Tappenden Takes His RS Aero To Victory

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the sixth race in its Winter Series, last Sunday 14 November, with John Tappenden taking first place in his RS Aero.

A somewhat overcast sky greeted the competitors as they rigged-up on the beach, with a force three northerly wind providing slightly gusty conditions.  With the first leg taking the craft up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy it was of little surprise to see the boats congregating close to shore, by the Inner Distance Mark.  Whilst some sat almost in irons by the line, others stayed further back, only to power-up just seconds before the start and sweep into the lead; Ken Potts choosing to take this latter action in his Laser.  He was closely followed by Tappenden but it wasn’t long before Robert Mitchell and Paul Stanton sailed past them on their Dart 16 catamaran.  By being close hauled there proved no need to tack and once round the mark it was a run out to the Seaward buoy; the Dart 16 downwind tacking to maximise its speed, however, this failed to pay off and Potts rounded the mark first.  Not far behind was Eddie White in his Comet who was sailing a particularly clean course.  The third leg was a beat to the Preston Park buoy and there was some divided tactics here, with a number heading up the coast, parallel to the shore, before going straight for the mark, whilst others tacked early and decided to tack repeatedly in order to make their destination.  By the time the craft were on their next leg, out around AWS, Mitchell and Stanton had regained the lead and they hung onto it as the course took them to Lilley Farm buoy, down to Eastcliff, and back through the line.  At this point, despite the Dart 16 leading the way, it looked likely that Potts would have the first lap on handicap but as they beat towards the line Potts had a senior moment and passed the Outer Distance Mark on the wrong side.  It was only on reaching the Kingscliff buoy at the start of the second lap that he realised his mistake and hurriedly returned to correct the faux-pas; losing him valuable time.  The Dart 16 continued to pull away, but failed to shake-off Tappenden on handicap, whilst Potts worked incredibly hard to just squeeze into second place.

Results – Winter Series - 6:
1.    RS Aero – John Tappenden
2.    Laser – Ken Potts
3.    Dart 16 – Robert Mitchell and Paul Stanton


Course Board
Date 14 November 2021
Race Winter Series 6
Start Time 11:15
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3
Wind Direction Northerly
High Tide 07:30
Course K - S - PP - AWS - LF - E - Line