Long Distance Trophy For Ken

Gunfleet Sailing Club held its long distance race for the Jim Suckling Trophy last Sunday 11 July which, after a closely fought sail, was won by Ken Potts in his Laser.

In a force 2 to 3 south-easterly breeze the competitors gathered closely at the start line, edging their way forward but mindful that on a reaching start, and with the flood tide under them, there was every possibility that one or two could be the wrong side of the line.  However, it transpired to be a clean start with Robert Mitchell just ahead in his Laser, but within seconds John Tappenden had passed him as he had started a little further back but fully powered-up, a risky strategy but one that paid off.  As the dinghies headed down the coast to the St. Michael’s buoy they remained closely bunched with Via Lowden just trailing a little in her Topaz.  Once round the buoy it was out to sea and a continuation down the coast to a large mark off Clacton Pier, the helms having to sheet-in hard to make it in one tack.  At this point Tappenden’s RS Aero remained ahead, followed by Potts, Yvonne Gough, and Mitchell all sailing Lasers.  Although the third leg was a broad reach back to Eastcliff it was against the tide so passage was not quite so quick.  Slightly further back Paul Stanton, who had a disappointing start, was challenging Brian Allen, both sailing Lasers, but found it no easy task to get in front.  Positions changed little until the competitors were required to beat out to the Lilley Farm buoy and then out still further to the Seaward mark, when tactics and manoeuvres started to pay off.  Clare Giles, in her Europe, pulled away from Eddie White in his Laser Radial and Mitchell overtook Gough; by now Stanton had found his form and as the dinghies reached from Seaward to the Preston Park buoy, and then ran to Kingscliff, Stanton was level with Gough and snapping at Mitchell’s heels.  The last leg, a reach back to the line, had Potts just 15 seconds ahead of Tappenden, with Mitchell third, Stanton fourth and Gough fifth.  The second lap saw Tappenden unable to pull away from Potts; Gough once again got herself back into third place but lost it to Stanton as the race progressed.  Mitchell then edged his way in front of Gough but neither could touch Potts who, by now, had carved himself out a reasonably comfortable win.

Results – Jim Suckling Long Distance Trophy:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    RS Aero – John Tappenden
3.    Laser – Paul Stanton

Course Board
Date 11 July 2021
Race Jim Suckling Long Distance
Start Time 11:00
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 2 to 3
Wind Direction South-Easterly
High Tide 13:46
Course St. M - Pier - E - LF - S - PP - K - Line