Ken Potts Takes Race No: 5 In The Tony Chadd Series

This was definitely the calm after the storm, when Gunfleet Sailing Club members took part in the fifth race in the Tony Chadd Series last Wednesday evening, 29 May 2024; the previous Monday’s event having been disrupted by a sudden squall.

A force three, gusting four, west/north-westerly wind made for a flat sea, but the sky brought a mixture of grey cloud and occasional sunshine.  Unfortunately for Eddie White, he capsized his Comet before the race began.  Robert Mitchell was just a fraction too eager in his Laser and, at the start, found himself just over the line; however, me made a speedy return.  The hoisting of the Individual Recall flag resulted in two other boats returning, unnecessarily, just in case they were also guilty.  Tim Dye initially lead the fleet down the coast in his Laser, against the ebbing tide, to the Eastcliff buoy but it wasn’t long before Ken Potts was alongside, also in a Laser, whilst John Tappenden, in his RS Aero, was chasing Paul Stanton’s Laser.  As they rounded the first mark it was a run out to Seaward which Tappenden rounded first, followed by Potts and then Dye.  Stanton mistakenly thought the race mark had to be taken to starboard and lost minutes putting in a quick gybe, and fighting the tide, to correctly take it to port; finding Brian Allen now in front of him in his RS Aero.  To add to the scene, as Allen hardened-up on starboard he found Peter Downer, on port tack, on top of him.  Downer’s mainsheet got caught on Allen’s boat, then Yvonne Gough, in her Laser, found the mainsheet getting entangled with her, and valuable time was lost unravelling the whole thing; Downer promptly retired from the race.  The next leg was a beat to the Lilley Farm buoy before reaching up the coast to the Kingscliff mark; at which point Potts got back in front of Tappenden, followed by Dye, Stanton, and Mitchell.  Slightly further back were Simon Clarke in his Europe and Paul Jackson in his GP14.  As the fleet fetched back to the line, the first lap concluded with Tappenden just one second ahead of Potts on the water.  During the second lap the wind began to fall away and the race took on more of a procession, the third lap seeing the wind dropping off still further.

Results – Tony Chadd Series - 5:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    RS Aero – John Tappenden
3.    Laser –Tim Dye