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Topper and RS Tera open meeting at Starcross Yacht Club

by Peter Solly 14 Jun 2022 13:14 BST 11 June 2022
Topper and RS Tera open meeting at Starcross © Freya Ballentyne

Starcross Yacht Club hosted a Topper and Tera open in June. Part of the ITCA Topper traveller series, 20 boats sailed on the River Exe in an exciting afternoon of racing.

Visitors came from various clubs in the south west, as far away as Portishead and Sutton Bingham, and included two Toppers which arrived by water from Exe Sailing Club.

The event had the usual friendly atmosphere, and organiser Bob Beare had laid on both sun and wind. Sailors battled some tricky late-afternoon high tides and an ever-shifting gusty wind during the four races, which had committee boat starts. There were separate starts for the Topper and Tera fleets, with the most hotly contested racing in the Topper 5.2s and Tera Sports.

There was a high standard of racing at the top of the fleet, many sailors having sailed through the winter in Regional Training Groups and Starcross' Winter Training.

After a break ashore for tea and cake, Race 3 saw a big gust come through, which hit the Topper fleet badly capsizing many of the boats. The Teras, having had a separate start and so being in a slightly different place on the course, largely escaped this gust.

Both the Topper and Tera fleets saw spirited and enjoyably-competitive racing between certain boats. The battle for second, third and fourth in the Tera Sport fleet was particularly close, with three of the Starcross Tera sailors, Henry, Kirsty and Jack changing places regularly.

This was the first open meeting for some of the sailors, and they showed excellent resilience in the sometimes difficult conditions; gaining in confidence and improving as the day progressed.

Awards were presented by John Allen MBE. Endeavour Awards were made to Amelie Ballantyne, Connie Laver, Imogen Hill and Tom Solly, recognising their achievements and resilience in the challenging conditions.

The next Starcross junior open event is the renowned Summer Junior Regatta, which runs 18-21 August 2022. It is open to children 8-18 years old sailing boats from the RS Aero 5 and slower (PY over 1129). There will be Gold and Silver race fleets to cater for different standards, and socials including on and off water games, disco and evening meal (tickets on sale nearer the time), and Camp Out Night. Entry opens soon at

Thanks to Bob Beare, Paul Kelley (OOD), John Allen MBE and all of the Committee boat, safety boat and galley helpers - as well as all of the unsung folk behind the scenes for Saturday's Open.

Topper 5.3 Results:

1 James Clemants, Portishead YSC
2 Huw Beare, Starcross YC
3 Thomas Semmens, Brixham YC
4 Amelia Gilboy Paignton SC
5 Joe Reid, Exe SC
6 Jacob Cook, Starcross YC
7 Isabel Williscroft, Paignton SC
8 Victory Montgomery, Paignton SC
9 Amelie Ballentyne, Starcross YC
10 Imogen Hill, Starcross YC
11 Connie Laver, Starcross YC

Topper 4.2 Results:

1 Tayah Gilboy, Paignton SC
2 Theo James, Exe SC

RS Tera Sport Results:

1 Ollie Wilson, Sutton Bingham
2 Henry Reed, Starcross YC
3 Kirsty Scott Starcross YC
4 Jack Solly, Starcross YC
5 Philippa Paley, Starcross YC
6 Polly Scott, Starcross YC
7 Tom Solly, Starcross YC

RS Tera Pro Results:

1 Jack Wilson, Sutton Bingham
2 Harriet Paley, Starcross YC

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