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GJW Direct Topper National Series 5 at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Chris Woodard 22 Jun 2018 06:57 BST 16-17 June 2018
Topper National Series 5 at Draycote Water © Angela Donnelly

Barely two weeks after the 2017-18 Topper National Squad programme was concluded with the final two RYA camps at the Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth over half-term, the whole Squad cycle got underway again with the GJW Direct Topper National Series 5 at Draycote Water SC being the first selector for the 2018-19 Squads! Unsurprisingly this attracted a healthy pre-entry of 191 boats, with 183 actually taking to the water, continuing a very encouraging upward trend in entry numbers – every NS event this year has attracted a bigger entry than the corresponding event last year, bucking the national trend of declining event attendance in some classes.

After the atrocious weather at the preceding three NS events this year it was a welcome relief to see a more promising forecast this time and, although it wasn't exactly warm, the rain generally held off, the sun shone sporadically, and the wind provided superb sailing conditions; probably averaging around 14 knots over the two days – a little stronger on Saturday and a little lighter on Sunday – with periods over 20 knots on both days to raise the excitement levels and the capsize quota!

Draycote Water SC proved to be excellent and welcoming hosts – the arrival of 180+ boats is a logistical challenge for any club, but the extensive ribbon-shaped site and single-track roadway at Draycote took the challenge to a new level, which their members met with enthusiastic and effective marshalling, both on arrival and departure.

After the controlled chaos of unloading, registration, and briefings, the fleets launched on time for the scheduled 12.00 start, with the wind on the racecourse fairly stable at 215 degrees, albeit somewhat up and down in strength with some pretty feisty gusts. As usual the 5.3 fleet sailed in flights, with 80 boats in each flight and therefore 8 scheduled starts each day, and on Saturday the whole process went off remarkably smoothly! The first flight of race 3 saw the only general recall of the day, with the fleet setting up high from about 3 minutes and never quite recovering, but a black flag on the restart got them away cleanly with just two UFDs on the board.

At the front of the 160-boat 5.3 fleet Aled Llewellyn-Jones had an outstanding day, nailing three race victories to secure the overnight lead, with the other race victories going to Phoebe Hutchings, George Vincent and Sam Jones, and a couple to Finlay Tulett.

Meanwhile in the 4.2 fleet entry numbers were slightly down because NS5 is the critical moment for the more experienced 4.2 sailors to move up to the 5.3 fleet if they have an eye on the National Squads, but it was great to see some of the next wave of 4.2 sailors joining the fleet, including four 10-year olds and one 9-year old! The 4.2 schedule was, as usual, targeting 5 races, which were all completed in good time, and it was James Crossley's day, with three race victories and a couple of thirds to lead overnight, with the other race wins going to Charlie Gran and Tom Thwaites.

Sunday dawned a little lighter, and with the wind further right at 235 degrees, and it was a bit more flicky leading to a few postponements, recalls and start line disqualifications. Nonetheless the schedule again ran relatively smoothly, albeit that part-way through race 7 there was a big shift back to Saturday's 215 degrees, but some sterling work by our great mark laying team managed to rotate the course around mark 1 during the race so that the course remained true and racing was not held up. This proved to be crucial as, with the SIs not allowing any starts after 14.30, it was nail-bitingly close to the deadline when the final flight of the final race got away at 14.22! (Incidentally, one statistic from this event that I found fascinating is that in the 5.3 fleet alone there were 1,241 race starters – these really are fantastic big-fleet events with great racing at all levels – and for once the fleet were relatively well behaved with only 14 start line penalties).

In Sunday's generally lighter conditions some different faces came to the fore in the 5.3 fleet, most notably in the first race of the day when Poppy Wright held off the usual suspects to claim an excellent victory, Aled L-J and Aaron Evans each took a couple of victories, and the remaining wins went to Sam Jones, George Vincent and Phoebe Hutchings. This took Aled's tally to five race victories with seven races to count – an incredible score-line when you consider that over the past 12 months no one has scored more than three race wins in an NS event – so he must have been gutted to find that this was not good enough to secure overall victory! This accolade went, by 2 points, to Sam Jones, with Aled in the runner up spot and George Vincent completing the podium. First girl was Phoebe Hutchings in fifth closely followed by Lowri Boorman, and the Optimum Time Endeavour prize went to Alicia Biggs.

The slightly lighter conditions also saw some changes at the front of the 4.2 fleet with Bjorn Handley having a great day with two firsts, a second and a third, with the other race victories going to James Crossley and Tom Thwaites. However Tom's consistency, including three thirds on Sunday, was enough to leapfrog the overnight leader and clinch the event by just one point from James, with Charlie Gran in third, Alissa Marshall was first girl, and Caitlin Thomas took the Endeavour.

