Davis And Ford Take The Winning Gun

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the third race in its Winter Series last Sunday 9 November, having first observed the two minutes silence and, with just five minutes to go before the start, the wind swung round ninety degrees; changing from north-westerly to south-westerly.  The competitors sailed up and down the line in anticipation with the RS 400 of Paul Davis and Beth Ford, and John Tappenden in his Laser, timing it to perfection; as the start gun echoed across the water both boats were away, heading out to sea on starboard tack.  Less fortunate was Ken Potts in his RS 600 who misjudged the time and, with just a few seconds to go before the start, found he had run out of line so having to quickly go about; this put him on port tack and meant he had to give way to all the other competitors.  The fleet made short work of the beat to the windward mark, in a light breeze, the tide hurrying them on their way.  First round was the RS 400 and immediately the spinnaker was hoisted on the reach out to the Seaward buoy, however, this soon came down when Davis felt the angle was wrong.  A little further back Conor and Finlay Williams hoisted the spinnaker on their Hobie 405 and flew it continuously on that leg, maintaining the perfect angle and really romping through the water, pulling away from Robert Gutteridge in a Solution.  Leading the slow handicap craft was Tom Philpot in a Topaz, although early on in the race he had a problem with the jib.
As the race progressed there was a neck and neck battle between the RS 400 and RS 600 and at the end of the first lap just one second split them, neither being fast enough to get in front of Tappenden’s Laser on handicap.  The wind started to build a little during the second lap, so closing the gap a fair bit, and at the end of the third and final lap both RS’s had slipped ahead in what proved to be a tight and exciting finish.
Winter Series - 3
1. RS 400 – Paul Davis & Beth Ford
2. RS 600 – Ken Potts
3. Laser – John Tappenden