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RYA Scotland Topper Academy/Travellers at Annandale Sailing Club

by Suzanna Homer 19 Aug 2015 17:33 BST 15-16 August 2015

14 Toppers arrived at Annandale Sailing Club for the first traveller in the new look 2015-2016 Scottish Traveller series. The event was run by RYA Scotland along with the Scottish Optimist Fleet. The event was the second event this year where there was a mixture of coaching from the RYA Scotland Academy coaches and racing that would count towards a regatta result.

Saturday morning started off with the two new coaches Abbie and Andy introducing themselves and then focusing on the mornings session which was boat trim and posture with video footage from the UK squad training sessions being used. With a westerly force 2-3 breeze blowing the sailors launched to go through the training before the first traveller race was held before lunch.

Due to the wind direction the race officer was forced to have short courses with the start being of high priority over the weekend. Andrew Homer was first followed by Christine Wood and Calum Bell third.

Followed by a quick lunch and a debrief the competitors then headed out for a few more training exercises before the race officer decided to have 3 more races due to the predicted light wind forecast.

Race 2 Andrew again led from start to finish with Calum reversing positions with Christine. With a slight delay to allow the optimist fleet to finish race 3 started with Calum improving his result again to take the winning gun. Race 4 and Calum port tacked the fleet with Christine Wood followed by Olly Carr and Suzie Homer at the windward mark with her brother just behind her, Calum crossed the line to silence as he was deemed ocs so giving Christine the win followed by Olly Carr with Andrew eventually getting past his sister for third and the overnight lead.

Sunday dawned windless as forecasted so the cheery coaches took the sailors for a warm up session although some were glad it was not a four mile run that at least one of the competitors had warned the rest of them about.

Following a shore based session with Abbie using footage from yesterdays starts and then a light westerly filled in to allow a final on the water coaching session whilst the clubs commodore and RYA Scotland high performance manager Tim Ellis were interviewed for the local ITV news.

During lunch the breeze continued to build so RYA Scotland academy manager and race officer decided to finish the weekend with the final 2 races.

With slightly more breeze than the previous day, Rory Angus led the fleet to windward mark. At the final windward mark Andrew passed Rory and headed off for the final run and reach to the finish, unfortunately Rory thought he had one more lap to go and headed back the beat allowing Christine and Suzie through.

With the wind continuing to build and the top 2 results already decided the fleet started cleanly. At the windward mark Andrew rounded first followed by his sister followed by Finlay Tulett with the rest of the fleet closely behind. Whilst Andrew extended his lead, Christine managed to overtake Suzie and Finlay on the third beat to take second followed by Finlay Tulett. With the results calculated it was confirmed that Andrew was first with Christine second and Suzanna Homer in her first Scottish topper event third.

Thanks to Annandale sailing club and RYA Scotland for hosting a great weekend and the Scottish fleet are looking forward to the RYA Scotland club championships with 60 toppers entered and the development team not eligible it will be an ideal opportunity for some new faces to be at the front of the fleet.

Results & Prizewinners: (top three)

1st Andrew Homer (Dalgety Bay SC)
2nd Christine Wood (CCC)
3rd Suzanna Homer (DBSC)

Prizes were also awarded to 2nd & 3rd placed boys, Calum Bell and Olly Carr, and to 3rd placed girl, Eilidh McQueen.

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