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Rooster Southern Area Topper Travellers at Poole Yacht Club

by Dan Batty & Josh Gordon on 21 Jun 10-11 June 2017
Rooster Southern Toppers Travellers at Poole © Anthony Randall-May

A superb turnout of Topper sailors descended on Poole YC in Dorset over the weekend of 10th and 11th June for one day of pre-event race coaching followed by the third event of the 2017 Rooster Southern Area Topper traveller on day 2.

33 sailors signed up and attended the pre-race coaching day headed up by Abbie Hewitt from the RYA Topper Southern Zone coaching team ably assisted by numerous past Topper National 'squaddies' and current campaigning Laser sailors working on specific aspects in readiness for the following days racing. By the time the sailors returned to shore, the breeze had built to 15 to 20 knots giving some interesting downwind sailing.

For those interested, the next open coaching event will be on 8th July at Chichester YC. Visit '' to sign up.

An epic turnout of 59 boats were greeted with sunshine and a South Westerly 11 knot wind on day 2 for Rooster Southern Area Topper traveller - consisting of 36 sailors registering in the 5.3 fleet, and 23 sailors in the 4.2' fleet.

A 'must visit' venue for the Rooster Topper Southern circuit, Poole YC once again delivered over and above expectation considering the champagne sailing weather conditions, the number of races sailed, the tally draw for sailors and volunteers, through to the excellent after sailing burgers – a great weekend of Topper'ing!

Massive thanks to 'Rooster Sailing' for the continued sponsorship of the 2017 series and providing the highly sought after exclusive 'Rooster Sailing' Southern Area visors for the sailors.

The next event will be at Stokes Bay on Saturday 1st July – first race start planned at 11.30am.

5.3 Fleet report (by Dan Batty)

It was the day of the Poole Yacht Club Topper Traveller sponsored by Rooster which I had been looking forward to. The forecast was for some reasonably lively wind from 11 gusting 19k at 10am to 15 gusting 23k at 4pm, a welcome change from the very light winds that seem to have dominated the Winter training and competitions recently. The event was well attended with 36 5.3s and 23 4.2s launching.

The strong winds played to my strengths and good starts meant I popped out of the front giving me plenty of options allowing me to race more closely against Angus Kemp and Coco Barrett than in lighter winds where their greater experience gives them more edge.

In the first race however, Angus, Coco and I managed to take a wrong route, sailing the outer loop rather than the inner; Coco and I were questioning our direction after about 5 boat lengths and changed course. Angus altered course also but his extensive lead had reduced so that he was only just in front of me then he pulled away again. Heloise Shadbolt had not made the same mistake as us and came in in 3rd place, however she was unable to build upon the race 1 result when a broken tiller extension forced her into a DNS in race 2. She was back in the thick of things and going well in race 3 with a replacement tiller extension kindly loaned by Angus however a bit of a tangle on the water and this broke too so she was forced to retire from the competition.

Meanwhile race 2 was my discard race – a 4th place with Coco taking the win over Angus and fast up-and-coming Jake Atkins 3rd. Angus came back to again take the win in race 3 with me 2nd and Coco3rd.

Sam Jones and Jake put in some good results in race 4, I believe Angus capsized a couple of times so we were all doing our best to capitalize on this; Sam would get ahead of me on downwinds and then I would get it back on beats. Harriet Kirk took 4th position and with Angus and Coco putting in some lower results in this race things were tight on the leader board going into race 5 – Angus 4 points, me 5 points and Coco 9 points. The winds were getting pretty lively by race 5 (they had always felt more than forecast) with only 28 starters in the 5.3s two more of which retired before the end. As we awaited the starting signal someone capsized in front of me and I had to bear down hard; I death rolled minutes before the start of race 5 but was up again just in time. Coco took the win with myself 2nd and Angus 3rd which left the two of us level on points; neither of us was sure who had taken the overall win until the awards ceremony when it was announced that Angus took it on tiebreaker. I was pleased to have given him a good run for his money and was delighted with my prize of Rooster polypro leggings – an essential piece of kit.

The whole event was really well organised and good fun with a BBQ providing burgers for hungry sailors when we came off the water, an extensive tally prize list and an auction of a 4.2 sail and a bottle of special champagne to raise money for the charity 'Papyrus'.

Thank you to all the organisers at PYC, to Rooster, all the other sailors and the weather for making this a great event!

4.2 Fleet report (by Josh Gordon)

The Poole Topper 4.2 Rooster Poole YC Traveller series was fun if a bit windy and very tense, the first race was confusing because the course was set a bit long so the course was shortened so that the finish line was at the top of the sausage but the other races were more suitable with the 5.3's doing 3 beats and the 4.2's only 2 beat. The races were all about 20-40 minutes each, with the winners crossing the line in about 28 minutes. The safety boats were kept very busy and helped many sailors. The committee boat was very adept at setting the course marks the right distance and in the right place with quick turnarounds between races.

