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Topper Winter Championship at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy

by Chris Woodard 6 Mar 2018 06:50 GMT 24-25 February 2018
Topper Winter Championships at the WPNSA © Andrew Peaty

After a break of just over five months, the Topper GJW Direct National Series got back underway at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy over the weekend of February 24/25.

For many Topper sailors the winter months are given over to Squad training, with around 50 of the top-ranking sailors being selected for the two RYA National Squads, another 40 in the two ITCA National Squads, and over 100 more in the RYA Zone and Home Country Squads, so the majority of the competitors came to Weymouth with newly acquired knowledge and skills to put into race practice.

The Topper Winter Championships are now traditionally held in Weymouth in late February and they have, year after year, developed a reputation for being a seriously windy event, and this year was no exception. Indeed, in the days leading up to the event the forecast was looking so fearsome that it seemed likely that the event would have to be cancelled, so the 170+ pre-entered competitors were kept on tenterhooks until Thursday afternoon when ITCA, WPNSA, and the PRO jointly decided that, on the Saturday at least, conditions should be sailable and the Championship would go ahead as planned.

For many, travelling from throughout Scotland, Wales, northern England and even Ireland, this is one of the National Series’ longer treks and therefore a good excuse for a day off school, so from Friday mid-afternoon the dinghy park began filling up fast, and the two local Premier Inns took on a Topper-themed atmosphere, with no chance of getting a table in the Restaurant unless you’d booked early!

Saturday dawned pretty much as forecast, bitterly cold and with an average 18 knot wind which promised some exciting sailing provided you were wrapped up warmly. In the 142-boat 5.3 fleet a significant proportion of competitors put in a couple of reefs before launching and heading out through a decent chop towards the harbour wall. The race officer managed to get four races in which, with the fleet racing as usual in flights, meant getting eight 70-boat starts away cleanly. Initially the wind was steadily easing, which resulted in most of the reefed competitors shaking their reefs out before race 2, only to see the wind build steadily again as the day progressed, and with a vicious wind-chill it was not surprising to see a trickle of boats coming in early towards the latter part of the afternoon.

At the front of the fleet it was an outstanding day for Toby Pearce, scoring three 1sts and discarding a 2nd, to take a comfortable overnight lead, but he was being chased hard by Aled Llewellyn-Jones with two 1sts and a 3rd, with the other race winners being Finlay Tulett, Liam Schiess and Oliver Vowles.

The 29-boat 4.2 fleet managed to complete their full schedule of 5 races, with some slick turnarounds between races, and these generally younger and smaller sailors were packed away and showered before the 5.3s came back in! Charles Alston put in a great performance in his final 4.2 event, scoring three 1sts and two 2nds to hold a comfortable overnight lead, followed by Tom Thwaites and James Crossley.

The 170+ competitors returned bright and early on Sunday morning but there seemed to be a general reluctance to get rigged or changed, unsurprising really because it was even colder than the previous day, and with the wind averaging 25 knots and forecasts of 40 knot gusts by midday it was a fairly simple decision for the race management team to cancel all racing for the day and call an unusually early prize giving!

The overnight positions therefore remained unchanged. In the 5.3 fleet Toby Pearce took a well earned victory to become the 2018 Winter Champion, Milly Jinks was 1st Girl, and Anya Morris won the Optimum Time Endeavour prize. In the 4.2 fleet Charles Alston was crowned the 2018 Winter Champion, Ciara Woodard was 1st Girl, and Merryn Attridge won the Endeavour. (A great day for the East Zone – not that I’m biased – taking 3 of the top 4 category prizes!)

As always, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors Rooster, Harken and Optimum Time, the prize-giving table was groaning under the weight, and in addition to the customary overall prizes for the top-10 in the 5.3s, the top-5 in the 4.2s, and the top-3 boys and girls in each fleet, there were plenty of spot prizes to be claimed by those at the prize giving, but remember, you’ve got to be there to win it!

After the long winter break there is now barely time to catch breath before the next National Series event at Datchet SC on 17-18 March, and with over 160 boats already pre-entered this promises to be another great event – and hopefully a little warmer!

