Grey, Wet Conditions Do Not Deter Sailors

Conditions were anything but inviting last Sunday 23 November when Gunfleet Sailing Club held the fifth race in its Winter Series.  The rain just held off long enough to get the boats on the water and then it was constant, falling from a dreary, grey-clad sky as an offshore wind gusted between force two and five.  Brogan Bates and Nick Cottee in their Hobie 405 got an excellent start, as did Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens in their RS 400, but all competitors were very close.  On the reach against the flood tide, to the Kingscliff buoy, it was Ken Potts who blasted out in front in his RS 600.  The two RS 400s, which stayed closely behind, immediately hoisted their spinnakers as they rounded the mark and, on the next leg out to sea, remained neck and neck for some considerable time.  The Lasers also stayed very closely bunched with Andy Dunnett just taking the lead, whilst Robert Gutteridge chased after them in the Solution.  The next leg, to the AWS buoy, proved too tight an angle for most craft and time was lost putting a tack or two in, whilst the reach back to the offshore mark saw a few capsizes as the wind shifted and gusted.  It was then an exciting reach out to the Seaward buoy before a beat back through the line.  At the end of the first lap Potts had an overall lead with Paul Davis and Beth Ford next in their RS 400, but the second lap saw a number of incidents, capsizes being the main issue but there was also the problem of a kite getting caught under the boat.  Positions therefore changed several times but none of this impacted on Potts who continued to hold onto the top place and take the winning gun.
Everyone then enjoyed a full-English breakfast in the Clubhouse. 
Winter Series - 5
1. RS 600 – Ken Potts
2. Laser – John Tappenden 
3. Laser – Andy Dunnett