Ken Takes The Winning Gun

The final race in Gunfleet Sailing Club’s 2019 season took place on Sunday 20 October in pleasant conditions, with a convincing win for Ken Potts in his Laser.  

The conditions were more reminiscent of summer as the competitors rigged their boats for the third race in the Winter Series; blue skies, sunshine, a flat sea, and a force three northerly wind.  The helms skilfully used the freshly flooding tide to hold their craft in place as they nudged towards the line, ready for the off.  John Tappenden sat close to the Outer Distance Mark and lead the reach up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy in his Laser, whilst father and son Andy and Jono Dunnett, both sailing Lasers, stayed much close to the shore, at the Inner Distance Mark.  Tappenden appeared to have nailed it but soon realised that Jono was shadowing him all the way, resulting in an almost bow to transit gybe at the first mark; Rob Lockett just behind in his Blaze.  An unexpected retirement came early on when Jake Gazzard’s boom broke on his Laser, and he had to be towed into the shore by the Club’s Rescue Boat.  For the rest of the competitors the broad reach out to the Seaward buoy saw a total bunching of all the boats and from shore it was difficult to see who might lead round the offshore mark but Lockett’s Blaze took the honour, Jono second, followed by Potts; the latter, having had a disappointing start, managing to work his way up through the fleet. 

The third leg was a beat in towards the shore and round the AWS buoy, and various helms tried various tactics, with quite differing results.  This was the chance Potts had been waiting for and, using the tide to his best advantage, he slipped round the mark ahead of everyone before running back out to sea.  Once offshore the boats sailed close hauled down to the East cliff buoy before reaching back through the line; Eddie White unfortunately losing valuable time when caught by some unexpected gusts out at sea but worked hard to remain in with the main contenders.

With Potts leading the second lap the other sailors had a challenge on their hands to try and catch him, Tappenden retiring after cutting one of the race marks too tight which resulted in his boat touching it.  

Results:  Winter Series Overall:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Laser – Andy Dunnett
3.    Laser – Andy Cornforth

Course Board
Date 20 October 2019
Race Winter Series 3
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3
Wind Direction North/North West
High Tide 16:31
Course K - S - AWS - S - E - Line