Overall Results:

5.3 Rig

PosFlightSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1stWhite47488Toby Pearce111‑23
2ndRed48120Aled Llewellyn‑Jones31‑615
3rdYellow47836Finlay Tulett‑33317
4thBlue47350Liam Schiess‑43148
5thBlue47649Finlay Swanton‑853210
6thBlue47126Oliver Fellows524‑2011
7thYellow47777Matty Cohen2‑294814
8thBlue47101Jude Singleton6‑125314
9thBlue46772Oliver Vowles14‑131217
10thWhite47491Tom Mitchell26‑11917
11thWhite47785Milly Jinks587(DNC)20
12thYellow47780Aaron Evans‑25261523
13thRed48159Lowri Boorman‑16127423
14thRed47641Sam Jones4‑1912824
15thYellow47657David Peaty1158‑2324
16thRed46046Lily Barrett‑999624
17thYellow46137Erin McIlwaine‑10610925
18thRed48249Leo Wilkinson7‑2781227
19thBlue48258Oliver Mills‑171521128
20thYellow47797Phoebe Hutchings(DSQ)212629
21stWhite47731Tom Cochrane6‑13131029
22ndRed46855Louis Siveyer13‑3714330
23rdWhite47454Ellen Barbour‑22169530
24thYellow46875Harriet LEE77‑181630
25thYellow47484George Vincent22‑235734
26thBlue47685Samuel Brackley‑1810111334
27thBlue44437Edward Baker15‑2618538
28thBlue47302Sebastian Gotto19910‑2238
29thRed47890Emilia Walker‑204161939
30thYellow46974George Ellis‑Miller922‑231041
31stYellow48140Zoe Belben1314‑211441
32ndWhite47636Alexander Baird‑2114121642
33rdWhite47830Holly Annels8‑24171843
34thWhite48050Heloise Shadbolt171115‑2043
35thYellow48259Richard Thurlby12‑25141743
36thWhite47725Maisie Bristow1518‑261447
37thYellow47076Daniel Nicoll141716‑1947
38thBlue47426James Deaton‑367202148
39thWhite46978Hamish McDonald11‑28281150
40thRed46770William Thomas10‑33261551
41stRed47028Toby Bloomfield181321‑2652
42ndRed47764Kamran Ewbank14‑24172253
43rdYellow47806Yana Skvortsova161819‑2553
44thRed48177William Hudson‑352625758
45thBlue48027Thomas Williamson21‑25191858
46thWhite47956Anabelle Esqulant191725‑3361
47thRed48093Tom Campbell‑5716232463
48thRed47855Harriet Kirk33‑41151765
49thWhite47833Tom Peacock‑3022202365
50thWhite47394Leah Fidling‑5032221367
51stRed47000LUC JAMES1228‑383171
52ndYellow45477Jacob Atkins‑2720272471
53rdRed47750Maxi Tustain34832‑4174
54thRed47503Samuel Carr231536(DNS)74
55thBlue46521Jasmin Robertson2021‑413475
56thBlue47078Monique Vennis‑Ozanne‑3720272875
57thWhite40395Austin Wright243124‑4279
58thRed46364Honor Procter‑5810432881
59thBlue47722Lauren McDowell291933‑4581
60thBlue48105Ben Purrier30‑39282684
61stRed47834Hamilton Roaf371140‑5288
62ndYellow45700Andy Peng283030‑3788
63rdWhite47779Robin Stein‑3923392789
64thWhite46734James Deverell253035‑4590
65thWhite47099Harry Newton28‑47342991
66thRed45735Gus MCKENZIE31‑40293292
67thYellow47620Oliver Vennis‑Ozanne35‑42312793
68thYellow45565Tristan Hills2339‑413395
69thYellow45971Imogen Asquith31‑53323295
70thRed47086Iwan Roberts‑4236352596
71stBlue47533Eve Bhogal322737‑3996
72ndYellow46731Max Robinson333133‑4197
73rdRed46611Miles Everett294722(RET)98
74thBlue48246Lawrence Donnelly264230(BFD)98
75thYellow45617Benedict Richardson‑5332293899
76thRed46387Matilda Gregson264331‑44100
77thBlue47821Oliver Haig243642‑43102
78thRed47664Edward Schuster‑Bruce‑47343434102
79thWhite47740Sean Woodard‑44333838109
80thWhite46720Frederick Barry‑45294437110
81stWhite48137Joel Bibby‑55374330110
82ndBlue48307Catherine Albone42‑583931112
83rdYellow48309Charlotte Knight‑61354235112
84thRed42619Alex Holborn‑56492440113
85thWhite47684Molly Hinsliff‑Smith4334‑4936113
86thRed45433Annabelle Pierce‑Jones48‑554921118
87thBlue47116Noah Sherriff‑55444629119
88thYellow44806Harris Goodman3446‑5140120
89thRed48138Thomas Willett36‑575035121
90thWhite48081lewis thompson2746‑5249122
91stYellow46070Oliver Wilcox454436‑48125
92ndBlue46888Daisy Desorgher404045‑55125
93rdYellow44301Thomas Clayton43‑593747127
94thBlue47173Gregory Cornes‑62415136128
95thWhite47794Imogen Day(OCS)454043128
96thYellow48264Eilidh McQueen38‑504844130
97thYellow47926Peter Walker51‑645030131
98thBlue46610Aimee Taylor‑56384746131
99thBlue47790Ben Paling3943‑5549131
100thWhite46509Natalie Annels‑51354750132
101stYellow46883Jorja Marshall46‑544542133
102ndWhite44631Scarlet Desorgher3848‑5348134
103rdWhite47085Jessica Roberts3256‑5747135
104thYellow46970Oliver Smoult4938‑5454141
105thRed48153Harry Somerville(OCS)484454146
106thRed45152Kate Robertson60‑654839147
107thYellow47796Cameron Sword4451‑6352147
108thBlue48345Felix Corson4751‑5450148
109thRed48082Roan Briggs41‑565355149
110thWhite44484Elin Jones525246‑53150
111thWhite30422Timothy Evans4950‑5551150
112thWhite11734George Sellwood4055‑5956151
113thRed47414Ella Spain54‑605246152
114thBlue46274Harriet Sacker48‑605656160
115thBlue46578Llion Morris50‑625753160
116thBlue47646Madeleine Vowles525458‑63164
117thBlue47654James Smaggasgale4153(DNF)DNC168
118thBlue48185Islay Goodman‑63496258169
119thYellow48069Matthew Stubbins54‑615660170
120thRed47792Oliver Hale5363(DNF)58174
121stBlue47172Rose Edmonds575760(RET)174
122ndBlue Joy Odey‑60595957175
123rdYellow47754Josephine Asquith6858(XPA)51177
124thYellow48101Felix McMullan58‑626159178
125thWhite46942Amelia Eaton59‑666457180
126thBlue47220Mark RIPLEY59‑636162182
127thYellow46548Alice Russell6445(DNF)DNC183
128thWhite44529Ollie Freemantle63‑676260185
129thYellow47950Oliver Hickling65‑665864187
130thWhite48325Rhys Powell64‑656559188
131stBlue46768Anya Morris‑67646361188
132ndYellow46981Matthew Lloyd6652(DNF)DNC192
133rdRed47306Andrew Scott(OCS)686461193
134thWhite46127Ceri Roberts46(DNC)DNCDNC194
135thWhite46691Miles Deverell6161(RET)DNC196
136thRed47902henry koe62(RET)DNCDNC210
137thWhite47795Seren Collier(OCS)BFD66RET214
138thRed45507Stuart Aitken(RET)67DNSDNC215
139thWhite47531Curtis McKay(DNS)DNSDNCDNC222
140thRed48102James Curtis(DNS)DNSDNCDNC222
140thRed47637Amy Smith(DNS)DNSDNCDNC222
142ndYellow48147Daniel Coupe(RET)RETDNCDNC222
142ndYellow47016samuel Shackle(DNS)DNSDNCDNC222
144thBlue47647Charlie Merryweather(DNS)DNSDNCDNC222
144thBlue48087William Collinson(DNS)DNSDNCDNC222

