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Ocean Elements 2016

Stride Treglown Topper Welsh Championship at Llandegfedd Sailing Club

by Angus Kemp on 6 Jun 27-28 May 2017
Topper Welsh Championship at Llandegfedd (4th from right Championship winner Ben Willett, with Angus Kemp in second to the left and third place Coco Barrett to the right) © Juliet Kemp

When my parents suggested a trip to Llandegfedd for the Welsh Nationals over the bank holiday weekend as we weren't sailing anywhere else I thought, "why not". Some of my friends had said they were already going and another weekend of racing and socialising with them is always fun.

The drive from Poole was really quick on Friday after school and took us just 3 hours, meaning we got to the club well before sunset and just in time to have dinner with the midges! Carolyn Strong (Welsh Area Rep and club member of Llandegfedd SC) and Bill Jackson (the PRO for the weekend) kindly arranged for us to take our motorhome and stay outside the lovely new visitor centre for both nights and we were treated to a beautiful view and stunning sunset on Friday.

Saturday morning dawned with plenty of wind and I was raring to go. After a good breakfast and registration the fleet launched in a 8-12 knots breeze and flat water. The committee quickly laid the course and once all the boats came to the starting area we went into sequence.

Ben Willet (Llangorse SC) dominated the first race. My start put me into a good position to keep pressure on him, but I couldn't make the necessary gains and Willet came home with his first win of the day followed be me in second and Lowri Boorman 3rd.

By the start of race 2 the wind was building as forecast and was know 10-14 knots. Again Willet pulled away from the start taking his second win closely followed by myself and Coco Barrett (Island Barn SC) 3rd.

The wind increased throughout the day and race 3 saw conditions favourable for the more experienced sailors with 20 knot gusts. My start wasn't great – the mainsheet came undone and I found myself at the back of the fleet. With plenty of hard work I made my way through to end the race in 2nd just seconds behind – yes - Willett and narrowly in front of Barrett.

With 3 straight wins Willett was in a fortunate position but he didn't just sit back. We both had a great start and the battle for first place continued throughout with me managing to get ahead during the final stages, only to have my lead taken away by a lucky gust downwind that Willet caught and screamed past me. The race finished with 25 knot gusts, so it was demanding and challenging for a lot of the sailors and many retired or received finishes at the windward mark. Ben once again romped home in 1st followed by me and Boorman in 3rd.

After coming ashore we spent a sociable evening with friends, followed by an early night ready for Sunday's racing.

Sunday morning dawned and, as forecast, there was not a breathe of wind so we were postponed ashore waiting for it to fill. But at least it was sunny so whilst the PRO chased the wind, we ate ice creams (thanks Annie) paddleboarded and played in the water.

At 1.30 pm it was decided there was enough wind to launch and attempt to get in one race. Some sailors were more keen than others but we all made our way to the race area. Unfortunately as we did so the wind left and racing was abandoned for the day leaving the standings as they had been at the close of racing on Saturday.

I would like to thank the PRO – Bill Jackson and his team for their efforts in putting on some great racing, Carolyn Strong and the team at Llandegfedd SC for making us all so welcome – the bourbon biscuits were great! John Wright for organising the sponsorship of the event from Stride Treglown, Welsh Water for putting up with us and of course all the sailors and parents for coming along and making this one of the friendliest events I think I have ever been to – when's the next one?

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st48138Ben WillettLlangorse SC‑11113
2nd47860Angus KempPoole YC‑22226
3rd47808Coco BarrettIsland Barn Reservoir SC‑533410
4th48159Lowri BoormanDale YC35(DSQ)311
5th46303Lorcan KnowlesLeigh & Lowton SC444‑512
6th47306Jake ScottDale YC‑765617
7th47531Curtis McKayHOAC / Queensmead6‑86719
8th47354Catherine AlboneCYC/Milton Keynes SC‑11771125
9th47858Gruffydd GreenCardigan/Clwb Cychod Teifi9‑119826
10th46611Miles EverettLlangorse SC8911‑1428
11th46127Ceri RobertsLlangorse SC10‑1281028
12th47780Aaron EvansSilver Wing SC‑131012931
13th47000LUC JAMESLlangorse SC16(RET)101238
14th47646Madeleine VowlesLlangorse SC14‑15131340
15th46364Honor ProcterCardiff Bay YC1213RET(DNC)43
16th47338Harry PressdeeMumbles YC‑1714141543
17th46970Oliver SmoultLlangorse SC‑1816RETRET51
18th48098Ethan KnealeCardiff Bay YC15OCS(DNC)DNC56
19th46578Llion MorrisLlandudno SC2017(DNC)DNC58
20th47219Thomas WillettLlangorse SC19RET(DNC)DNC60

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