Ken Potts Claims The Bill Geddes Trophy

A force 2 to 4 offshore wind greeted the competitors for the Bill Geddes Trophy at Gunfleet Sailing Club on Bank-Holiday Monday 31 August which, as with the previous week’s event, was based on three back to back short races.  In race one John Tappenden led from the start line in his Aero with Andy Dunnett, in his Laser, just behind.  Andy Cornforth, also in a Laser, sheeted in hard and was challenging Tappenden on his windward side as the dinghies headed up the coast on a beat to the windward mark; by now the wind having veered more north-easterly.  Dunnett unfortunately slipped back a little, allowing Ken Potts to drive his Laser up the fleet whilst Clare Giles closed the gap on Dunnett in her Europe.  Slightly further back was Eddie White in a Laser and then a Topper and a Topaz; these latter boats being sailed by Otter George Smith and Cadets Owen and Lauren Hooper.  With Tappenden’s Aero leading the fleet on the second leg, a reach out to the Seaward buoy, a separate battle was on in the Laser class; Potts slipping neatly past Cornforth.  Once round the offshore mark it looked like a fetch back in towards the coast but suddenly there was a wind-shift which required the competitors to rethink their tactics.  The penultimate leg was a beat back to the windward buoy and then a broad reach back home before hooking round the mark to finish.  This proved to be Potts’s race with Tappenden second and Cornforth third.

The second race saw Potts first away whilst Dunnett, sorting out a technical issue with his Laser, was very much at the other end of the whole fleet.  On the first leg Cornforth did his best to shadow Tappenden but it wasn’t long before the breeze fell away and resulted in most of the dinghies bunching together as they hit this hole in the wind.  Potts was sharp enough to gain the first of the new airs and lead the competitors round the buoy, and it was on this second leg, out to sea, that Dunnett at last got past Giles in her Europe.  By the time the boats went round the Seaward buoy the wind had backed to north-westerly and the helms found themselves having to beat into shore; the top three places mirroring the first race.  

In the third and final race it was Giles’s turn to lead the competitors from the start line when suddenly a mini-squall blew through which, fortunately, only lasted a couple of minutes.  Tappenden managed to nudge the Seaward buoy with his Aero and was required to undertake a 306 degree penalty turn but this didn’t stop him edging ahead and taking the winning gun.

Results Overall – Bill Geddes Trophy:
1.    Laser  – Ken Potts
2.    Aero – John Tappenden
3.    Laser – Andy Cornforth

Course Board
Date 31 August 2020
Race Bill Geddes Trophy
Start Time 11:00 - 11:30 - 12:22
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2 - 4
Wind Direction North/North-West Veering
High Tide 11:40
Course K - S - ODM - K - ODM - Line