4.2 Rig

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st47927Charles Alston1‑21125
2nd47625Tom Thwaites‑642219
3rd48232James Crossley2‑544313
4th46148Archie Burton5155‑1016
5th44192Ciara Woodard‑7363517
6th48348Xavier Dunn469‑17625
7th44142Dru Townsend3‑12128427
8th46920Tara Ewbank11‑1777732
9th46733Daisy Robinson10811‑15938
10th31553Eloise Hutchings‑171489839
11th19145alissa marshall1611106(RET)43
12th47853Daniel Perkins‑22715101850
13th48083Arran Goodman815‑18161150
14th47536Chloe Mills993(DNC)DNC51
15th45757River Green1210‑21111952
16th47860Charlie Gran15‑1817121357
17th48092Louise Davis‑231613201261
18th46307James Clarke‑212016131463
19th47732Sophie Rennie1413‑19191763
20th45770Bjorn Handley202114‑231671
21st44495Isabella Ferneyhough19‑2322181574
22nd47768Charlotte Cooper18282014(DNS)80
23rd46410Maximilian Christie‑272223222087
24th47219Jolyan Smoult131928(DNC)DNC90
25th47437Amber Hale24‑2525212191
26th46448Ryan Davies‑262424252396
27th44954Alicia Biggs‑2926262622100
28th48318merryn attridge‑2827272424102
29th48193Immi Rees25(DNS)DNSDNCDNC115

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