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Topper National Series at Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club

by Andre Ozanne 18 Jun 2015 10:55 BST 6-7 June 2015

Topper sailors and their supporters are such a lucky lot, they may well travel long distances to meet up for the National Series events but even if your journey was 12 hours - which some were - the warmth and friendliness of Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club and the fellow ITCA members and the chance of sailing on open water with more ice cream shops than Toppers made it well and truly all worth while.

RNSYC may not be versed in laying on events for 160 young sailors but they certainly put their all into it and made it work so well. It is so very easy to think these events just happen without much behind the scenes arrangements but when you have to trail 160 Toppers along the busy Victorian Promenade during a sunny and very busy weekend then that amongst the myriad of other arrangements start to sink in.

The remarkable energy of the club was represented by the Vice Commodore Ruth Davies spotting two young sailors walking their boats back along the prom after these 4.2 rig sailors had completed 5 races back to back and noticing they were pretty exhausted she took the trolley handle and walked it back the considerable distance to the dinghy park. It transpires that her daughter after an 8 mile run that morning had been busy doing similar, Top hats off to everyone at the club.

The class sponsors Magic Marine and GJW Insurance for the 5.3s and Sailing Solutions for the 4.2 had laid on some great prizes encouraging the sailors to reach ever higher.

The forecast for the Saturday looked quite rigorous and the wait for the D flag on the beach showed that there were some pretty strong gusts from the SSW. Launching into some breaking waves was done with very efficient team work by parents and the 5.3 fleet had a good work out beat south to the race area. There were a number of tweets circulating about awesome downwind sailing and admiration from the rib crews of a very determined and talented crew of sailors throughout the racing.

Conditions were 20-25 knots short chop and a very strong tide racing. Ashley Deaton Royal Harwich secured two wins while Joe Drake Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Luke Gribbin Paignton, Eleanor Poole Starcross and Niamh Harper Loch Tummel all took a win. Amongst the many stand outs in the first days racing were Charlie South Stokes Bay gaining some great results for an under 12 and Jake Scott Dale YC for sheer determination in finishing every race.

Having sailed so far south to the race area Ashely Deaton from Royal Harwich Yacht Club may well have felt he was in local waters he certainly used his skill and knowledge to get 1,1,2 and so overnight Ashely topped the board.

The 4.2 fleet waited on the shore a little longer and launched sailing past the pier to a closer race area with wind still at 20-25 for them and waves at 3ft this gave 30 percent of the fleet too much to contend with and these sailors were guided back to shore while the remainder dug deep and sailed liked Vikings. Jack Berry RHS took the bullet with Sam Jones Hill Head second Curtis Mckay HOAC third, Daisy Desgorger Notts County 1st girl and Thomas Watson Llyn Brenig sailing with huge determination was the final competitor to complete.

With the tide running and conditions not improving is was decided by Andy Moore to send the fleet in, the forecast showed that Sunday showed fairer winds and he felt confident that a good number of races could be completed the next day. With boats back on shore a number of the sailors clad in their wetsuits challenged the surf and though no more sailing took place a good time was had by all.

The AGM was scheduled to start after the last boat was ashore and Chair Sally Dugdale opened the meeting. Roger Proctor the class Designers representative gave a very informative presentation guiding members through the strides that the class is making in keeping it at the forefront as one of the best junior class associations in the UK.

Jon Mannings from Topper International gave information on the changes to design with the improved gooseneck and webtop sail, small changes but ones that make the boat friendly to rig and maintain. He also reported on the international activity mentioning Macau and India among other countries taking the Topper on as their chosen pathway dinghy the evidence of the RYA pathway and the list of ex Topper Sailors such as John Pink Dylan Fletcher Alain Sign Giles Scott Helena Lucas Nicola Groves Penny Clarke and the list goes on speaking volumes for the route that Topper sailors take. Italy, Malta, Thailand and Hawaii are growing their fleets.

Paul Albone gave a presentation of the accounts and class membership numbers and outlined how factors outside of the class can change the membership demographics and how the need to keep responsive to changes was the way forward. The number of 4.2 sailors has been very encouraging and more of these younger sailors on board at events nationally and in the zone areas is seen as the way to respond to the younger age that sailors transition to youth classes. With the AGM completed barbecues were lit a beer or two may have been sampled at the bar and a happy group of people yarned away.

Day two dawned with sun and breeze and both 4.2s and 5.3 headed out for more challenges. Andy Moore briefed the 4.2s to expect 5 back to back races so food, water and sunblock were essential. With the tide running south judging the top mark rounding caused some difficulty and a fluctuating wind speed kept everyone thinking hard once round the weather mark they accelerated with good speed to the wing mark.

