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Midlands Topper Traveller Round 3 at Staunton Harold Sailing Club

by Midlands Topper Area 10 Jun 15:35 BST 9 June 2018
Jude Singleton leads the fleet towards mark 1 during the Midland Topper Traveller at Staunton Harold © Iain Ferguson

The Midlands Topper sailors began the week looking ahead to this event with a wind forecast of over 10 knots. As the week progressed their enthusiasm was dampened by the gradual slide in numbers to finally read 4 gusting 5 knots on WindGuru. More of the same again, light variable shifty frustrating winds yet again, for our 3rd event in a row. Many thanks to the Commodore and the Race Committee for getting in a full day of racing in very trying conditions.

As usual the sailors were out on the water as soon as the launch signal was given with enthusiasm. The watching parents were not to be disappointed today even though the flags were not looking very exciting. Race 1 got under way with Chase SC's Callum Anderson taking an early lead at the start of the windward leg. Mark 1 saw Greg Cornes round in the lead followed closely by Jude Singleton, Charlie and Annabel Turnbull. Greg and Charlie headed off and lead the fleet by a small margin for the most part. Greg finished as he had left off at the previous event by winning closely followed by Charlie who managed to find a hole in the wind just before the finish line and get pipped into 3rd by Jude who missed the whole and cruised into 2nd place. Annabel lead the Girls in 4th place with the series leading Girl kate Robertson behind in 5th.

Race 2 started at the second attempt with yet again a Chase SC sailor Taylor Berry making the early running on the first leg powering away upwind on the windward side of the course. On the leeward side of the course (favoured by most of the back seat sailors on the shore) Dan Keenan, making his first appearance in the series this season, and Jude made their way upwind and lead round mark 1. Series leader and winner of race 1 Greg was down in 10th at this point. Rutland's Amelia Green in her first ever Traveller had found a nice space on the first leg and was holding onto 6th place for the first half of lap 1. Jude became the second race winner of the day and threw the competition wide open but more was to follow. Greg had managed to get up to 2nd place but Dan had rolled over the top of him to grab 2nd and Move Greg down to 3rd. Daisy Desorgher led the charge for the girls with a 4th place.

At the lunch break Jude was leading with Greg in 2nd and Charlie in 3rd. The fleet headed out for race 3 with the distant music from the download festival blowing by on the wind. Again the fleet were a little too keen and were called back for another go. Joseph Green sailing in his first ever traveller away from his home club took the lead at mark 1. This was actually quite an understatement as the lead he had built up at this point was the biggest seen all day and was about to extend further. Daisy, Will Thomas, Greg and Ross Ferguson gave chase. Joseph arrived at mark 2 with half a leg lead over Daisy and the group with her. By mark 3 the lead had extended to 1 leg and as Joseph approached mark 4 the chasing pack had only covered half a leg distance and by mark 6 Joseph was clear ahead. His parents were missing their son's moment of brilliance and potential glory having taken off over the fields with the family dog. The phone signal was strong and they arrived back at the club with Joseph still holding onto his very healthy lead and sailing towards the wind shadow. At this point his father was asked to take a seat as there was a groove forming in the block paving to the front of the club. The race ended well with Joseph waving to the cameras before he had even crossed the line as his lead had not shrunk as most of the armchair sailors had considered a likely result of the route he chose to take for the second beat. It just goes to show that the sailors know what they are doing. Greg finished 2nd with Will 3rd and Daisy again leading the girls with another consistent 4th place. Meanwhile back in the pack the wind was full of holes and the sailors doggedly and tenaciously made the most of what scraps f wind they could find to get over the finish line.

Race 4 got away cleanly Scarlet Desorgher was an early leader but as earlier races had shown this was no guarantee of success at mark 1. Dan was first at mark 1 followed by Greg, Jude and Ben Paling. As the fleet crossed the lake Greg had an uncharacteristic lapse of concentration and headed off to the wrong mark. Not too much ground was lost but Jude and Ben managed to be level and upwind and eventually ben took a slender lead. This lead to a nail-biting final beat with 4 boats all closely grouped together with by now Jude leading Ben Greg and Dan. Greg managed to work his way into a good position but Ben took a narrow victory from Greg with Jude in 3rd, and Kate leading the girls.

At the end of another frustrating day we did manage 4 races and had 4 different race winners 2 of whom won their award for their first ever race win at a Midlands Traveller event. Well done to Joseph Green and Ben Paling for 2 well deserved victories.

The next event is the big one at Notts County, our Midlands Area championships, two days of racing, free camping from Friday night and the usual fabulous hospitality of the club and its members over the weekend of 23rd and 24th of June. If you haven't been before check Google Earth for the entrance road to the club as the SatNav will leave you on a road in the middle of nowhere.

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