Potts On Form

Gunfleet Sailing Club welcomed September with the first race in its Autumn Series on Sunday 4th, attracting twenty dinghies on the water.  The southerly force four wind appeared to be veering south west as the sailors rigged their boats on the beach but as they launched so the strength started to drop and it began to back southerly.  On a crowded line it was Andy Dunnett’s Laser that was right on the edge at the start, but as the fleet headed down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy so John Heath breezed past in his Blaze.  Jono Dunnett sailed his Laser closer to the shore to mitigate the negative effect of the last of the ebb tide, and sandwiched between him and Heath was Ken Potts in his Laser.  As the boats rounded the first mark it was Heath now clearly out front, followed by Potts, Andy Dunnett, and then Tim Dye in his Laser. The second leg was a reach out to Lilley Farm buoy as the wind began to fall away a little, but with the tide under them it didn’t take long.  In the Solo fleet Simon Clarke kept ahead of Chris Maloney, whilst Dave Ingle was just behind in his RS Aero and trying to shake off Clare Giles in her Europe.  Once round the mark it was a very broad reach to the Kingscliff buoy before a beat out to the Preston Park buoy; on this leg Maloney tried a different tactic and immediately went about and headed down the coast before a second tack in order to catch his competitors out on starboard as they reached the mark together.  It was then a fetch back to the line and, on handicap, Heath had the top spot, followed by Potts and then Jono Dunnett, with father Andy Dunnett fourth.  The second lap saw Potts nudge his way into the lead and Dye move up to fifth place whilst just a bit further back there was one second between Brian Allen and Joff Strutt in their Lasers.  In the third and final lap Heath fought hard to regain the lead but missed out to Potts by just three seconds, whilst there was the same gap between Yvonne Gough and Paul Stanton in their Lasers.  Maloney overtook Clarke, and all the time, sailing quietly and very cleanly, 86 year old Eddie White took his Comet into eleventh place, a marvellous achievement. 

Results – Autumn Series - 1:  
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Blaze – John Heath
3.    Laser – Jono Dunnett

Course Board
Date 4 August 2022
Race Autumn Series - 1
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3
Wind Direction South backing South-East
High Tide 05:42
Course St.M - LF - K - PP - Line