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2017 Midlands Topper Traveller Series

by Midlands Topper Fleet on 13 Sep 13 September 2017
(l-r) Winner Gemma Mcdonnell with her new sail, 2nd David peaty, 3rd Charlie Turnbull and 1st Non Squad sailor Kate Robertson © Lisa Peaty

This year the Midlands Topper Traveller Series saw the fleet visit six venues and 61 Midlands topper sailors signed onto the events at some point in the series.

The first two events at Hykeham S.C. and South Staffs. S.C. saw identical results for the top 3 places with Gemma Mcdonnell 1st, Kamran Ewbank 2nd & David Peaty 3rd.

Hykeham was a very light wind affair with Gemma winning all 3 races, Kamran showing masterful concentration and skill on converting what wind there was to enable him to be up at the front of the fleet despite being the tallest sailor there. Other excellent light wind performances came from Daisy Desorgher who came in 4th and Poppy Wright scoring a 2nd in the 2nd race.

South Staffs was next on the list and had a little more wind than the previous year. This time out Gemma's unbeaten winning streak came to an end as William Thomas took the 1st race. Gemma found her form again and won race 2 and Kamran improved as the day went on to win the last race and Zone squad debutant Dan Keenan came in a very creditable 4th. So 2 events down and 3 different race winners as we head to Rutland.

Rutland S.C. was a blustery windy day with plenty of lead changes. Oli Mills won the 1st race, Gemma won the 2nd and Charlie Turnbull won race 3 and became the second winner of a traveller event for the year. It was difficult for the parents to keep track as there were capsizes at the front of the fleet and the short course meant the leaders were sailing through the fleet more than once to complete the race distance.

We now headed to Staunton Harold S.C. with 5 sailors who had won a race so the competition was hotting up with so many able to compete right at the front of the fleet. Good shifty winds and our first 4 race event of the year saw Gemma win the first 3 races and Will came in to win the last race to cement his first top 3 finish in the traveller events. Meanwhile Mr consistency David was notching up another well earned 3rd place.

Hollowell greeted the fleet with a blisteringly hot sunny day and light patchy winds. Local knowledge seemed to prevail here as Hollowell's Jude Singleton won the first race making him the 6th sailor to win a race this series. Gemma then put together 3 wins on the trot to take the top spot with Jude in 2nd and David in 3rd. This lead the fleet into the summer break where many sailors were off to Lowestoft, the worlds in France and the nationals in Pwllheli.

The series resumed at Draycote Water S.C. on the 9th September where Gemma's series win was already assured but the rest of the places were not as clear cut. We also welcomed some new younger members to the fleet as this event was an RYA Zone Squad indicator. A good solid wind testing all of the sailors particularly the younger ones enabled us to again get 4 good races in and some invaluable experience for the younger members. Charlie and Gemma won the races between them, Charlie managing to win 3 out of the 4 to win the day and move up the table to finish 3rd in the series just being pipped by 1 point for second by David. The day was a great example of good hard friendly racing, enjoyed by all and some really hot competition throughout the fleet.

So after all that the winner of the 2017 Midlands Topper Traveller Series and a brand new topper sail was Gemma Mcdonnell, 2nd David Peaty, 3rd Charlie Turnbull, 4th Kamran Ewbank, 5th Will Thomas and Kate Robertson was first No Squad sailor finishing 12th overall. Other notable performances were Dan Keenan who was first of the new Zone squad sailors in 6th overall, Annabel Turnbull and Scarlet Desorgher as 2nd and 3rd girls both ending up in the top 10.

Please join us again in 2018 for another great racing series based in the Midlands area.

Series results can be found at www.itca-gbr.co.uk/gbrtmedia/Areas/Midlands/Midlands_overal_Final.pdf

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