As always, thanks go to our headline sponsor GJW Direct, together with Rooster, Harken and Optimum Time, thanks also to the great race management and safety teams on both courses, ably led by Ian Bullock and Andy Moore, and thanks to the gallant band of volunteer/parent helpers afloat and ashore – as all ITCA members will have gathered in the run up to this event we need a new wave of volunteers to develop into the various roles and keep these events running smoothly and safely, so please step up if you can.

The next National Series is at Derwent Water on July 14-15, a long drive for many but a rare treat for our northern and Scottish competitors, followed by the National Championships at Weymouth from 28 July to 3 August, entry is still open for both these events so if you have a Topper and a suitably enthusiastic young sailor, and you haven't yet tried one of these superb big-fleet events, why not have a look on now!

Overall Results:

4.2 Rig

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
147625Tom ThwaitesRoyal Norfolk and Suffolk YC / NBYC212‑4‑4121211
248232James CrossleyDWSC1‑331123‑5112
347860Charlie GranCYC / JET's‑1021235‑147626
419145alissa marshallRhs4455‑64‑103429
547536Chloe MillsPennine SC3‑11‑1172644531
645770Bjorn HandleyQueen Mary SC5109‑1211(DSQ)12341
746920Tara EwbankStaunton Harold SC/Swarkestone SC75465‑117‑10741
848348Xavier DunnHillhead SC126637‑151312(DSQ)59
948216Charlie HopkinsonNotts County SC888‑118101111‑1464
1046307James ClarkeGrafham Water SC9910‑13(RET)999964
1148193Immi ReesWarsash SC11‑16‑1210981261167
1248083Arran GoodmanHill Head SC / Jets1477810‑16‑1816870
1346223Graydon McLeod FlemingHunts SC‑1913(DNF)171336141581
1424527Daniel HolbornParkstone YC/Paignton SC614149‑18‑188151682
1547021Isabel AssiratiCastle Cove SC1717(DNC)21(DNS)13581798
1648318merryn attridgeSwarkestone SC13(DNF)(DNC)1514717191398
175180Matilda PhelpsParkstone YC‑18(DNF)15161514161712105
1846686Alex PurrierParkstone YC1515(DNF)(DNC)DNC17191310116
1946205Caitlin ThomasNotts County SC161917‑201612‑202018118
2046303Harriet WoodJumbles20181618(DNC)201522(DNC)129
2147746Oscar HoultHISC(DNS)12131412(DNC)DNCDNCDNC132
2245450Noah WoodCHIPAC22(DNF)(DNS)191722222120143
2343150Camilla AssiratiCastle Cove SC21(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC1921DSQ19161
2446292Ellie ThwaitesNBYC/Royal Norfolk and Suffolk YC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC21DNS18DNC174

