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Rooster South East Topper Traveller at Docklands Sailing & Watersports Centre

by Tom Mitchell 1 Apr 16:48 BST 17 March 2019
South East Topper Traveller at Docklands © Tom Mitchell

The first event of the 2019 Rooster Topper South East traveller series held at Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre coincided with Storm Gareth hitting the UK. With the forecast looking apocalyptic for the scheduled Saturday, the decision was made to move the event to Sunday 17th March with a moderate Westerly breeze forecast. Unfortunately this move meant that numbers were reduced to thirteen sailors.

In the end the weather was not a whole lot calmer than the Saturday as Storm Gareth stuck around for a day longer than invited. The fleet of 13 boats launched on time for an 11:00 start but was shortly back ashore as a squally hail storm caused the first race to be abandoned.

The fleet went back out and racing got under way at the second attempt. While now a lot more sailable, conditions were still very challenging for the remaining sailors with DSWC's trademark shiftiness combining with some serious gusts to make for interesting racing and plenty of upside down boats.

Maddie Childs showed the boys how it is done in the breeze and took the first bullet of the day with a strong upwind performance. The longer second race was dominated by Bjorn Handley, who led by a couple of legs and held on to bring himself back level pegging at the top of the fleet. The final race was close and brought many more capsizes with Maddie taking first to win the day. Reuben Hudson came in second in a much improved final race. Racing finished after the third race with some very tired sailors and a second hailstorm incoming.

Silverware went to Maddie Childs of Datchet Water SC coming out on top ahead of Bjorn Handley of Queen Mary SC. Third place went to Jibriel Bostan of Tideway Sailability. Thanks go to all those who attended and a special mention to all who stuck out the tough conditions to finish some races.

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