Please select your home edition
Rooster Sailing - Aquafleece Leaderboard

Rooster Southern Topper Travellers Round 8 at Bosham Sailing Club

by Jake Atkins, Topper 45477 on 12 Oct 8 October 2017

The Cobnor location of Bosham Sailing club in the beautiful setting of Chichester Harbour was the setting for the final round of the 2017 Rooster Southern Area Topper Traveller Series on the 8th October.

As the 48 Topper competitors rigged and sailed out to the race area, the forecast light breeze of around 6-8 knots had only really half materialised. Unfortunately, the tide was not similarly deterred and was flooding healthily into the harbour.

With these challenging sailing conditions and a relatively crowded harbour, the Race officer had little choice but to set the narrow Windward/Leeward race course alongside the main boat channel of Itchenor Reach. This kept the fleet close to home but made headway into the tide very hard work for the best of the fleet and so as the countdown reached the start time, it was obvious that only a handful of boats could make progress over the start line and towards the slower moving water next to the shoreline. The race was abandoned in the hopes of the wind speed increasing or the strength of the tide abating.

The fleet made another valiant attempt at starting but with the wind patchy at best the current was too strong to overcome and many of the fleet were struggling not to get carried away down-tide. This race was also abandoned and the RIBS helped regroup the fleet back together with fingers crossed for improved conditions.

Undeterred, and with a steadier although still only light breeze settling in, the Race Officer set the fleet back into start sequence and the parents watching in earnest for the opposite bank willed their competitors to make the vital upwind progress in to the shallower waters. Most of the 5.3 fleet made it to the windward mark eventually, as the tide weakened and allowed the competitors to get further away from the faster moving waters. Needless to say the Downwind leg of the course with the tide was easy progress, but the beat back up to the Start boat posed the same problems of the first leg.. Unfortunately despite the keen perseverance of many of the fleet, the wind simply dropped away to practically nought and even holding station again the flow became a real challenge. A handful of the front runners having now crossed the finish line of a shortened course, set the "time-limit" clock running to achieve a race finish and thus count a result. Only 14 boats actually managed this – cruel luck for several competitors. First boat home was Aaron Evans, followed by Dan Batty, Phoebe Hutchings, then myself and Dan Kimish match-race style, tack-for-tack right up to the line.

Luckily, the clouds cleared and with the brighter weather came a stronger and more consistent breeze. The Race Officer was able to take advantage of the deeper water area of the opposite shore – much to the delight of the parents and supporters who were treated to possibly the closest race start viewing position ever!

The second race proper was started in much more like the forecasted wind strength and a similar simple Windward / Leeward course allowed close racing along the Cobnor shoreline area. The Topper 4.2 sailor's having now waited all morning for enough wind to progress against the tide had their patience rewarded. The start in steady wind saw the fleet away relatively easily and made for a nice tight first beat, close to the spectators. Aaron Evans, Sam Brackley, Fred Barry, James Curtis and myself led the fleet around the first windward/leeward leg of a two beat race. On the second leg the lead boats changed around as places were traded in the challenging conditions.

The final leg saw the positions change with Aaron Evans again leading through the line, followed by Sam Brackley, myself, James Curtis and Dan Kimish.

In the 4.2 fleet Dan Perkins took the line honours, from Oscar Fry and Ryan Davies. In the Regatta Fleet local sailor Sam Gibbon was first with Sebastian Tomlinson second.

The final start was a complete 180 degree change around in start conditions, as the breeze was still light but steady though the tide had turned and was now pushing the competitors hard across the line. Needless to say the Toppers were keen as ever to be on the line and all by a couple of boats were over when the flags dropped! A patient race Officer resisted the temptation to put up the Black flag whilst the fleet came to grips with the challenge of holding back from the line until being released. The start got away on the third attempt and saw Monique Vennis-Ozanne take an early and convincing lead. She was followed around the top mark by Maisie Bristow and Aaron Evans. On the the next Upwind leg I managed to get past Aaron and attempt to chase down Monique and Maisie who were getting away from the fleet. The finishing positions were Monique Vennis-Ozanne, Maisie Bristow, myself (Jake Atkins) followed by Robin Stein and Aaron Evans.

