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Topper South East Series Finale at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club

by Mike Jones 12 Sep 2017 08:41 BST 9 September 2017
Island Barn Topper Open © Mike Jones

We all talk up our Open reports but this one is an exception - it needed no talking up. The result of an entire Traveller Series hung in the balance until the last leg of the fifth and final race.

It was the Final Topper open of the South East Traveller Series and was the decider of the Series. Unusually, three sailors could still win at the start of the day.

Curtis McKay from Hillingdon was in the driving seat. With 10 points, he held a 2 point lead over Coco Barrett from the home club, Island Barn and Finlay Swanton from Felpham, each of whom were on 12 points, with Barrett leading Swanton on count back. A straightforward task for McKay, then. Just finish one point behind Barrett or Swanton and take home the Travellers Trophy.

The number of Toppers was swelled by the Southern Area Travellers, who came in force, as their series was also still to be won and lost. A Regatta Fleet also took part on the same course, with less laps than their seniors. The total number of Toppers was 72, making it the largest Traveller of the season by far.

The wind, from due west, filled in nicely for the first race.

Aaron Evans from Silver Wing decided that the day was not just about the three contending stars. He flew off the start at the pin end, increased his lead on every leg and after 3 laps was almost a whole leg ahead, no mean feat in such a strong fleet. Evans won easily. Swanton had a strong second place, Mckay was poor on 9 and Barrett had a shocker with13. Swanton was liking this.

Evans started well again in Race 2 and he, Sam Jones from Hill-Head, Barrett and McKay had a close, place-swapping race, with Barrett, Jones, Evans and McKay finishing in that order.

So at the best lunch served all season, Evans led the event on 4 points, Jones was second on 5 and our three contenders, McCay, Barrett and Swanton (who had a shocking second race), were on 13, 14 and 22.

McKay, now looking very good for the Series, enjoyed his pasta bolognaise,

Three races were scheduled for the afternoon, but those clouds in the west looked rather threatening.

A feature of the day was the close tussle between The South East's Coco Barrett and the Southerner, Sam Jones. Downwind on races 2 to 5, they were never separated by more than a boat's length. Gripping stuff.

In race 3, it was Jones, Barrett, Newhaven's Hudson, Poole's Kemp, Hill Head's Vennis-Ozanne, Swanton, with McKay back in 9th. With discards now clicking in, Mckay's pasta lunch was starting to feel a little less digestible. If the Open and the Traveller Series ended now, Barrett (13 points) would be just ahead of McKay (13 points) on count-back, with Swanton (16) in third and looking out of it.

Two races to go and the thunder clouds were now massing to a considerable size.

In Race 4, Barrett and Jones again locked masts (metaphorically), finishing 1st and 2nd. McKay could do no better than 6th, and Swanton looked spent on a 9th.

So, Barrett new what she had to do to win the Traveller Series. She had to win this event and to do this she had to beat the Jones Boy from Hill-Head in Race 5. They had beaten each other twice today, so this was going to be close.

We now had large thunder clouds to the south and north with, thankfully a clear strip of sunshine between them. Who on earth could mess things up for Barrett now. None less than her sister Lily Barrett, languishing in 20th overall, who popped up at the windward mark in 2nd, ahead of her sister Coco, who was just ahead of Jones. Surely Lily would slow down a touch, let her sister through and cover Jones. Not a bit of it. She covered sister Coco ferociously.

With lightning booms to north and south, the last race was shortened. Swanton, not spent at all, took 1st, Lily Barrett, all smiles, took 2nd and Coco Barrett, all spent, squeezed in 3rd to Jones's 4th, thus winning the Open by 1 point from Jones.


The closest Traveller Series in memory was over. Barrett and McKay were equal on 13 points. But Coco Barrett's 1st place in this Final Open, gave her more firsts than McKay and she took home both the Open Trophy and the Traveller Trophy.

Coco should be congratulated for getting over the nightmare of a first race 13th, and then scoring no worse than a 3rd for the rest of the day – the mark of a champion.

In the important supporting events, the 4.2 prize was won by Dan Perkins from Warsash and the closely fought Regatta Fleet was won by Rory Clow from Island Barn, who is not long out of Oppies.

A great event to end the Topper 2017 South East Series. Full series results can be found here.

