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Scottish Topper Travellers Round 2 at Annandale Sailing Club

by Alan Marr 8 May 2012 12:27 BST 5-6 May 2012

The week after the calms of Venachar, the Topper fleet was off to Annandale and were greeted with sunshine and a brisk North Easterly breeze which unfortunately had a bitter chill to it.

With three races scheduled for the Saturday and another three on Sunday the race officer wasted no time in getting the first race off and it was a flying start for Aaron Murray (Loch Earn Sailing Club) and Callum Rosie (Helensburgh Sailing Club) who very quickly opened up a gap over the rest of the fleet up the first beat. The chasing group of Lindsay Johnstone, Lewis Marr both of Largs Sailing Club and Tom Graham of Craignish Boat Club were some distance behind and despite a dogfight going on between Aaron and Callum for the lead they managed to stay in front for the whole race despite Lewis Marr getting within a few boat lengths of Callum Rosie at the last windward mark.

Race 2 brought another fine first beat from Callum Rosie leading from Aaron Murray and Tom Graham who was beginning to show near the front of the fleet for the first time. They were followed by Johnstone and Marr but as the wind continued to gust viciously and change dramatically the fleet had to be on their toes. Unfortunately Rosie was quickly caught out going downwind, capsizing near the leeward mark and allowing Aaron Murray to take the lead from Tom Graham and Lindsay Johnstone. On the second beat Murray held the lead as Marr moved past Johnstone and Graham. The front two opened up a gap at the front although Murray held a comfortable lead and at the end of the race it was a second win for Murray from Marr and Graham taking a well earned 3rd place.

By race 3 the low temperature was having an effect and there were a few retrials with the wind if anything increasing during the afternoon. This time it was Lewis Marr that took the early lead with Murray, Johnstone ,Graham and Rosie chasing. With Marr holding the edge downwind and Murray upwind there was a continual battle going on which was only settled within the last 50 yards of the race with Murray making it a hat-trick of victories with Marr second followed by Johnstone, Graham and Rosie.

Overnight Murray was sitting comfortably with three victories with Marr in second and Rosie, Johnstone and Graham in a tight fight for third.

The evening featured an excellent barbeque put on by the sailing club which was thoroughly enjoyed by competitors and parents who enjoyed good banter and much reminiscing over snippets from the past! Sunday dawned with even more breeze, ice on the boats but sunshine in the sky. With the temperatures still low and the wind now gusting over 20 knots at times and very shifty it was going to be another difficult day on the water. Again the race officer wasted no time in getting the fleet of promptly at 10.30am and the battle at the front between Murray and Marr continued with Marr again taking an early lead. A broken toe strap put paid to Callum Rosie’s efforts in the race and there were many capsizes as the wind gusted and flicked right and left. As the race progressed gaps opened and then reduced amongst the leaders but it was Marr who managed to end Murray’s winning run by taking the victory from Murray, Johnstone and Graham with Mara Lyon of Craignish Boat Club taking an excellent fifth place.

The numbers again started to drop for race 5 as the wind and temperature started to take their toll. Race 5 followed a similar pattern to race 4 with Marr again taking the lead and two battles continuing between Marr and Murray and Graham and Johnstone. Once again it was Marr who took the spoils at the front but Graham this time getting 3rd in front of Johnstone. This left the last race as the decider. At the front Marr had to win and depend on Murray not finishing second and Johnstone had to beat Graham to secure third place.

Unfortunately with the wind still fresh there were only 5 boats lined up for the start of race 6. This time it was Johnstone who took the early lead with a great start but she was soon overhauled by Murray and Marr, with Murray leading and determined not to slip up. With a large gap opening between Murray and Marr and the 3rd and 4th place there was no likelihood of a slip from Murray and he went on to take a well deserved victory in the race and take the overall victory. With Johnstone finishing third she sealed third place overall with Graham a well deserved 4th overall. Mara Lyon of Craignish finished a very creditable 5th overall.

In the development fleet it was Cameron Dingley who took the victory.

Overall Results: (top five)

1st Aaron Murray (Loch Earn Sailing Club)
2nd Lewis Marr (Largs Sailing Club)
3rd Lindsay Johnstone (Largs Sailing Club)
4th Tom Graham (Craignish Boat Club)
5th Mara Lyon (Craignish Boat Club)

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