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The 2020 Potter Ship Race at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club

by Allan Hill, RLymYC Captain of Racing 6 Oct 2020 04:43 PDT 3 October 2020

The 2020 Potter Ship Race was sailed on 3 October, despite high winds and rain the day before, Ken Kershaw and Peter Scholfield, RO and ARO respectively, made the valiant decision on Saturday morning to run the Club's signature Potter Ship Regatta, despite heavy rain and surprisingly light and variable winds initially from the south and south-east.

Twenty-one boats started from the Platform after some confusion over the sequence of the marks to be rounded and the countdown... but that's another story.

The Race is run on the average lap system using Lymington Adjusted Handicaps - so boats usually sail a trapezoid shape course until stopped. With failing breezes, the XODs, Folkboats and other boats in Classes 3 and 4 were able to complete just one lap - down towards G, across to the Island, westwards towards C and then back to the Platform with a strong flood beneath them. Classes 1 and 2 managed two laps and finished the race in about two hours. This was long enough for the mark layers, who managed the two inflatable marks in soaking conditions.

Judicious handicapping by John Turner, together with the light winds and flat seas, favoured the J/80s - producing a new and exciting Potter Ship winner in 'Dark and Stormy' sailed by Keith and Liam Willis. The next three boats were also J/80s so no complaints about the 1.100 LAH given to all the J/80s.

In Class 2, Paul Harrison in 'Hound Dog', an Impala 28, always a threat in light airs, left the rest of the class standing and so becomes the worthy winner of the Hong Kong Junk.

The Duncan Hall Trophy for Class 3 was won by 'Mistral' expertly sailed by Claire and Julian Sowry, leaving the other two Folkboats far behind.

In Class 4, the XODs, XL sailed by Rory Paton, won the Pit-Pitts Plate - even more silverware for Rory's mantelpiece.

Full detailed results with timings on the Club's website.

The aftermath, drinks, eats and the prize-giving, on the balconies and in the Club House was managed impeccably by Gillian Poole with her team of efficient volunteer wait staff. All the sailors acknowledge the indispensable contribution of staff (including our scorer Vicky Leen) and volunteers and especially the Race Team that included the omnipresent Crates, Harry Barnett, Vince Sutherland, Jeremy Moss, James Eady and Bob Burney. Thank you from all the sailors.

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