Potts Takes Hotly Contested Trophy

Gunfleet Sailing Club held one of its unique “3-in-1” races for the Wallet Trophy last Sunday 12 May; three short back to back races, with all three places counting to the overall result.

Under blue skies and unbroken sunshine, coupled with a force three to four north-easterly wind, eighteen dinghies buzzed around the start line, eager to get the first race underway.  The flood tide, coupled with the wind direction, meant the craft could edge their way right up to the line and it was Jono Dunnett, in his Laser, that lead the fleet, on starboard tack as the they beat up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy; Simon Clarke windward of him in his Europe, and Tim Dye windward of Clarke in his Laser.  As the leaders got close to the shore it was a quick tack, only to find several competitors bearing down on them, still on Starboard; it was time for some quick thinking; put in another very short tack, bear away behind them, or just hope to make it past before an incident.  As they rounded the Kingscliff mark it was John Tappenden leading, in his RS Aero, Followed by Jono Dunnett, then Ken Potts in his Laser, Clarke and then Dye.  The next leg was a very broad reach to the AWS buoy, a quick affair with the tide under the boats, before a short reach in to the ODM and then a second beat back up to Kingscliff.  Tappenden held his lead for much of the race but lost it to Jono Dunnett before rounding the Kingscliff.  The final leg was a run straight back to the finish line.  The winner of this first race was clearly Jono Dunnett, on handicap, with Potts second and Tappenden third.  Within some five minutes the second race was underway but not before Jono Dunnett tried to head Clarke up, so forcing him over the line, but a bit of smart boat handling brought Clarke back on the correct side.  Those two lead the fleet, for the second time, with Potts and Dye champing at their side, whilst just behind was Brian Allen in his RS Aero, followed by Andy Dunnett in his Laser, and then the two RS Aeros of Tappenden and Derroll Pedder.  Following the same course it wasn’t too long before Potts had taken the lead whilst, further back, Allen continued to hold off Tappenden, and Robert Mitchell, in his Laser, slipped ahead of Andy Dunnett.  As the second race finished so Clarke kept his third place, whilst Jono Dunnett conceded to Potts’s victory.  The third and final race was therefore the decider, but this time Clarke lead the way, whilst Andy Dunnett jumped the line and had to return to correct his error.  Unfortunately Clarke then lost ground as he tacked, only to find Tappenden, Dye and Mitchell all on top of him whilst they were still on starboard tack, forcing Clarke to have to bear-off behind them.  Paul Stanton, in his Laser, was in with the top few boats but for him it was all just a bit too little, a bit too late, as Potts took the winning gun and the trophy overall.
Results – Wallet Trophy:
1.    Laser – Ken Potts
2.    Laser – Jono Dunnett
3.    Europe – Simon Clarke