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Gul Topper Worlds at Tralee Bay Sailing Club - Overall

by Andy Billowes 29 Jul 2008 08:25 BST 19-25 July 2008
A record entry of 176 competitors for the Gul Topper Worlds at Tralee Bay © Jeanie Johnston

The 2008 Gul Topper World Championship was hosted by Tralee Bay Sailing Club, Ireland from 19th to 25th July. A record entry of 176 competitors took part in a very successful event.

Following the practice race and opening ceremony on Sunday the serious racing started on Monday with the qualification series. The competitors were split into four fleets to sail a series of round-robin races from which the Gold and Silver fleets would be decided. The light breeze produced challenging conditions for both the race officer and sailors. Three races were completed with Richard Cumpsty and Nathan Ackroyd winning the first races. Elliot Hanson claimed two firsts in the second and third races with Lorenzo Chiavarini taking a win in the second race and Richard Cumpsty a further win in the third race. Philip Doran of Ireland claimed two seconds and Jonathan Hewat produced two seconds and a third to keep up with the leaders.

The second day of qualification was sunny with a fresh South Westerly breeze that produced excellent racing conditions. The battle at the top remained close with Elliot Hanson and Richard Cumpsty claiming two firsts each, there were also wins form Philip Doran and Michael Beckett. Lorenzo Chiavarini kept in touch with a second and third. With twelve round-robin races sailed the competitors were split into Gold and Silver fleets.

Wednesday was sunny with a promising Easterly breeze in the morning when the fleet launched. Unfortunately the racing area at Fenit turned out to be the meeting point of an Easterly breeze blowing down the estuary and meeting a South Westerly breeze from the Atlantic. This produced a confused racing area with no consistency and many patches that led to racing being abandoned for the day.

Thursday morning started with a light South Easterly breeze and concern in the dinghy park that we may be in for a repeat of Wednesday, however the breeze continued to freshen to produce a good force 5 with strong gusts on top. The Gold fleet completed thee races with Richard Cumpstey closing the gap on Elliot Hanson with two fists, Elliot took two seconds. George Speeding despite some earlier set backs took a win in the third race of the day and Jonathan Hewat strengthened his hold on third place with a second and a third. The Silver fleet completed two races with Thomas Weekes dominating with two wins. By the end of Thursday Elliot Hanson and Richard Cumpsty couldn’t have been closer, both having equal points.

Friday morning produced a good photo opportunity with the tall ship the Jeanie Johnston sailing into Fenit harbour as the Topper fleet was sailing to the racing area. The South Westerly breeze was light for the first race but freshened to a force 4/5 for the second race and easing during the final race. In the Gold fleet Elliot Hanson took two firsts whilst Richard Cumpsty had to settle for a second and third. Lorenzo Chiavarini claimed a win in the third and final race. Irish sailor Philip Doran claimed fourth place overall with two fourths. In the Silver fleet Mark Taylor took two firsts with James O’Hare taking a first in the second race. Thomas Weekes claimed first place overall with a second and third.

The Gul Topper World Champion for 2008 is Elliot Hanson (GBR), with Richard Cumpsty (GBR) second, Jonathan Hewat (GBR) third and Philip Doran (IRL) fourth. First Adult Male was Nathan Ackroyd (GBR) (13th), First Lady was Felicity Foulds (GBR) (17th).

In the Silver Fleet the overall standings were Thomas Weekes (GBR) first, James Bennett (GBR) second and Jack Evans (GBR) third. First Senior Lady was Cordula Heise (GER) (40th).

In his closing speech, George Clark the President of the International Topper Class Association thanked all at Tralee Sailing Club, the Judges and sponsor Gul for their contributions and support in making a great success of the World Championship.

Overall Results: (top 25)

PosSail NoHelmNatPts
1st397Elliot HansonGBR12
2nd278Richard CumpstyGBR15
3rd385Jonathan HewatGBR29
4th441Philip DoranIRL32
5th358Lorenzo Brando ChiavariniGBR38
6th129George SpeddingGBR50
7th156Douglas Lloyd HaynesGBR60
8th208Andrew DawsonGBR61
9th291Alexander AlcockGBR63
10th87Hugh BrayshawGBR64
11th259Michael MatthewsGBR69
12th400Dan BigsbyGBR88
13th367Nathan AckroydGBR91
14th299Michael BeckettGBR93
15th404Christopher EamesGBR95
16th591Jack WetherellGBR95
17th504Felicity FouldsGBR101
18th213Sam WatsonGBR107
19th157Alex LeonardGBR118
20th68Mark BillowesGBR144
21st558Hannah TilleyGBR147
22nd460Morgane ChaixFRA148
23rd181Fergus BarnhamGBR148
24th527James SteckelmacherGBR152
25th201Sam KnightGBR154

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