Ken Leads The Lasers To Victory

Gunfleet Sailing Club’ third race in its Winter Series, held last Sunday 29 October, saw the top places being dominated by the Laser fleet, with Ken Potts claiming his second win.

The offshore wind, gusting up to force six at times, provided the usual mix of sudden gusts, equally sudden lulls, and unpredictable variations in its angle; every sailor’s nightmare. 

At the start it was Potts who lead, but John Tappenden was windward of him and soon slipped ahead, resulting in Potts retaliating by dropping under him and attempting a similar manoeuvre.  Tappenden managed to hold him back and was the leading Laser around the Kingscliff buoy, whilst surging ahead of everyone were Jack and Elliot Berry in their Fireball; the boys soon flying their spinnaker on the broad reach out to the Seaward mark.  The third leg was a beat in towards shore, round the AW S buoy and back out to Seaward on what should have been a dead run.  By this time Potts had reclaimed his lead in the Laser fleet, but looked like he was going to have a battle on his hands with the Fireball.  The penultimate leg took the competitors down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy but the Berry brothers had misread the course and headed for the Eastcliff mark, correcting their error at the last minute, but subsequently capsizing by the right buoy.  A few brotherly words to each other and the Fireball headed straight back to shore and retirement.  

Potts wasn’t getting it all his own way and when the boats completed the first lap, there were just a few seconds between the first three Lasers.  As the race continued into the second lap the wind veered northerly and so allowed the dinghies to point much higher on the beat from Seaward to AWS, but this spelt disaster for Tappenden when he capsized on the run back out to sea, so letting Andy Dunnett move up a place.  Not prepared to accept this change in fortune, Tappenden fought hard to regain second place but did not have the opportunity, by now, to really challenge Potts. 

Results: Winter Series - 3:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Laser – John Tappenden
3.    Laser – Andy Dunnett