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GJW Direct Topper 5.3 and 4.2 Nationals at the WPNSA - Days 2 & 3

by Chris Woodard 1 Aug 2018 14:12 BST 28 July - 3 August 2018
GJW Direct Topper Nationals at the WPNSA © Chris Woodard

The 2018 GJW Direct International Topper 5.3 and 4.2 National Championships at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has reached the half way stage with the completion of the Qualification Series, setting the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets for the remainder of the event.

After the disappointment of cancellation of all sailing on the first day, with the wind persistently topping 40 knots, all eyes were on the forecast for Monday. At the scheduled 10.00 launch time the conditions were still very marginal, and the PRO John Burgoine made the sensible call to hold the fleets ashore in the expectation of the winds moderating later. By 14.00 the wind had dropped, albeit only slightly, and all fleets launched with the average wind speed hovering around 20 knots, and frequently gusting to 25 knots, and a pretty lumpy sea state out near the harbour wall.

Nonetheless 284 plucky young sailors took to the water, with many of the smaller and lighter competitors putting in a couple of reefs, and a full programme of three races (six flights) in the 5.3 fleet and four races in the 4.2 fleet were successfully completed, with everyone back on shore before 19.00.

Tuesday saw the return of the great British Summer, with blue skies and an equally blue sea, and all fleets launched on schedule into the lightest wind of the week so far, at around 14 knots, which built steady through the day's racing rising back to near 20 knots by the end final race. Again a full three-race programme was successfully completed in the 5.3 fleet, and the 4.2 fleet managed to complete 6 races, before everyone headed back to shore for the Beach Olympics!

The championships now move into the Finals stage, with places 1-112 making up the Gold fleet, 113-170 in silver, and 171-223 in Bronze, and all to play for, with a vast array of trophies and goodies up for grabs!

For those wishing to follow progress through the event, results will be posted daily online at www.itca-gbr.co.uk - just search under the "results" tab and set the filter for "national events".

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