Race 2 went to Sam Jones Hill Head but not without a battle from Curtis and Giles Baker DWSC. Andy Moore stuck to his guns and got five races in with variable wind directions and tides switching, all the fleet were kept on their toes. With Sam, Curtis and Jack battling hard and trading 1st in the end Sam took the event closely followed by Curtis and Jack. Daisy sailed a very consistent series and came in first girl. Thanks to all the helpers and Race team for the 4.2s who put on a great days racing.

5.3s were all primed up for another big day with 2 flights of 3 races giving the race team plenty to think about with a forecast wind switch and strong tide. The fleet had to wait to change the course when the 180 switch came but apart from this racing progressed well. Ashely took a bit of a shocker in race 4 while Tom Renny Fishguard Bay and Ewan Gribbin Paignton took race wins. Ashely then came back strong with a 1 and a 2 to seal the series from Niamh.

Anthony Knights Commodore gave the opening address at the prize giving, he had spent some time out on the water observing the sailing and had come back to shore with high regard for all the sailors. He commented on etiquette at marks being very good unlike some the big keel baot racing he takes part in, he spoke of the determination and skill in testing conditions and he was very proud of a crew of young people working hard at something they obviously loved.

For the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club this event and the arrival of 160 young people and the parental support crew was something new and though some members initially had some concerns the conduct and vitality dispelled and fears.

As a junior dinghy racing class, when Ashely Deaton the overall winner stands up to thank everyone who had made the event happen with clarity, accuracy and dignity for his fellow sailors then I think this shows that the Topper Class and the events that it organises are going in the right direction.

Many Topper events in the Areas are happening so log on to All forthcoming events are shown on the right hand side. National Series 6 for the 5.3s and 4.2s will take place at Carsington SC on the 11th and 12th July followed by a Worlds on Lake Garda starting July 19th with the National Championships at WPNSA 2nd to 7th of August.

4.2 Fleet Overall Results:

PosSail NoNameClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
147641Sam JONESHill Head SC / Jets21712(UFD)13
247531Curtis MCKAYHOAC / Queensmead33531(UFD)15
3 Jack BERRYRhs1‑151025119
445757Toby PEARCEHorning SC‑86456324
547649Finlay SWANTONFelpham SC4‑191343226
647426James DEATONRoyal Harwich YC1151‑129834
7 Oliver VENNIS‑OZANNEHill Head SC99684(UFD)36
847750Maxi TUSTAINDocklands Sailing and Watersports Centre‑13123108538
946124Daisy DESORGHERNotts County SC54‑151310638
10 Monique VENNIS‑OZANNEHill Head SC679‑1412438
1147357Anabelle ESQULANTDocklands Sailing and Watersports Centre711‑1477739
1246481Benjamin JUKES‑BENNETTLlyn Brenig SC121412911(UFD)58
1342750Matty COHENFOSSC(DNC)1086211459
1445735Gus MCKENZIEYorkshire Dales SC(DNC)13171114964
1547659Giles BAKERDWSC1022(DNC)DNCDNC70
1645586Oliver LEARYNBYC14‑232215131074
1744343Benjaman O'DRISCOLLCrawley Mariners YC(DNC)171819161282
1847354Catherine ALBONEMilton Keynes SC(DNC)8161715UFD84
1947085Jessica ROBERTSCardiff Bay YC(DNC)202020171390
2047077Thomas WILLIAMSONCrawley Mariners YC(DNC)16112119UFD95
2140395Austin WRIGHTPennine SC(DNC)252418181196
2217491Thomas WATSONLlyn Brenig151819(DNC)DNCDNC108
2318277Eve BHOGALManor Park SC(DNC)2125DNC2015109
2440795Maisie BRISTOWIBRSC(DNC)242116DNCDNC117
25715Eliza SOUTHStokes Bay SC(DNC)222722DNCDNC127
2642040Harriet SACKERBurnham Overy Staithe SC & Bewl Valley S(DNC)2623RETDNCDNC133
2745566Edward LEARYNBYC(DNC)2726DNCDNCDNC137