The start was probably the most fun but the rest was just very scary because it was so windy, downwind took so much skill to go fast, but to not death roll. The most exhilarating part of the race was the beam reach, you just hiked out and you went so fast, you were skimming across the water, but sometimes you couldn't control it and capsized which was funny because you just saw sailors getting flung out of their boats. Another scary part of the race was at the bottom of the sausage because in the 3rd race when people were going around the mark to go back up the beat, everyone was capsizing. I think I saw about 9 boats all just capsized, so I was scared that was going to happen to me too.

Josh Gordon (Parkstone YC) won the first 4 races with varying margins, with some races having a 2 legs lead at the finish and others a 2 boats length lead.

Sophie Rennie (Parkstone YC) was the winner of the last race, which secured her 2nd overall, from Xavier Dunn (Hillhead SC) in 3rd.

In the first race there were 23 finishers but by the end we were down to only 3 finishers, Sophie, Aaran Goodman and Louise Davis.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
5.3 Rig
1st527Angus KEMPPoole YC121‑637
2nd47658Dan BATTYDorchester / Oxford SC2‑42127
3rd47808Coco BARRETTIsland Barn Reservoir SC‑5135110
4th47641Sam JONESHill Head / Stokes Bay SC4542‑915
5th45477Jake ATKINSStokes Bay SC‑9363517
6th47797Phoebe HUTCHINGSWarsash SC667‑9625
7th47484George VINCENTParkstone YC‑10758828
8th760Harriet KIRKStokes Bay SC‑139124429
9th47076Daniel NICOLLGoring Thames SC8‑1910121141
10th47664Edward SCHUSTER BRUCEParkstone YC‑141411111046
11th684Aaron EVANSSilver Wing SC‑30161513751
12th104Joel BIBBYParkstone YC1512‑25161558
13th47890Scott WHITEHEADWarsash SC228920(RET)59
14th47116Noah SHERRIFFChew Valley SC171314‑261660
15th48093Tom CAMPBELLParkstone YC71813‑272361
16th46509Natalie ANNELSParkstone YC1923‑2471362
17th30365Zoe BELBENStokes Bay SC12‑2623101964
18th47754Imogen ASQUITHHill Head SC‑231022171766
19th47310Emmy WALKERWarsash SC‑211516142166
20th638Harris GOODMANHill Head SC16‑2019151868
21st47078Ollie VENNIS OZANNEHill Head SC11172022‑2470
22nd47466Monique VENNIS OZANNEHill Head SC‑292118231274
23rd48105Ben PURRIERParkstone YC‑282717191477
24th47750Maxi TUSTAINIBRSC20‑2221182079
25th46512Dan KIMISHWarsash SC18112925(RET)83
26th48050Heloise SHADBOLTWarsash SC3(DNS)8DNSDNS85
27th47926Peter WALKERParkstone YC27‑2826212296
28th48147Dan COUPEParkstone YC2630(RET)2425105
29th329Oliver RANDALL‑MAYChichester YC31242828(RET)111
30th46835Luke DOWNINGStokes Bay SC2529(RET)DNSDNS128
31st45507Stuart AITKENWarsash SC2431(RET)DNSDNS129
32nd43600Jasper HILTONStokes Bay SC(DNF)25RETDNSDNS136
33rd47182Tom PEACOCKParkstone YC(DNC)DNC27DNSDNS138
34th33024Toby RUSSELLParkstone SC32(RET)DNSDNSDNS143
4.2 Rig
1st46686Joshua GORDONParkstone YC1111(DNS)4
2nd47732Sophie RENNIEParkstone YC‑522318
3rd197Xavier DUNNHill Head SC2432(RET)11
4th637Aaran GOODMANHill Head SC6‑754318
5th48092Louise DAVISWarsash SC106‑116224
6th47432Sam COXParkstone YC11595(RET)30
7th43150Alex ASSIRATICastle Cove SC7987(RET)31
8th46892Josephine ASQUITHHill Head SC834(RET)DNS39
9th47638Freddie CARTERParkstone YC12106(RET)DNS52
10th26Ollie FREEMANTLEPoole YC13810(RET)DNS55
11th218Freddy SWIFTWarsash SC311(RET)DNSDNS62
12th47853Dan PERKINSWarsash SC161212(RET)DNS64
13th47079Jude SMITHStokes Bay SC18(RET)7RETDNS73
14th5036Will GROOMStokes Bay SC4(RET)DNSDNSDNS76
15th5180Tilly PHELPS 9(RET)DNSDNSDNS81
16th45310Patrick SMITHStokes Bay SC21(RET)13RETDNS82
17th41886Charlie GRAN 14(RET)DNSDNSDNS86
18th47423Lewis WOODING 15(RET)DNSDNSDNS87
19th44390Arun POWELLParkstone YC17(RET)DNSDNSDNS89
20th46293Amba POWELLParkstone YC19(RET)DNSDNSDNS91
21st45757River GREENPoole YC20(RET)DNSDNSDNS92
22nd46983Hannah RIDDParkstone YC(RET)DNSDNSDNSDNS96
22nd46643Noah HENSHERParkstone YC(RET)DNSDNSDNSDNS96

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