5.3 Rig

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
147641Sam JonesHill Head SC3122‑752116
248120Aled Llewellyn‑JonesSaundersfoot SC6111‑717118
347484George VincentParkstone YC15645‑71224
447780Aaron EvansSilver Wing SC233‑8118826
547797Phoebe HutchingsWarsash SC/JETS5216‑18151333
648159Lowri BoormanDale YC2692(UFD)69236
748249Leo WilkinsonMaidenhead SC4231284‑20437
847491Tom MitchellRoyal Tay YC6394‑1164537
947836Finlay TulettDalgety Bay SC1414112‑202438
1048105Ben PurrierParkstone YC4715627(BFD)748
1146875Harriet LEEYorkshire Dales SC315103‑331031155
1247765Daniel KeenanTamworth SC1485144‑258659
1348258Oliver MillsPennine SC12158313‑196360
1447806Yana SkvortsovaIBRSC81371111‑185560
1547488Toby PearceHorning SC/Snowflakes SC9528‑361517965
1647173Gregory CornesThe Chase SC58‑29541627671
1747028Toby BloomfieldPaignton S C1311496‑25191072
1846387Matilda GregsonStarcross YC7‑23171038191478
1948177William HudsonNewhaven & Seaford SC9161814‑19115982
2047399Tristan HillsSaltash SC211819‑356412787
2147016Samuel ShackleBroxbourne SC1194‑27217222388
2247740Sean WoodardWaldringfield SC & Deben YC14‑30212283121292
2348066Oliver WilcoxFOSSC/Paignton SC15217‑36108112294
2448259Richard ThurlbyHill Head SC / Jets1610‑32722293895
2545617Benedict RichardsonCastle Cove SC8417923‑31132397
2647725Maisie BristowIBRSC15201212‑32211113104
2746970Oliver SmoultLlangorse SC20192517‑293919112
2848309Charlotte KnightNBYC/Horning SC ‑281623231591313112
2947777Matty CohenFOSSC1114191691430(DSQ)113
3048050Heloise ShadboltWarsash SC31‑3413153181718115
3146611Miles EverettLlangorse SC19132330159‑4210119
3248093Tom CampbellParkstone YC1325211924‑26414120
3347426James DeatonRoyal Harwich YC10103419141716‑37120
3447723charlie turnbullRYA18262410‑3410629123
3547101Jude SingletonHollowell SC1061333133121(BFD)127
3646770William ThomasNotts County SC2412‑331823211517130
3747750Maxi TustainIBRSC28‑4120211222028131
3847277Poppy WrightBeaver SC‑392227221142125132
3944437Edward BakerFOSSC/Paignton SC16148‑4027122531133
4046927Emily ProcterPaignton S C222512714‑353520135
4148513Freddie HowarthPoole YC364414‑52521421136
4247338Harry PressdeeMumbles YC24201631191315‑36138
4345735Gus MCKENZIEYorkshire Dales SC2211252417‑261624139
4447950Oliver HicklingWembley SC12‑4222212632721141
4546046Lily BarrettIsland Barn Reservoir SC77613(UFD)12UFD16145
4647503Samuel CarrLoch Venachar SC231822539(BFD)2420151
4748364Honor ProcterCardiff Bay YC‑3527292610163112151
4845152Kate RobertsonSwarkestone SC17‑45282542191011152
4947954Josie MeredithPapercourt SC3030‑311825111425153
5048261Leah FidlingChester Sailing and Canoeing Club202120201736(UFD)30164
5147858Gruffydd GreenCardigan/Clwb Cychod Teifi‑513752331223226176
5247077Joseph WarwickerBough Beech SC19‑49343216232232178
5347654James SmaggasgaleHOAC / Queensmead1728393016‑472430184
5447000LUC JAMESLlangorse SC3226112735(BFD)2833192
5547664Edward Schuster‑BruceParkstone YC2712432545‑562616194
5648307Catherine AlboneCYC/Milton Keynes SC3133‑383237281815194
5745197Oliver KeenanTamworth SC2624‑59153853752197
5848138Thomas WillettLlangorse SC3331‑353121272828199
5947685Samuel BrackleyFelpham SC25171624‑54484133204
6047350Alex HolbornParkstone YC/Paignton SC322331293527‑4327204
6140395Austin WrightPennine SC45343016‑53292331208
6247833Tom PeacockParkstone YC34411520293436‑49209
6347796Cameron SwordQueen Mary SC/Papercourt‑4236413728222619209
6446691Miles DeverellPaignton S C/RDYC26375329204010(TAL)215
6548365Iwan RobertsLlangorse SC‑5138263822133445216
6646720Frederick BarryWarsash SC21221813(UFD)49DSQ15222
6747779Robin SteinQueen Mary SC2919‑443327374038223
6847636Alexander BairdSheffield Viking292910(UFD)36323852226
6947076Daniel NicollGoring Thames SC/Oxford SC18172711‑71456350231
7046148Archie BurtonBeaver SC38393234284129‑46241
7148153Harry SomervillePoole YC35‑46393640244626246
7232145Ben OsborneMaidenhead SC5235443992345‑57247
7347733Alfie LesterFelpham SC‑4932402840383435247
7448246Lawrence DonnellySurrey Docks53241117663047(BFD)248
7547684Molly Hinsliff‑SmithNotts County SC2754303431‑753835249
7648325Rhys PowellLlandegfedd SC‑5449264430333040252
7743950Ben AdlerCCSC3627485041‑521834254
7847790Ben PalingNotts County SC33‑52383938353543261
7944484Elin JonesGresford SC‑5353402632365322262
8048264Eilidh McQueenHelensburgh SC/RNCYC484242‑5718433240265
8147647Charlie MerryweatherGoring Thames SC40383728‑55344642265
8247393William BurbedgeChester Sailing and Canoeing Club‑6048454624492332267
8346888Daisy DesorgherRutland SC44283649374629‑53269
8447926Peter WalkerParkstone YC‑5535284734395344280
8545700Andy PengWarsash SC23315135505240‑62282
8647646Madeleine VowlesLlangorse SC34434941‑56244449284
