Jono Takes The Trophy After Ninety Minute Battle

Gunfleet Sailing Club held the Ken Potts Pursuit Race on Sunday 19 May 2024 when seventeen dinghies took part; the race seeing staggered starts depending on the official RYA Portsmouth Yardstick.

First away was the Topper Class, and Finley Taylor headed up the coast, on a beat, to the Kingscliff buoy; the force three north-easterly wind, blue sky and unbroken sunshine providing the perfect setting.  Eight minutes later it was time for the Topazes and Chris Sutton set off in hot pursuit.  The Comets were next away, after a further two minutes, and Peter Downer lead Eddie White as they too headed up the coast.  Simon Clarke had to wait four minutes before he could take his Europe off in hot pursuit, but just one minute later he had three Solos and two GP14s chasing after him.  The Lasers set off after a couple of minutes and finally it was the turn of the RS Aeros, but because of their different rigs there was a three minute interval between John Tappenden’s 7 and Brian Allen’s 9, the latter setting off twenty three minutes after the Topper class.

With all the boats underway, it was a case of the Race Officer watching very closely as gaps narrowed, and boats overtook.  Taylor held onto his lead on the reach out to the Seaward mark, and then the run down to the St. Michael’s buoy, but at this point Downer took his Comet into the top spot and worked hard to maintain that position.  White’s Comet was third but on the beat back towards the Club, Clarke managed to squeeze past, and as the competitors completed a lap so Clarke overtook Taylor.  By now Jono Dunnett was the leading Laser, and in fourth place, with Paul Stanton laying fifth, Andy Dunnett and Tim Dye battling it out for sixth and seventh place, all in Lasers, and Chris Maloney taking eighth place in his Solo.  Some 70 minutes after the Topper had started, the lead was still with Downer, Jono Dunnett second, Clarke third and Stanton fourth.  Further back the GP14s were switching leads from Paul Jackson to Simon Kedge, and then back again, whilst Yvonne Gough, in her Laser, sailed past Maloney; the latter staying ahead of his fellow Solo class sailors, Dave Fowell and Robert Gutteridge.  The finish was fixed for 12:30 and as the time got near so all the boats completed a second lap, but by now Jono Dunnett had taken the lead and there appeared no stopping him; Stanton tried passing Clarke but, as the horn sounded, ending the race, he had to make do with third place, whilst Downer took fourth position.
Results – Ken Potts Pursuit Race:
1.    Laser – Jono Dunnett
2.    Europe – Simon Clarke
3.    Laser – Paul Stanton

Course Board
Date 19 May 2024
Race Ken Potts Pursuit Challenge
Finish Time 12:30
Wind Strength (Beaufort) Force 3
Wind Direction North-Easterly
High Tide 10:02
Course K - S - St. M - Line