K P Takes Tee Dee

Gunfleet Sailing Club’s members took part in the race for its oldest trophy, the Tee Dee Challenge Cup, last Sunday 31 July with Ken Potts claiming victory in his Laser.
From the shore the sea was flat and the sun shone, but the wind was variable, both in direction and strength.  One minute it was a west/south-westerly breeze, and the next there was a strong gust from west/north-west.  The conditions certainly kept the competitors on their toes as they set off, following a clean start, on a close haul down the coast to the Eastcliff buoy; the strong ebbing tide slowing the boats down.  The next leg was a reach to the AWS buoy but unfortunately Andy Dunnett took the wrong course in his Laser and started to head out to sea, and by the time he realised his error he had dropped back considerably.  Having rounded AWS it was then out to the Seaward mark before beating down to St. Michael’s buoy and taking a speedy broad reach up to Kingscliff.  This latter leg gave the opportunity for Dave Fowell and Derroll Pedder, in the GP 14, to fly their spinnaker.  A frustrated Tom and Ed Philpot retired early-on in their 405 with mainsail problems, whilst Ken Potts soon carved out a good lead in his Laser.  As the boats beat back to the line to complete the first lap it looked like the winner would be a foregone conclusion.  Eddie White had his new race sail up on his Topaz but he, along with Yvonne Gough in her Laser, were finding the sudden gusts quite a handful.  Peter Downer, on the other hand, took the whole thing in his stride in his Comet and, on handicap, was challenging the many Lasers.  On the penultimate leg of the second and final lap John Tappenden managed to catch-up with, and pull ahead of, Potts in his Laser and as the two boats rounded the Kingscliff buoy Tappenden seemed to be in a strong position.  However, Potts just sheeted in and beat tight on starboard tack whilst Tappenden put in a tack and headed towards the shore, in theory benefiting from the weaker adverse tide.  Unfortunately, being under the shadow of the cliffs, there was a reduction in wind and Tappenden could only watch as Potts romped home.
Results – Tee Dee Challenge Cup:
1. Laser – Ken Potts
2. Laser – John Tappenden
3. Laser – Paul Stanton
Course Board
Date31 July 2016
RaceTee Dee Challenge Cup
Start Time11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort)Force 3 to 5
Wind DirectionWest/North West
High Tide10:18
CourseE - AWS - S - St. M - K - Line