JOHN Tappenden was victorious when Gunfleet Sailing Club held their race for the Wallet Trophy.
Conditions proved ideal, with a west/south-westerly force four to five wind and unbroken sunshine, coupled with the last of the flood tide.
Tappenden, in his Laser, led the competitors over the start line on the long beat down the coast to the St Michael’s buoy.
Just behind him was Ken Potts and Cath Bicknell, in the RS200, while Andy Dunnett, holding back to avoid jumping the gun, found himself briefly in irons, losing valuable seconds in getting under way.
The RS200 headed out to sea with Jack and Elliot Berry’s Fireball champing at its stern and, with some clever tactics, the Fireball was first round the windward mark.
Slightly further back the GP14 was in a spot of trouble when helm Dave Fowell managed to tear two fingers open on a piece of rough cleat bolt.
Crew Jeremy Goodchild found his feet awash in a mixture of blood and sea water.
Fowell, being the trooper he is, just dismissed the incident and carried on.
Harry Swinbourne, by this time, was laying third in the Laser fleet with Eddie White and Yvonne Gough, also both in Lasers, alternating positions just behind. The second leg was a run back to the Eastcliff buoy before a very broad reach out to the Seaward gybe mark.
Nobody was caught out as the sails got flung to the other side of the boat and it was good to see the crews out on the wire of the Fireball and the 405s as the competitors screamed in to the AWS buoy.
Beth Elliott and Henry Spooner led the 405 fleet, opening quite a gap up between their nearest rivals, Tom and Ed Philpot.
The dinghies all headed back out to sea, reached up the coast to the Kingscliff buoy and then beat back through the line.
As the craft started on their second lap it was Tappenden in the lead, followed by Potts and Bicknell, Dunnett, and then Gough in fourth place.
However, Swinbourne worked hard to move up to take the fourth position and then closed the gap considerably with Dunnett, just missing out on third place at the finish.
Results: Wallet Trophy: 1 Laser – John Tappenden, 2 RS200 – Ken Potts and Cath Bicknell, 3 Laser – Andy Dunnett.