Ken Takes The Autumn Honours

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the penultimate race in its Autumn Series last Sunday 24 September, resulting in a clear win for Ken Potts.

Competitors could be mistaken for thinking it was summer with unbroken sunshine, blue skies and a force three to four onshore breeze.  On a busy start line Potts lead the way in his Laser but was soon overtaken by Jack and Elliott Berry in their Fireball.  Close to the Inner Distance Mark was Eddie White, also in a Laser, who sought to cheat the flooding tide by sailing close to the shore.  The first leg was close hauled with a small tack necessary to make the Kingscliff buoy.  The Berry brothers were first round, followed by Potts; then there were two further Lasers, Rob Lockett comfortably ahead of Andy Dunnett.  What should have been a fetch out to Seaward ended up with everyone pointing high in order to negate the strong tide which took the boats towards Clacton Pier.  The crews then ran their craft down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy and a number of the two-person dinghies hoisted their spinnakers.  Cutting tight round the mark, all but the Berry brothers beat along the shore before heading back out to the Seaward buoy.  The Fireball chose to go out to sea and faced a hard slog parallel to the coast in trying to lay the mark.  Dave Fowell and Jeremy Goodchild spotted that, in fact, everyone was tacking too early so held the long-shore course in their GP14 and closed the gap on their rivals.  The Berry brothers certainly weren’t getting everything their own way and, as well as a number of Lasers, found that father Paul Berry and crew Luke Powling, also sailing a Fireball, were really starting to challenge them, despite not flying a kite on the downwind legs.  Working hard in her Laser was Yvonne Gough but, try as she might, she couldn’t get ahead of White.

After a reach in to the AWS buoy, a gybe, and a second reach to Eastcliff, it was a close haul back to the line.  By the end of the first lap Potts had carved-out a reasonable lead and he went on to strengthen this quite considerably in the second and final lap.

Results: Autumn Series - 3:

1. Laser – Ken Potts

2. Laser – Andy Dunnett

3. Laser – Rob Lockett