Potts Takes Top Spot

Gunfleet Sailing Club’s first race in its Spring Series got off to a flying start last Sunday 14 April with a convincing win for Ken Potts in his Laser.

Despite the bright sunshine, a sharp easterly force three to four wind greeted the competitors as they jockeyed for position on the start line.  Tension mounted as the seconds ticked away and it was Tom Philpot that lead the way, heading out to sea in his Solo, on port tack, and cunningly dodging the rest of the fleet that were on starboard and therefore actually having right of way.  On the other hand Andy Dunnett found himself over the line and had to retreat his Laser back, avoiding the oncoming boats, to make a clean start.  With a healthy ebb tide under them, all the competitors were soon tacking out to sea to maximise the impact of the supporting tide as they beat up the coast to the windward buoy.  The second leg was a very broad reach to the AWS buoy with Ken Potts starting to carve-out a lead, but once round it was a reach to the ODM and Sonny Hart grabbed the opportunity to take his Blaze into first position, but on the subsequent beat up the coast he capsized and dropped back a little.  During the second reach it was Dunnett’s turn to capsize and he lost considerable time in trying to right his Laser; the Club’s Rescue boat standing alongside him.  Dunnett, however, refused any assistance as this would have put him out of the race.  The craft then ran to a mark off Eastcliff, and with a lively swell and some unexpected gusts it certainly kept the helms on their toes.  There were one or two near capsizes during this leg but most safely made it round the buoy before beating back through the line.  At the end of the first lap Potts had carved-out a reasonable lead and it was very evident that he was simply loving the conditions.  

Things seemed to settle down during the second and final lap and try as the others might they could not stop him from claiming victory in the first of this five series race. 

Results – Spring Series 1:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Solo – Tom Philpot
3.    Blaze – Sonny Hart

Course Board
Date 14 April 2019
Race Spring Series - 1
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3 to 4
Wind Direction East
High Tide 07:21
Course X - AWS - ODM - X - AWS - 1 - Line