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Topper and Optimist Open at Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club

by Veronica Falat 3 Nov 2015 10:13 GMT 31 October 2015
Will Pank during the Topper & Optimist Open at Waveney & Oulton Broad © Mark Peak

Abigail Holden and Will Pank were the winners of the joint Topper and Optimist open meeting at Oulton Broad on Saturday 31st October but both had to fight off strong competition. The breeze was force 3 in the morning but decreased as the day went on and there were lots of shifts to contend with.

In the Toppers, the first race saw 11 yr old Oliver Leary leading round the first lap. Abi was in 3rd place but took the lead on the next lap, with Ellie Edwards climbing to 2nd, and by the end Oliver Hunt of the home club was in 3rd.

In race 2 it was Oliver Hunt's turn to be the early leader only to drop back to 4th, while Abil and Ellie again enjoyed a close battle, with Ellie this time coming out on top, and Oliver Leary had a good race climbing through the fleet to take 3rd.

After lunch the breeze was becoming patchy and in race 3 there was a lot of place changing, especially on the downwind legs. On one run the leaders got caught up by the pack behind and nearly everyone arrived at the mark together. Edward Nourse popped out in the lead with Abi just behind and James Deaton in 3rd. James had sailed with a 4.2 sail in the morning but now, with the full rig in the lighter wind, was making his mark. The race was shortened after two laps by which time Abi was in the lead with Ellie just behind and James holding on to 3rd.

So the overall results depended on the final race. Abi had 2 wins to Ellie's 1. Abi had to make sure that Ellie didn't get another win and in this she was helped by James who had an excellent race and finished first. Abi came in 2nd with Ellie 3rd, and this meant that Abi was the overall winner with Ellie just 1 point behind.

In the Optimists Will Pank won the first race quite comfortably, with Finley Dickinson from Hayling Island 2nd and Charlotte Knight 3rd. Race 2 was a very different matter with Will and Finley very closely matched and Charlotte Lane was never far behind. At the last mark Will had an inside overlap but Finley just managed to power through on the final short leg to the finish and take the win by the narrowest of margins. In race 3 Finley nailed the start and pulled out a big lead while Will was busy doing penalty turns. At the first mark Will was well back but by the end of the lap he had pulled through to second. The breeze deserted Finley on one of the runs and Will came charging up from behind and this time it was Will's turn to snatch victory. A little bit of local knowledge helped Will take advantage of a shortened course situation and he beat Finley by half a very short boat's length!

Therefore, as in the Topper fleet, the Optimist results depended on the last race. Again Will and Finley fought for the lead and Will clinched the series with a win. Seb Gotto came in 3rd and so just beat Charlotte Lane and Charlotte Knight for 3rd place overall.

It was a good day's racing and, with the action close to the clubhouse, it was enjoyed by the spectators as well as the competitors.

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