his Blaze but was so quick to right the boat that he managed a convincing second place, only being beaten by Ken Potts in his RS 600. Harry Swinbourne took third position in his Topper, whilst of the three Topazes taking part Shona Goodchild and Francesca Cottee put up a strong performance and are certainly ones to be watched in the future. As everyone settled down in the Clubhouse for a full-English breakfast (no less than 25 were served) the overall positions for the series were calculated and Potts proved to be this year’s victor.
Results – Egg and Bacon Series Overall:
1. RS 600 – Ken Potts
2. Blaze – John Tappenden
3.= Solution – Robert Gutteridge
3.= Topaz – Tom and Ed Philpot
In the afternoon seventeen boats took part in the race for the Fleet Championships, a very important event for many helms as it also concluded the season’s class points’ series for the six fleets in the Club.
An impressive start saw the competitors beating up the coast but unfortunately Nick Cottee and Henry Spooner got their Topaz caught on the ODM and, as they released themselves, had to watch as the competitors shot past them. The tide had now turned and so assisted the boats to the first buoy before and exhilarating reach out to the seaward mark. Once again there were some interesting inter-group battles going on throughout the race. Tappenden, now in a Laser, along with Dunnett, in his repaired Laser, fought to stay just ahead of Sonny Hart in his Solution, whilst slightly further back Ross and Caleb Aylen had taken Conor and Finlay Williams, both in Hobie 405’s, and were challenging both Gutteridge in his Solution and Yvonne Gough in her Laser. At the slow handicap end of the fleet Harry Swinbourne dominated the Toppers, although it was good to see Gemma Bailey and Rachel Coles both out in Toppers too; whilst in the Topaz fleet Tom and Ed Philpot kept Steve and Daisy Swinbourne at bay, along with the rest of the Topaz class. By the end of the first lap Potts had once again carved out a lead on handicap and, in the fresh breeze, continued to build on it, so claiming his second win of the day.
Results – Fleet Championships:
1. RS 600 – Ken Potts
2. Laser – Andy Dunnett
3. Laser – John Tappenden
Class Points Overall Winners:
Sea Ranger – Richard Walker
Topper – Harry Swinbourne
Topaz – Tom and Ed Philpot
Hobie 405 – Conor and Finlay Williams
Laser – Yvonne Gough
Solution – Sonny Hart
Ross and Caleb Aylen in their 405 hold off Robert Gutteridge in his Solution as they complete the first lap of the Fleet Champioships
Nick Cottee and Henry Spooner, continue the race in their Topaz after their close encounter at the start of the race
Sonny Hart takes his Solution into fourth place overall in the Fleet Championships and picks-up the Solution Class Points Trophy