8746127Ceri RobertsLlangorse SC374446402542‑5955289
8845433Annabelle Pierce‑JonesPDSC3836334643‑643955290
8947533Eve BhogalManor Park SC434743424730‑6141293
9047748Ciara WoodardWaldringfield SC & Deben YC‑5655454226454338294
9147099Harry NewtonHampton Pier YC5093643‑70544560297
9248102James CurtisBosham SC6061‑675946332717303
9347172Rose EdmondsSnettisham Beach SC45464151‑61204951303
9445047Miles Vidlercmyc25336137‑68673348304
9546023Noe PeckhamLeigh & Lowton SC304851‑5553414934306
9648137Joel BibbyParkstone YC42‑64244457593942307
9748147Daniel CoupeParkstone YC444357‑7543394439309
9847116Noah SherriffChew Valley Lake SC50295645‑58374847312
9942132Alexander LoweryElton SC5958503850‑703127313
10048350Dru TownsendPortishead Yacht and SC43326041‑66506424314
10148252Thomas LinkLeigh and Lowton SC(UFD)50695539404718318
10243183Timothy EvansGrafham SC47‑63495452422551320
10346923Florence HawkerSouth cerney sc‑5856555045385029323
10446881jorja marshallrhyc/rhs41‑61374947604248324
10545299Alex AssiratiCastle Cove SC4973‑746121285150333
10648101Felix McMullanHollowell SC483953594851‑7047345
10748345Felix CorsonLlandudno SC/Rydal Penrhos School‑6253424860445841346
10846625Eva MillerSnettisham Beach SC4147565644‑715256352
10944806Harris GoodmanHill Head SC / Jets4645475365‑736536357
11047414Ella SpainUpton Warren/WSSCA37603554‑65635456359
11146981Matthew LloydSnettisham Beach SC564047(DNC)51575554360
11245991Keiran BrayBanbury SC54585456444648‑59360
11347462George Colquittwest kirby SC615958‑6530593661364
11446578Llion MorrisLlandudno SC596752(DNC)42555737369
11547794Imogen DayHollowell SC(DNS)50574855615544370
11646919Antonio PascaliIBRSC6271526046(BFD)4145377
11747902henry koesouth bank SC57575058594756‑64384
11847023Heather QuinnNotts County SC52‑69626349623763388
11944631Scarlet DesorgherRutland SC3962(DNC)DNC48586239392
12048092Louise DavisWarsash SC‑7560716020636059393
12145586Ryan WalfordHickling broad SC/SFSC/Snowflakes SC‑6767646133516158395
12248185Islay GoodmanHill Head SC / Jets55516247‑74616862406
12346274Harriet SackerBurnham Overy Staithe SC4055705367‑735866409
12443581Arthur BakerFishers Green SC61656365624351‑66410
12547181Iris SingletonHollowell SC647674(DNC)49723346414
12611734George SellwoodTeifi Boating Club72515543‑73656672424
12748069Matthew StubbinsLlandudno SC465965‑7369676058424
12847853Daniel PerkinsWarsash SC / JETS69‑70656941605765426
12947732Sophie RennieParkstone YC‑7066686668555053426
13031767Toby AthertonBanbury SC635464575969‑7367433
13141619Charlie GuyettCransley SC5769‑736356576270434
13247744Tamsin HoultHayling Island SC47404651(DNC)DNCDNCDNC436
13346076Oliver WattamFelpham SC66575872755356‑76437
13448141Ffion WoodCHIPAC72‑74667258445473439
13544645Poppy Nixey GodfreyKielder Water SC6464604576(BFD)6665440
13648079George WelshChester Sailing and Canoeing Club66564867716667‑76441
13744495Isabella FerneyhoughMarconi SC‑7366546672506768443
13846942Amelia EatonSnettisham Beach SC5868685269‑776570450
13944200Thomas OldriniPennine SC70‑77697163486468453
14046459Isabelle SmithBrixham YC/Paignton SC6572‑757152626963454
14145440Lucia AikmanChester Sailing and Canoeing Club‑7971616264547371456
14245562Malcolm McLeod FlemingHunts SC7175‑767454537264463
14348332Anna FosterGoring Thames SC637072647270‑7454465
14446768Anya MorrisMYC75‑76596460687169466
14547569Cadan PearceTresaith Mariners SC686271627072‑7561466
14646391Ted BallDraycote Water SC73(DNC)DNCDNC51565269469
14747222Oliver GwynnManor Park SC715273(DNC)67667073472
14846733Daisy RobinsonFishers Green SC‑7772676863657467476
14947658Alicia CondieGoring Thames SC65(DNC)DNCDNC57696357479
15047825Morven WoodCCCDS/Craignish Boat Club6765(DNC)DNC62745971482
15147795Seren CollierLlangorse SC68747269‑75586975485
15245828Megan GreavesElton SC6968706873‑766872488
15336225Mila Whiteoak‑MorrisCardiff Bay YC74636370‑78747674494
15447219Jolyon SmoultLlangorse SC74736658‑79757575496
15545975Johnny WoolgarPapercourt SC76(DNC)DNCDNC64647160503
15647306Andrew ScottDale YC7775‑787061687677504
15744954Alicia BiggsLlandegfedd SC‑7877776774717274512
15842911Remy MacwhinnieDraycote Water SC7878(DNC)DNC777677DNC554
15920425Kenneth FreemanHOAC / Queensmead7678(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC574
16146734James DeverellPaignton S C/Royal Dart YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC588
16145417Luka FranklinBough Beech SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC588
16347826James Laurie‑ChiswellLlangorse SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC588

Full series results so far can be found here.

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