The 4.2 fleet saw Dan Perkins finish first again, followed again by Oscar Fry and this time Jude Smith.

The Regatta Fleet was won again by Sam Gibbon who was in fact the sole finisher in this fleet.

In summary it was an enjoyable sailing day in very pleasant weather with challenging tidal conditions. The race officer made a very good job of keeping the fleet racing.

The combined results of this event and the Chichester Sailing Club Open meeting earlier in the year, meant I took away the Chichester Harbour Trophy, and with his two race wins saw Aaron Evans of Silver Wing SC take away the overall win for the days racing.

The full Rooster Traveller Series prize giving will be held at the forthcoming Hill Head Southern Area Champs in a fortnight.

From the Southern Topper Area team, 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, and to Bosham Sailing Club for hosting a great weekend of Topper coaching and racing.

The final event in the Southern Area 2017 calendar will be the Area Championships taking place at Hill Head SC on Sunday 22nd October. See you there?

Land Rover BAR Cap
REPORT OF THE MONTH SPONSORED BY Report of the Month sponsored by Henri Lloyd Nominate this article for report of the month for your chance to WIN a Land Rover BAR Cap for yourself and the author of the report that receives the most votes. Just fill in the form below!
Your name

Your email address

Why do you like this report?

Related Articles

Llangorse SC Single-hander Open
A healthy rivalry Llangorse held its annual Single-hander Open Meeting on 7th & 8th October. The entry list made for a mouth-watering contest and the mix of youth and experience set up several inter-family rivalries with some eye-watering outcomes... Posted on 12 Oct
RYA Welsh Zone Championships
Callum in command More than 100 sailors enjoyed the sunny weather and gusty conditions on Fishguard Bay with a range of winds from high to manageable. Sailors aged 8-16 competed in six fleets. Posted on 1 Oct
Toppers at Bosham preview
Final Rooster Southern Travellers event of the 2017 season Calling all Topper sailors in the South, South East and South West zone areas. The next Rooster Southern Area Topper traveller will be held at Bosham SC - near Chichester, West Sussex - on Sunday 8th October. Posted on 28 Sep
RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
Winners crowned across the nation Hundreds of the UK's most promising young sailors took part in the RYA Zone Championships this weekend (23-24 September) held at various locations across the UK. Posted on 28 Sep
Scottish Junior Travellers at Annandale
Sailingfast Scottish Travellers' series round 2 Saturday was a light and bright day at Annandale Sailing Club. We had three races in very shifty conditions around fixed buoys on Castle Loch. Posted on 25 Sep
Topper GJW Direct National Series 1
Great racing from Poole Yacht Club The 2017-18 GJW Direct Topper National Series got under way last weekend at Poole YC – and what a great venue! Not blessed with a huge site, it was all a bit cosy in the dinghy park. Posted on 22 Sep
Young sailors raring to race
At Zone Championships across the country Hundreds of youngsters will commence battle at the 2017 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships across the country this weekend (23-24 September). Posted on 22 Sep
2017 Midlands Topper Traveller Series
Six different venues and 61 sailors take part 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. Posted on 13 Sep
Toppers at Island Barn
Superb finale to South East Series We all talk up our Open reports but this one is an exception - it needed no talking up. The result of an entire Traveller Series hung in the balance until the last leg of the fifth and final race. Posted on 12 Sep
Toppers at Draycote
Midlands Traveller Round 6 and RYA Zone Indicator The final round of the Midlands Topper Traveller Series rolled into Draycote Water S.C. after a 2 month lay off for the final round of the series and the first of three RYA Zone Squad Indicator events. Posted on 11 Sep