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ITCA Midlands Topper Traveller Series 2021-2022 Round 7 at Notts County Sailing Club

by Mike Powell 15 Feb 2022 18:20 GMT 12 February 2022
Very close racing on the first beat during Round 7 of the Midlands 2021-2022 Topper Traveller Series at Notts County SC © David Eberlin

With Round 7 being the penultimate event in the Midlands Topper Traveller 2021-2022 Series, the sailors headed off to Notts County Sailing Club on Saturday 12th February with the Series being 8 events; starting September and running through to March.

The sailors were hoping for slightly less wind than they had endured at Banbury SC 2 weeks previous, however this was not to be the case as again the winds were high. Notts County Sailing Club is very active with a strong and enthusiastic group of Topper Sailors and the club having really good stretch of water, located very close to the River Trent.

We were greeted with South-South Westerly winds which enabled the race officer to set a course that could use a good majority of the water available. Very quickly after setting the course, the race officer did a great job in getting the sailors into sequence to enable the first race to get under way.

Race 1 started with the winds building and it would be Joe Rowe and Jessica Powell (both from Draycote SC) in the 5.3 rig who set about battling for the lead. Samantha Mason (Notts County SC) chose to use the 4.2 rig and this was proving to be an excellent decision as she was able to sail into 3rd place keeping close to the leading 5.3 sailors. Joe and Jessica would continue their duel for first race honours and finally began to stretch out a gap to 3rd place, capitalising on the larger sail on the downwind leg with Jessica taking the win, from Joe, followed by Samantha.

For Race 2 the winds continued to be strong with no direction change so the course was set the same as race 1. The fleet had diminished slightly due to the winds with some sailors sitting this race out. This race saw Joe Rowe pushing very hard to take the lead from Jessica Powell and Notts County Sailor, Eddie Quinn settling into 3rd place. Positions would continue to change throughout the fleet due to the challenging local wind shifts; however the sailors really persevered and showed their spirit to ensure they finished the race. Joe would continue to stretch his lead, from Jessica, taking Race 2 win with Eddie Quinn maintaining his 3rd place.

After the well earned lunch break, the event looked set to be a battle between the Draycote Water Sailors of Joe Rowe and Jessica Powell for event honours. Samantha Mason had put herself in a strong position in 3rd place with Notts County Sailors; Katherine Gunn and Eddie Quinn very close behind.

For Race 3, the course was changed very slightly with the long windward first beat still remaining which would continue to test the sailors to their limits. The pattern for the first 2 remained the same as race 2 with Joe Rowe first out of the blocks, very closely followed by Jessica Powell in 2nd and Samantha Mason was again proving that the 4.2 sail can deliver excellent results in strong winds was in 3rd, just ahead of Northampton Sailor; Keali Rhodes. The gap at the front would continue to close as Jessica pushed hard to close the gap; knowing that the winner of race 3 would put each in a strong position for the event win. However time ran out for Jessica and Joe was able to hold on and take his 2nd win of the day with Samantha in 3rd.

Going into the final race, it was Joe just ahead on 4 points with Jessica on 5 points; this was going to come down last race to see who could take the event win. Samantha had put herself in a commanding 3rd place with the very consistent finishes in the first 3 races.

This time it was Jessica who would take the lead and put in a very strong leg to the windward mark, pulling out a solid lead from Joe in 2nd place. Next passed the windward mark would be Edward Paling (Notts County) followed by 420 team mate, Eddie Quinn. This would be a lead that Jessica would not lose, taking race 4 win, followed by Joe in 2nd and Edward Paling in 3rd.

So after a great day of sailing, the event win went to Jessica Powell (Draycote), narrowly ahead of Joe Rowe (Draycote) on the same points and same finishing order, with Jessica winning the event due to finishing positions in the final race. Samantha Mason would take 3rd place overall and 1st Place 4.2, with William Mawby-Groom finishing 2nd 4.2.

Chloe Grayton (Notts County) and Jacob Blakeway (Trimpley) would both receive the "Top Topper True Grit" awards for the day, both of the sailors came in early in one of their races, however they both then showed real determination by going back out and successfully complete their final races and in many cases produce their best results of day.

Congratulations to Jessica Powell (Event Winner), Samantha Mason (4.2 Winner), Chloe Grayton and Jacob Blakeway (Top Topper True Grit).

Thank you to our hosts Notts County Sailing Club for a superb day and the setting of an excellent course in challenging winds and making the Topper Sailors so welcome. We are looking forward to returning to Notts County SC as part of our 2022/2023 series.

Thanks also to our event Sponsors; Topper Sailboats, Rooster and Harken for their continued support of Midlands Topper Traveller Series.

The 2021/2022 Series is now reaching the final stages and has been very close throughout. With this win at Notts County SC, Jessica Powell now has an unassailable lead in the series. However 2nd and 3rd place is still up for grabs by either Catlin Thomas, Joe Rowe or Katherine Gunn. The 4.2 honours is still open and looks to be between 2 sailors; these being William Mawby-Groom and Oscar Rowe.

The final event in the series is Round 8 at Draycote Water Sailing Club on Saturday 19th March 2022; entry is now open and can be booked in the usual manner, via the ITCA website, gbrtopper.ourclubadmin.com/event.php?event=987

We look forward to you joining us there.

If any Junior Midland Topper sailors are interested in participating at the ITCA Midlands Traveller events, it is a great opportunity to enter a friendly and local race series. Please contact us on the email address if you would like any more information.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmRigR1R2R3R4Pts
1st46391Jessica Powell5.31‑2214
2nd44036Joseph Rowe5.3‑21124
3rd47354Samantha Mason4.2343‑710
4th48165Eddie Quinn5.363‑11413
5th48571Katherine Gunn5.3457(RET)16
6th46205Caitlin Thomas5.3575‑1017
7th48259Edward Paling5.3‑10106319
8th31767William Mawby‑Groom4.2768(DNC)21
9th48713Jacob Blakeway5.398(DNC)825
10th48664Toby Gammond5.389(OCS)926
11th48667Chloe Grayton4.212(DNC)91132
12th48907Keali Rhodes4.2(DNF)DNC4633
13th48193Jasper Focardi‑Dolling5.311(DNC)NSC539
14th46971Oscar Rowe4.2(DNF)DNC121247
15th46770Cillian Dyne4.2(DNF)DNC10DNF56
16th46969Benjamin Whiteside5.313.5(DNC)DNCDNC59.5
16th48798Isabel Ritchie4.213.5(DNC)DNCDNC59.5
18th47222Georgia Riddell4.2(DNF)DNCDNFDNC69
18th48675Kitty Davy5.3(DNC)DNCDNCDNC69
18th44935James Ling4.2(DNS)DNCDNCDNC69
18th47777Katherine Burgess5.3(DNF)DNCDNCDNC69
18th41858Harry Mallen4.2(DNF)DNCDNCDNC69

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