Overall Results:

PosRigSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st5.347808Coco BarrettIsland Barn Reservoir SC‑1312137
2nd5.347641Sam JonesHill Head SC/Stokes Bay SC3212‑48
3rd5.347780Aaron EvansSilver Wing SC1385‑1717
4th5.347649Finlay SwantonFelpham SC2‑2069118
5th5.348177William HudsonNewhaven & Seaford‑126310827
6th5.347531Curtis MckayHOAC / Queensmead9496‑1928
7th5.347078Monique Vennis‑OzanneHill Head SC895‑30628
8th5.348249Leo WilkinsonMaidenhead SC/DWSC‑147114729
9th5.347860Angus KempPoole YC111243‑1330
10th5.348140Zoe BelbenStokes Bay SC75‑1981434
11th5.347773Ollie Vennis‑OzanneHill Head SC10187‑29540
12th5.346720Frederick BarryWarsash SC‑3124107950
13th5.345477Jacob AtkinsStokes Bay SC1510‑20161152
14th5.347956Anabelle EsqulantDocklands Sailing and Watersports Centre61524‑261257
15th5.348050Heloise ShadboltWarsash SC20161314‑2663
16th5.347654James SmaggasgaleHOAC / Queensmead513‑40173065
17th5.347750Maxi TustainIBRSC2181818‑4265
18th5.347658Dan BattyDorchester SC / Oxford SC2911‑34111667
19th5.347902Henry KoeSouth Bank SC18‑3014271069
20th5.346046Lily BarrettIsland Barn Reservoir SC19‑332231274
21st5.347637Amy SmithWarsash SC17221522‑2476
22nd5.348246Lawrence DonnellySurrey Docks24‑3225152185
23rd5.347797Phoebe HutchingsWarsash SC‑322121212790
24th5.345700Andy PengWarsash SC36311213(OCS)92
25th5.347954Josie MeredithPapercourt SC26‑2929241594
26th5.348259Richard ThurlbyHill Head SC / Jets30‑4016252394
27th5.347676Scott WhiteheadWarsash SC16‑44372028101
28th5.346919Antonio PascaliIBRSC‑4114173641108
29th5.347779Robin SteinCrawley Mariners YC/Queen Mary SC33172632‑35108
30th5.347796Cameron SwordPapercourt SC22193535‑38111
31st5.347354Cat AlboneMKSC232333‑4033112
32nd5.344301Thomas ClaytonPoole YC‑3826272831112
33rd5.347855Harriet KirkStokes Bay SC253432‑3825116
34th5.347725Maisie BristowIBRSC28‑48481232120
35th5.347806Yana Skvortsova 27(RET)235320123
36th5.347752Cormac O'BrienIBRSC(RET)36282340127
37th5.347077Tom WilliamsonIsland Barn Reservoir SC(DNC)DNC311918134
38th5.347950Oliver HicklingQueen Mary SC/Wembley SC3728(RET)4329137
39th5.344529Ollie FreemantlePoole YC‑4627364134138
40th5.347890Emilia WalkerWarsash SC / JETS34413033(DNC)138
41st5.345975Johnny WoolgarPapercourt SC432539‑4436143
42nd5.345417Luka FranklinBough Beech SC3535‑413737144
43rd5.348153Harry SomervillePoole YC44‑49463422146
44th5.344806Harris GoodmanHill Head SC / Jets4043‑443939161
45th5.345507Stuart AitkenWarsash SC‑5047384243170
46th5.347647Charlie MerryweatherGoring Thames SC453745‑5445172
47th5.346274Harriet SackerBurnham Overy Staithe SC3938‑535248177
48th5.345770Bjorn HandleyQueen Mary SC4239(OCS)4652179
49th4.247853Daniel PerkinsWarsash SC474247‑4946182
50th5.347099Harry NewtonHampton Pier YC5245(OCS)4544186
51st4.248193Immi ReesHill Head SC‑5554424747190
52nd5.340449Oliver WattamFelpham SC48464357‑60194
53rd5.345699Finn HeathHighcliffe SC463(DNC)DNCDNC199
54th4.247079Jude SmithStokes Bay SC and Jets‑5650554854207
55th4.246448Ryan DaviesWarsash SC545251‑5650207
56th4.232258Xavier DunnHillhead SC(DNC)58545049211
57th4.248083Arran GoodmanHill Head SC / Jets53‑59495851211
58th5.333837Islay GoodmanHill Head SC / Jets4957‑585157214
59th5.320425Kenneth FreemanHOAC / Queensmead515552‑6258216
60th5.316492Frances DaubenyBough Beech SC585356‑6053220
61st4.245757River GreenPoole YC5756(OCS)5555223
62nd5.331590Jude WilsonIBRSC(RET)5150DNCDNC233
63rd4.245310Patrick SmithStokes Bay SC‑6160595956234
64th5.345413Eloise HutchingsWarsash SC60‑61576159237
65th4.23036William GroomStokes Bay SC59626063(DNC)244

Regatta Fleet Results:

PosRigSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5.39066Rory ClowIsland Barn Reservoir SC21‑525
2nd5.333515Orla McLellandIBRSC/Dalgety Bay SC141‑56
3rd4.240795Megan ThomsonIsland Barn Reservoir SC4‑6318
4th4.234031Freya EvansIBRSC‑52248
5th5.329981Ethan MarleyIBRSC‑634310
6th5.344375Thomas TownsinIBRSC35‑6614
7th5.347902Wilbur KoeSouth Bank SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC24

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