RS600's Dominate London Trophy Race

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its race for the London Trophy last Sunday 23 August, an event exclusively for the faster boats, and twelve craft took part.  Before the start the wind was onshore force five and this suggested it would be a lively sail, but as the time got nearer so the wind abated a little and dropped to a force four, remaining in a south easterly direction.

On a reaching start the two RS600’s immediately pulled away as the boats headed to the St. Michael’s mark.  With the tide under them it seemed like just a few minutes before everyone was round the buoy and heading back to Eastcliff.  There then followed a fetch out to the Seaward buoy, by which time the RS600 of Kelvin Morton had a convincing lead.  Leading the five Solutions, slightly further back, was Mark Venables, followed by Simon Clarke and then Sonny Hart.  However Venables took the Seaward mark wide, allowing Clark to slip ahead.  In the Laser fleet it was Andy Dunnett that took an early lead and he continued to build on this as the race progressed.  After the first lap it was Morton in first place but on the second lap he capsized as he was going around the AWS buoy and this gave Ken Potts the opportunity to take the lead in his RS600.  Morton lost further time when, having righted the boat, he carried out a 360 degree penalty as he felt he might have touched the buoy when he capsized.  This proved to be the only real incident in what the helms all agreed had been an exhilarating race.  

Results – London Trophy:
1.    RS600 – Ken Potts
2.    RS600 – Kelvin Morton
3.    Blaze – John Tappenden

The previous Wednesday evening the much-delayed final race in the series for the Tony Chadd Trophy was held in perfect conditions.  With a force three to four onshore breeze and pure blue sky fourteen boats took part.  Because of the ideal conditions a further eight boats just went out for a sail, many helmed by the Club’s younger members, making a fine spectacle to the many onlookers.

So eager were those racing that a large number of boats jumped the line at the start and the Officer of the Day was forced to signal a general recall.  Ten minutes after the original start time the race restarted but Lesley Sacre crossed the line to early in her Pico and lost many minutes returning to cross the line again.  The boats fought the freshly flooding tide on the first leg to the Kingscliff buoy and then headed out to the Seaward mark before running down to the AWS, beating out Seaward again, and then broad reaching to the Eastcliff buoy and back through the line.  Once again it was Potts that lead from the start, followed by John Tappenden in his Blaze and Clarke in the Solution.  This time however it was Paul Stanton that lead the Lasers around the course, whilst in the slow handicap fleet Peter Downer sailed a very clean course in his Comet Mino.  Just slightly further back but proving himself to be a very good helm was Sebastien Mathewson in his Topper.  In the end it was Potts that won the race but this did not prevent Tappenden from winning the series overall.

Results – Tony Chadd Series Overall:
1.    Blaze – John Tappenden
2.    RS600 – Ken Potts
3.    Solution – Simon Clarke