5.3 Fleet Overall Results:

OverallSail NoNameClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
147488Ashley DEATONRoyal Harwich YC112‑30127
247491Niamh HARPERLoch Tummel SC/Royal Tay YC221‑117113
346895Luke GRIBBINPaignton SC‑264162114
447661Joseph DRAKERoyal Norfolk and Suffolk YC/Waveney and13533‑715
547028Ewan GRIBBINPaignton SC34‑815316
647706Eleanor POOLEStarcross YC212‑286617
746919Daniel THOMPSONQueen Mary SC‑75424419
847553Tom RENNYFishguard Bay YC/ Teifi Boating Club4741‑13420
947078Billy VENNIS‑OZANNEHHSC Stokes Bay113‑2541221
1047314James RUSSHill Head SC / Jets465‑2515535
1147350Eleanor HUTCHINGSRoadford Lake1467‑239541
1247128Ollie DIXONRoyal Harwich YC(DNC)53292342
1347565Joseph BAKERWindermere School(BFD)9133101146
1446701Elliott KUZYKParkstone YC515‑17135846
1543694Samuel COOPERWest Lancashire YC12‑237220647
1647647Morgan ARCHERBlue Circle SC1611‑2167848
1746274Molly SACKERBewl Valley SC6126‑18141351
1834024Matthew MCROBBIEHykeham SC612128‑271654
1947039Michael O'DRISCOLLCrawley Mariners YC20(DNC)8981055
2047439Harry WALLHEADRoyal Harwich YC12810‑18121557
2146835Alex MCFARLANECastle Cove SC3‑211221121058
2246962Kieran MOOREChew Valley Lake SC1115312‑371859
2347754Hakan DIGBYQueen Mary SC15‑1791513759
2447658Alex WHITFIELDPYC(BFD)29328960
2547569Dylan WALENDY‑WRIGLEYHarwich Town SC10716‑38181162
2647751Harry PULFORDLlyn Brenig SC5826‑4416964
2747533Krishan BHOGALManor Park SC102013‑3591264
2844844Matthew LAYCOCKPoole YC/Spinnaker SC171910518(BFD)69
2935211George COLESCarsington SC2219117‑251978
3044443George GRAHAMBurwain SC(BFD)14159231778
3147079Emma CRANERYA(BFD)10144061484
3245565Thomas WOODINGSCarsington SC91023‑53321286
3344018Charlie TORDOFF‑GIBSONWPNSA131819‑21152186
3447651Nick TENNEYPennine SC(BFD)162320101887
3547156Charlie SOUTHStokes Bay SC8‑262222142389
3647306James HOLLISBartley green2117(RET)26171495
3746168Simon GADSBYNottingham SC71828‑45113296
3847603Ollie HOLMESSt Mawes SC2529115‑342999
3946888Molly DESORGHERNotts County SC20162210‑4033101
4047076Ben NICOLLWest Oxfordshire SC161336‑392016101
4146836David ROSIEHelensburgh SC21(DSQ)3282319103
4247748Andrew STURTHollowell SC19‑3515242224104
4346734Grace BRADLEY‑SHANKARDocklands Sailing and Watersports Centre82924‑341925105
4447116Arabella SABBERTONNorfolk Broads YC172114‑342924105
4545708Thomas PARKHURSTBeaver SC272835‑41413107
4645197Nicholas WELBOURNHykeham SC‑291421281728108
4744813Jake BOWHAYHill Head SC / Jets23221824‑2621108
4845654Milly JINKSPlymouth Youth Sailing24206‑562436110
4943563Leila MOOREDocklands Sailing and Watersports Centre30271712‑3327113
5028135Timothy HARTNELLLancing SC15(DNC)DNC14317117
5146665Murray SCOTTChew Valley Lake SC133628‑372522124
5245440Rebecca BARRYChester Sailing and Canoeing Club2727291131‑36125
5347419Eleanor CRANFIELDHollowell SC(BFD)1318522220125
5445329Hugo HANSENCotswold SC(DNC)2631431115126
5547338Oliver KINGWest Oxfordshire SC282320‑503026127
5647432Millie ALDRIDGEParkstone YC193033‑441930131
5747636Christiaan WAKEFIELDParkstone YC36‑4330172627136
5843950William ADLERCCSC349‑40362437140
5945173Samuel DAVISPoole YC1825274228‑44140
6047680Euan HARRISDeben YC32‑3826173532142
6144144Toby COPERudyard Lake SC25(BFD)20334222142
6244151Frances FOXChew Valley Lake SC334119‑463020143
6342990Molly NIXONWLYC and Red Wharf Bay(BFD)2516463128146
6447386Beth ALBONEMilton Keynes SC242231‑423634147
654092Rhys CHANDLERClub Hwylio Bala SC231142‑543440150
6644352Benjamin REASONHarwich Town SC29‑4738232734151
6730804Paul MOUGHTIN‑LEAYStaunton Harold S.C.35‑4629382926157
6847619Joshua TRICKETTStarcross YC364237‑612123159
