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Wind Companion for Racing Sailors by David Houghton & Fiona Campbell
Wind Companion for Racing Sailors by David Houghton & Fiona Campbell

2021 ITCA Midlands Topper Championship at Notts County Sailing Club

by Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith 23 Jun 12:45 BST 19-20 June 2021
Prizewinners and some competitors in front of the Topper Van at the ITCA Midlands Topper Championship © Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith

It was with great delight that Notts County Sailing Club (NCSC) hosted this annual event and for the 6th time. With 30 pre-entered, including 18 from the host Club along with plenty of wind forecast this promised to be another great Championship.

With online entries and an online briefing for sailors this enabled the race team, led by RO Ross Ryan, to be all fired up for the scheduled 11am kick off and the two planned back to back races followed by lunch. Unfortunately, the forecast wind shift didn't arrive quite in time so AP was flown whilst the junior sailors waited on the shore. The 90-degree wind shift arrived shortly afterwards allowing the race sequence to begin with a trapezoid course set. Heather Quinn, from NCSC took the bullet closely followed by Sam Grayton (NCSC) and 3rd Caitlin Thomas (NCSC), 1st visitor was Katherine Burgess from Royal Harwich in 10th. There was little home advantage as this type of course is not often seen at NCSC with a predominance of class racing round the cans.

Race 2 saw Heather Quinn dominating all the legs to take another bullet, closely followed by Katherine Burgess and Sam Grayton. Lunch was calling which was perfectly timed for the forecast building wind, so after some mark moving - there was plenty of this until the wind eventually settled. The race team were planning on two more back to back with the NOR allowing 3 back to back races which they delivered.

The young sailors returned to the shore somewhat exhausted but fired up for Day 2 which was forecast for stronger winds and thankfully no rain. The overnight leader board showed Heather Quinn (3 bullets), Gwyneth Lanyon (NCSC) and Sam Grayton, closely followed by Caitlin Thomas (NCSC) who secured a 1st in the 3rd race, Edward Paling (NCSC) a 1st in the 4th race leaving no room for any sailing errors. Due to Covid there was no social planned for Saturday night and it was cold so many retired to their accommodation ready for the scheduled 9.30 start.

Day 2, many bleary-eyed junior sailors but quickly alert as the RO had already set and published a change of course, the back to back races were going to be run over a windward, leeward course with a spreader mark, due to the favourable wind conditions and providing some potential thrilling racing for the competitors and the shore-based supporters.

Just to mix up the results Ed Quinn (NCSC) took the 5th race holding off his sister so there was going to be some rivalry for the following races, especially as Dad was on the water as Safety Driver. Further down the pack there was some very close racing between Samantha Mason (NCSC), Georgina Riddell (NCSC), Tara Ewbank (Staunton Harold) and Imogen Green (Draycote SC) all flying down the course and having to decide which was the favourable leeward buoy to round. The optimum winds conditions and course format created close racing throughout the fleet.

Sunday's racing saw longer 5 lap races taking advantage of the steady 12 knot breeze and 3 further back to back races to make it a 8 race Championship. It was by no means all cut and dry as the competitors entered race 7 and 8. Race 7 saw some very close racing between Heather Quinn and Gwyneth Lanyon leaving the rest of fleet to fight it out for the remaining places. Race 8 saw a competitive start-line and an individual recall for Joe Rowe (Draycote) which compounded some bad luck during day one racing where his clew-strap multifunction cost him a 1st place.

Special mention for two young and new to the fleet sailors, Alex Chadborn (NCSC) and Morris Mellow (Carsington) both completed all 8 races and received special and were awarded Endeavour prizes.

At the prize-giving thanks were expressed to Russ Dent from Topper International who attended the event providing a useful Topper clinic and fixing boats where required. Mike Powell, ITCA Midlands Rep thanked Notts County Sailing Club for hosting an excellent event, his 1st visit to the Club but definitely not his last.

This event fits in nicely for the Topper sailors to prepare for the next NS event to be hosted at Grafham next weekend.

Overall Heather Quinn (17) from Notts County Sailing Club won the Midlands Topper Trophy, the 1st time a female has won the Trophy, followed by Gwyneth Lanyon (15) and 3rd Sam Grayton (14) who is the current 4.2 Topper National Champion. Chloe Grayton (10) took the 4.2 1st place and 3rd under 13 sailor, Jessica Powell 1st under 13 followed by Cillian Dyne 2nd

The club looks forward to hosting the 2022 event. More photos:

Overall Results:

PosHelmRigSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stHeather Quinn5.347023Notts County SC114‑61‑71311
2ndGwyneth Lanyon5.346168Notts County‑7‑624332115
3rdSam Grayton5.348535Notts County SC23‑7224‑9215
4thCaitlin Thomas5.346205Notts County SC3‑161‑5555423
5thEddie Quinn5.348165Notts County SC4567‑1013‑1126
6thHayden Moore5.348098Notts County SC9‑133‑11666636
7thEdward Paling5.348259Notts County SC13‑14‑1419210540
8thKatherine Gunn5.348571Notts County SC‑117838‑107942
9thJoe Rowe5.344036Draycote Water SC‑10959498(OCS)44
10thKatherine Burgess5.347777Royal Harwich YC621087‑1312(RET)45
11thSamantha Mason5.347354Notts County SC510‑1310‑13841047
12thTara Ewbank5.347764Staunton Harold SC8412‑13‑141111753
13thImogen Green5.348653Draycote Water SC‑178‑1614121514871
14thJessica Powell5.346391Draycote Water Sailing Club‑14‑159121114131271
15thCillian Dyne5.346770Notts County SC1512‑17‑161616161489
16thLeon Kadioglu5.347743West Kirby SC12111520‑211720‑2195
17thGeorgia Riddell5.347222Notts County SC‑211811151919‑211395
18thMatthew Chadderton5.348713Trimpley SC161918‑2115(OCS)1517100
19thElliot Payne5.347684Notts County SC1817‑191718‑211816104
20thEloise Davie5.344602Notts County‑22(RET)221820181915112
21stChloe Grayton4.248667Notts County SC202121‑231720‑2220119
22ndCharles Miles‑Hayler5.348166Notts County SC1920‑2319‑23222319122
23rdPolly McMullan5.345197Draycote Water SC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC121718128
24thAlex Chadborn5.344474Notts County SC(OCS)22202222(RET)2423133
25thMorris Mellor4.233848Carsington SC2424‑25‑2524232522142
26thMadeleine Johnstone4.245587Notts County23232424(OCS)(DNC)DNCDNC148

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