Tappenden Takes The Title

After an exciting race at Gunfleet Sailing Club last Sunday 7 July it was John Tappenden that won the Bill Geddes Trophy in his Laser.

It was a freshly flooding tide and light north easterly wind that greeted the competitors as they sailed up and down the line, weighing-up the best place to start from.  In the end it became clear that positioning oneself by the Outer Distance Mark gave the advantage of being on starboard tack and heading into shore, so diluting the negative impact of the tide; the first leg being a beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy.  
Tappenden nudged his way up the start line, with Andy Dunnett right on his heels, both in Lasers, when Ken Potts drove his Laser down, squeezed between Tappenden and the buoy, and was gone.  This immediately put Potts in a strong position and he was first to round the Kingscliff mark before running back to the AWS buoy; Rob Lockett just behind him in his Blaze.  Michael Gutteridge and Derroll Pedder took advantage of angle of the wind and quickly hoisted the spinnaker in their GP14 before the third leg took the competitors on a fetch back to the ODM.  Dunnett, who at this point was laying further back, used the tactic of heading high and freeing-off fast, and immediately started picking off a number of rivals; Eddie White, in his Laser, now challenging the GP14.

Having beaten up the coast again, and rounded the Kingscliff mark, the boats then headed out to the Seaward buoy on a broad reach, before gybing and reaching in to the Eastcliff mark.  At this point things seemed to settle a little but the final leg of the course, a beat back through the line, saw some close tactical manoeuvres with boats tacking right on the edge of the shore.  Tappenden saw a lucky break and cheekily slipped past the end of a fishtail groyne, holding a steady course and positioning himself perfectly as he crossed the line on starboard tack, to complete his first lap.  Potts, on the other hand, was on port tack and determined to pass in front of him, but it was soon apparent there was not enough water so he quickly tacked, resulting in a slight contretemps between the two Lasers; the resultant 720 degree penalty turn being sufficient to knock Potts out of the running for the trophy. 
Results:  Bill Geddes Trophy
1.    Laser – John Tappenden
2.    Laser – Ken Potts
3.    Laser – Andy Dunnett

Course Board
Date 7 July 2019
Race Bill Geddes Trophy
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2 - 3
Wind Direction North Easterly
High Tide 16:15
Course K - AWS - ODM - K - S - E - Line