6947219Ben WILLETTLlangorse SC3033(DNC)293631159
7045236Mary TILLINGChew Valley Lake SC14244041‑4741160
7146303Lorcan KNOWLESLeigh & Lowton SC3743(BFD)103339162
7245104Tom BOOTHPYS/ YYC22‑4138323733162
7345891James FOWLERChew Valley Lake SC / Nefyn SC‑463033154342163
7447344Calum BELLHelensburgh SC/Loch Lomond SC33373227‑5038167
7546227Jago STRONG‑WRIGHTLlandegfedd SC382834‑522841169
7646349Alice SENIORPlymouth Youth Sailing4331272254(DSQ)177
7747461William HARRISONMarconi SC45343520‑5546180
7846046Coco BARRETTDesborough SC / VR Race Team41373026‑5346180
7947264Rachael MCCLUSKEYLeigh and Lowton SC35‑4444194142181
8047646Hugo BURROWSWest Oxfordshire SC18(BFD)244DNCDNC182
8147518Alexander WATSONLlyn Brenig343439‑634035182
828708Liam SCHIESSChipstead SC/Erith YC28322557‑6143185
8333091Richard TOWNLEYRoyal Harwich YC40453714‑5553189
8447634William PENNYHorning SC/Snowflakes2635434047‑48191
8546396Ben SYKESChew Valley Lake SC312441‑614355194
8646478Morgan SMITHHollowell SC32(RET)DNC472129197
8747522Scott WILKINSONRye Harbour SC4451(DNC)353540205
8845402Trent DUHRKOOPBeaver SC9(DNC)DNC514930207
8947414Benjamin MCELROYPlymouth Youth Sailing / VR Race Team56(DNC)DNC163235207
9046961Rebecca ROBERTSCardiff Bay YC(BFD)3145483944207
9145443Scott PARKERParkstone YC394043‑603851211
9237184Finn ROBARTSFishguard Bay YC‑515041364243212
9347194Harriet JESSUPParkstone YC43534919‑6050214
9444141Angus FELLOWSYYC/PYS5248(DNC)75654217
9547087James PERCIVAL‑COOKENorfolk Broads YC41(DNC)DNC134949220
9647182Angus KEMPPoole YC50484539‑5138220
9743170Ishbel ZUURMONDMengeham Rythe SC42444930‑5856221
9846021Elli WILLIAMSLlyn Brenig SC(BFD)3236604647221
9946540Eabha STRONG‑WRIGHTLlandegfedd SC39394450‑5150222
10047075Brandon BANNERLeigh & Lowton SC(BFD)45BFD254145224
10147360Bo HUGHESDSWC‑493647484548224
10245737Christine WOODClyde Cruising Club4842465139‑52226
10346134Edward HOLLEYLlyn Brenig SC444648‑535039227
10447725Ellie WALLIsland Barn Reservoir SC31(DNC)DNC633831231
10547082Luc SHARROCKPDSC5347(DNC)555225232
10645142Lowri BOORMANFBYC(BFD)39RET454437233
10747640Charlotte GORDONParkstone YC38(DNC)DNC165854234
10847731Thomas COCHRANEPlymouth Youth Sailing/Yealm YC473839‑575655235
10945497Gemma MCDONNELLHollowell SC45(DNC)DNC334647239
11045877Angus JAMIESONHorning SC4040485657(DNC)241
11147463Max LEWISHollowell SC42(DNC)DNC315251244
11247658Dan BATTYDorchester SC / Oxford SCDNE3334‑595753246
11346225Duncan LLOYD EVANSMumbles YC/NQYC37(DNC)RET644545259
11429048Jake SCOTTDale YC55494649‑6560259
11547684Ellie EDWARDSNorfolk Broads YC Horning SC/Snowflake(DNC)DNCDNC4316DNC263
11642115Harrison WRIGHTPennine SC(DNC)4942664463264
11744471Isabel WALLWORKRedesmere SC54(DNC)DNC316257272
11847126Oliver FELLOWSCastle Cove SC(DNC)5247625956276
11947637Emma JAMESParkstone YC(DNC)DNC51595449281
12046075Thomas GREENCarsington SC58(DNC)DNC2763DNC284
12147665Finlay ADAMSONCinque Ports Pirates SC(DNC)DNCDNC376459296
12236542Clea BUTCHERHykeham SC57(DNC)50626662297
12343150Dani MIDDLETONSaltash SC(DNC)DNCDNC585352299
12446482Olivia MCKAYStarcross YC(RET)DNCDNC475958300
12547116Luke BEUVINKRoyal Corinthian Otters(DNC)DNCDNC4948RET301
12646837Joan LAYCOCKPoole YC/Spinnaker SC(DNC)DNCDNC5448DNC306
12743087Heloise SHADBOLTJETs ‑ Hill Head SC(DNC)DNCDNC586061315
12845770Magnus HANDLEYQueen Mary SC(DNC)DNCDNC55DNCDNC327
12944583Joseph DORMERQueen Mary SC(DNC)DNCDNC676264329
13044131Niall SCHIESSChipstead SC/Erith YC(DNC)DNCDNC6561DNC330
13147568Abigail HOLDENHorning SC/Snowfakes SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC341

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