Potts Makes It Two In A Row

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the second race in its Winter Series on Sunday 30 October 2022 with a second win for Ken Potts in his Laser.

Conditions were not that inviting with a force four to five south/south-westerly wind, grey skies and steady rain, but this didn’t deter the sailors from rigging-up eagerly on the beach.  In fact the eagerness didn’t stop there as sufficient jumped the line at the start to require the General Recall flag to be instantly hoisted.  Ten minutes later, and second time round, it looked as though the whole thing might have to be repeated but at the last minute almost all the potentially guilty helms bore down the line, leaving just Andy Dunnett, in his Laser Radial, so requiring the Individual Recall flag to be used; he soon corrected his mistake.  Potts immediately lead the fleet as they fetched down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy, the flood tide helping them on their way; Clare Giles starting close to the Outer Distance Mark and so avoiding possible dirty wind from her rivals.  Potts was first to round the mark, followed by Giles, then Robert Mitchell in his Laser Radial.  The second leg was a reach out to the Seaward buoy, Potts continuing to hold the lead, and as the boats took the Seaward so Mitchell was level with Giles’s transom.  Dunnett was trailing, but closing the gap, whilst Adam Kedge, sailing his Topper with a 4.2 rig, was not that far behind and ahead of his father Simon in a Topaz.  Eddie White found the conditions just a bit much in his Comet and retired from the race.  The wind had now backed southerly which meant the third leg was a run to the Preston Park buoy, by which time Mitchell was in front of Giles and chasing Potts.  The beat that followed, back out to Seaward, saw the competitors head parallel with the coast before tacking out to sea; some overstepping the mark, whilst Giles found she had tacked just a bit too early and had to put in a second tack.  From Seaward, and with the wind continuing to back, it turned out to be a second run, this time up to the AWS mark before a short leg into the ODM and a gybe through the line.  Unfortunately Mitchell missed AWS and went straight for ODM, so disqualifying him.  Meanwhile Dunnett had fought his way back and at the end of the first lap had slipped past Giles and was laying in second place, just behind Potts.  However, with the wind freshening on the second lap, Dunnett capsized and allowed Giles to regain her position, whilst Dave Ingle was less fortunate in his RS Aero; capsizing at the Seaward mark he turtled his dinghy and ended up requiring the assistance of the Club’s Rescue Boat, retiring back to the beach exhausted.

Results – Winter Series - 2:  
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Europe – Clare Giles
3.    Laser – Andy Dunnett