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Topper Southern Area Championship at Warsash Sailing Club

by Roger Cerrato 20 Oct 2020 21:52 BST 17 October 2020
Abandoned 4.2 fleet Race 3 during the Topper Southern Area Championship at Warsash © Roger Cerrato

A bright and crisp Autumn day greeted the 41 entries to the Rooster Southern Topper Traveller & Area Championship hosted by Warsash SC. Along with 21 sailors from the home club we welcomed visitors from across the South.

As is becoming the norm all competitor comms was carried out online including an informative briefing recorded by our PRO Peter Knight. Originally planned as a two day event the format was changed to Saturday only allowing us to more easily comply with the all important COVID restrictions.

The fleet launched on time at 10am and headed out towards the Solent in search of breeze and shortly after 11am the first race was away.

Starting at the favoured Committee Boat end Warsash sailor Oscar Fry was soon at the front of the 5.3 fleet and took the race win from fellow WSC sailor, Immi Rees, in second and Ethan Sparks from Dell Quay in third.

Warsash sailors also took the first two places in Race 1 for the 4.2s with a win for Marcus King followed by Thomas Peace in second.

Race 2 followed a similar theme in the 5.3s with Oscar again taking the win but this time chased by Stuart Aitken (WSC) in second who'd abandoned his Laser for the day in favour of getting back into a Topper; third was Arran Goodman from Hill Head. Race 2 in the 4.2s was won by Thomas with Freddie Day (WSC) in second.

A left shift just before the start of Race 3 for the 5.3s was missed by most of the fleet but Oscar spotted it, started near the pin, crossed the fleet, assumed his familiar position in front and held it to the end.

Second across the finish line was Emily Brushett (Royal Southern) with Arran securing another third. With the ebb tide just starting to build Race 3 for the 4.2s was abandoned as even the leaders struggled to clear the start line.

The PRO held on for 30 minutes hoping for more breeze but it didn't arrive, no surprise based on the forecast which was light, light and more light for the rest of the weekend...

Like a crack SBS operation the RHIB crews gathered 6 Toppers each in tow and headed back up the River Hamble to Warsash SC just as the ebb tide started to really run.

No maths degree required to calculate the overall winner in the 5.3 class: well done Oscar Fry (WSC) for a score card full of bullets. Second overall in the 5.3s was Finn Brook-Holmes (Portchester SC) with a consistent 6, 5, 5 score line. Third was Arran Goodman (Hill Head SC). First girl in the 5.3s was Immi Rees (WSC) in 5th.

Scores were a little closer in the 4.2s with only two points separating the top three sailors overall who were all from Warsash: 1st Thomas Peace, 2nd Marcus King, 3rd Freddie Day. First girl in the 4.2s was Jemima Fry in 6th.

On behalf of all the competitors I'd like to thank Mark Aitken and Stu Davies for the work they put into the event and of behalf of Warsash SC I'd like to thank all of our visiting sailors and parents. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon - hopefully for a full weekend next time.

Thanks are also due to Lewmar for the bespoke full colour glass trophies for the winners as well as Baltic and Rooster who presented some great prizes.

Full results are available here.

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