Ken Gets Top Spot Twice In One Day

Members of the Gunfleet Sailing Club celebrated the official opening of the new beach in front of its headquarters by holding two races last Sunday 23 August, with a double celebration for Ken Potts who took first place in both events.  
In the morning it was the first race in the series for the Potts Pursuit Challenge.  This is more of a chase with the slowest handicapped boats starting first, followed by a staggered release of craft as their official handicaps dictate their greater speed.  Boat chases boat and, if you are at the front you hold everyone else back, whilst the further down the fleet you start, the more you have to “pick them off”.  Conditions were certainly lively with force 5 to 6 easterly winds and quite large seas but this did not deter the competitors, first away being cadets Daisy Swinbourne and Beth Elliott in their Topaz, the boat punching its nose through the waves.  The other dinghies followed at various intervals when, some twenty minutes after the Topaz, the RS 600 of Ken Potts was unleashed.  After the first lap there had been some casualties with Yvonne Gough retiring in her Laser due to gear failure.  Meanwhile Andy Dunnett, also in a Laser, had pulled ahead to be in top position but he was required to constantly look over his shoulder at the ever advancing fleet of craft heading his way.  At the end of the second lap, and almost halfway through the race Dunnett clung on to the lead with John Tappenden snapping at his heels in his Blaze.  Moving in for the kill Tappenden suddenly realised that one of the racks on his boat was working loose and the next thing he knew he was in the sea, and in need of assistance from the Club’s Rescue Boat.  Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens saw their chance to steal the top spot, in their RS 400, but Potts just blasted past them and went on to overtake Dunnett.  Once in front, and with Potts hard out on the wire, the RS 600 just screamed away and took a convincing win.    
Results – Potts Pursuit Challenge - 1:
1. RS 600 – Ken Potts
2. RS 400 – Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens
3. Laser – Andy Dunnett
By the afternoon the wind had abated to a force 4, encouraging further boats to take to the water and join in the race for the Wallet Trophy.  By this time all traces of sunshine had disappeared and as the five minute gun echoed across the water so the rain started to fall.  The start was an impressive affair with Paul and Katie Davis leading the fleet in their RS 400, but just behind them was Tappenden, back out on his Blaze having carried out some quick running repairs over lunch.  By now the wind had veered south easterly and this gave a fine reach up the coast to the first buoy.  There followed a fetch out to sea before a dead run back into shore and a beat back out to sea.  It was at this last turning mark that the two Solutions and the two Lasers were all on top of each other and there were some “close encounters” as each helm tried to slip around the buoy first.  As the race progressed the RS 400’s changed positions and Eddie White took an early bath in his Solution when his foot got caught and the boat tipped over.  Once again it was Potts that took an early lead and he opened the gap as the race went on, so claiming his second victory of the day.
Results – Wallet Trophy
1. RS 600 – Ken Potts
2. Blaze – John Tappenden
3. RS 400 – Simon Clarke and Emily Cossens