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English sailor tops Welsh Topper Championship at Llandegfedd

by Hamish Stuart 10 Jun 2016 17:42 BST 4-5 June 2016

English sailor Magnus Handley came away from Wales triumphant after winning the Stride Treglown Welsh Topper Championships held at Llandegfedd sailing club in Gwent.

The main prize was won by Magnus Handley, aged 15, from Queen Mary Sailing Club near Heathrow, with 14-year-old Oliver Vowles from Llangorse the top Welsh competitor in second while clubmate Thomas Willett, aged 10, beat sailors up to three years his senior to win the 4.2 class of fleet.

Dale's Lowri Boorman was the top girl in the 5.3 fleet, with Chew Valley's Mary Tilling second and Llandegfedd's Eabha Strong-Wright in third, while Iolo Davies from Pembrokeshire finished second in the 4.2 fleet - the first time he had ever raced a Topper Handley made the most of the breeze when it did arrive at Llandegfedd, as light winds forced a late start and early finish in the glorious weather. He won the fifth and final race to pull clear of Vowles who finished that race in fifth after posting a race win and two seconds. Duncan Lloyd Evans from Mumbles/ New Quay was third overall.

John Wright, from event sponsors Stride Treglown, presented generous prizes to both fleets, as well as the overall trophy and a new sail to the champion.

"It was the first time the trophy had gone outside Wales but I am happy that a visiting sailor had won the event adding to its prestige," said Wright.

The club and competitors expressed their thanks to the sponsors, Stride Treglown, Lennon Raceware and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water for their contribution to another successful event.

Handley was delighted a win in the final race gave him the title. "I reached the top mark in third but on the next beat managed to anticipate the shifts which allowed me to take the lead," he said.

"I was somewhat relieved when the wind then completely died, leaving me the overall winner. Many thanks to all of those at beautiful Llandegfedd sailing club for hosting a fantastic event and making us all feel very welcome, even those like me who aren't Welsh.

"Thanks also to Stride Treglown and Lennon Racewear for the great prizes and making the event possible."

Light winds greeted sailors from all over Wales and a number of visitors from over the border. A strong 5.3 fleet was complimented by a fleet of 10 4.2's showing the development in the class for younger sailors.

Llandegfedd sailing club's Bill Jackson said, "It's great to see so many younger sailors taking advantage of the smaller rig and competing in 'the friendly class' at just nine years old."

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