ROB Lockett led the fleet over the finish line in Gunfleet Sailing Club's race for the Potterers Pot.

This is an event specifically for dinghies that fall into the slow-handicap fleet.

Years ago, the race attracted the Mirror and traditional Sea Ranger classes but, in recent times, it has seen a growth in entries from Toppers, Topazes and Comets.

The handicap cut-off point also allows the Laser dinghy to take part, provided the small 4.7 rig is used, and, as the competitors buzzed up and down ready for the off, there were four Lasers among them.

Conditions were not that inviting with a fresh westerly wind coming off the shore; the buildings causing gusts, lulls and windshifts.

Lockett manoeuvred his Laser close to the inner distance mark and, at the start, was first away, sailing close-hauled down the coast to the Eastliff buoy.

Peter Downer was behind him in his Comet.

At times, it looked like all the boats would make the windward mark without the need to tack but an unexpected gust, and shift in direction by several degrees, saw the need for some to go about.

At this very early stage, Lauren Hooper had already capsized in her Topper but quickly got the boat upright again.

Once round the mark it was a run back to the AWS buoy, the tide now under them, a gybe and out to the Seaward buoy on a close reach.

By this time, Eddie White and Yvonne Gough were just ahead of Downer, in their Lasers, while a little further back Owen Hooper and George Smith led the Topaz class.

The offshore gybe was executed cleanly by everyone, before another exciting reach up to the Kingscliff buoy and then a beat back through the line.

It was this last leg that split the sailors, whether to head close to shore to help mitigate the negative tide, or stay out at sea and gain the stronger wind but be held back by that tide.

Lockett chose the former option and cemented his lead while Hooper stood offshore and, in doing so, forgot to go through the line.

However, her earlier capsize had already dropped her quite a way behind Harrison Smith, who sailed his Topper consistently well.

During the second lap, positions further down the fleet changed a few times but it was clear that Lockett was not going to be challenged.

Results: Potterers Pot: 1 Laser – Rob Lockett, 2 Laser – Eddie White, 3 Laser – Yvonne Gough.