Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailingfast 2018 728x90

Eastern Region Topper Traveller Series Round 5 at Horning Sailing Club

by Ed Medcalf 16 May 2023 02:32 BST 14 May 2023

Constabularies across East Anglia were rubbing their hands in glee at their sudden revenue from speed cameras as Hayley, 4.2 sailor Toby's mum, delivered him to Horning Sailing Club for an 11am start having fulfilled a 7am swimming commitment in Luton.

Horning's local rule that participants must have cast off from the club decking no later than 5 mins before the start was achieved by all, including Toby with 2 mins to spare, and the Eastern Traveller Series Round 5 began in less than no wind.

Race 1 began with Topper soup. Patience and no fidgeting were the order of the day; soon Ellie Thwaites (Snowflakes/NBYC/RSWSC) emerged from the morass pursued by Nathan Clark (WOBYC). William Mott (SBSC) in his 4.2 made commendable progress in amongst the 5.3s. The beat upriver temporarily became a run, then anyone who had not escaped the raft-up drew to a terminal standstill short of the top mark. Your correspondent popped back to the car for another layer but found on return that nobody had moved. Eventually Ellie, Jensen Jakob (NBYC), Nate Sparrow (BASC) and Nathan plugged away beating back along the downwind leg to finish a shortened course while the rest of both fleets were whiskeyed.

Everyone had now twigged that clear air was key. Race 2's sequence commenced in a similar vacuum. Regional coaches would have been proud of the pre-start hovering albeit there wasn't much choice because no-one was going anywhere. That said, being on the front row of a fleet going nowhere was vital and Ellie, Jensen and Nathan achieved that. A pigeon flew across. On the Norwich road, the no.12 bus passed by. The sun broke through which suggested that at 2000 feet surely the clouds must have been blowing about a bit. Jensen overtook Ellie but the same names populated the top 3. William again triumphed in the 4.2s.

During lunch a steady Force 2 arose for half an hour, dropping promptly as the 10 min signal for Race 3 was sounded. Anya Gittings (HSC) showed a clear pair of heels off the start but was caught by Ellie and Jensen before the windward mark; behind her a raft of 8 jostled to scrape round. Faith Turner (SBSC) got a glorious inside line and gained multiple paces in her 4.2 and left the 5.3s to engage in slow-motion luffing battles. William caught a puff and slipped past. In the 5.3s, Ellie and Jensen were unsurprisingly followed to the finish by Nathan.

So Race 4 became the decider between Ellie and Jensen, both sailing admirably and consistently in frustrating conditions where any loss of concentration spelt doom. There was prolonged 1mph jockeying at the start and a right left split up the river for the tight leading pack. Wills Keys-Batson (NBYC) caught everyone unawares by being 1st at the top mark while other entertainment in the form of some turns from Jensen and an elegant capsize from Josh Blackman Northwood (Hunts SC) kept the audience awake. Ellie controlled matters and topped the podium but there were times when it seemed that trusting the movement of the Eurasian tectonic plate would get the fleet back to the clubhouse quicker than Norfolk's zephyrs. However, a late thrill developed in the battle for 3rd place, in which Magnus Medcalf (BSSC) gradually reeled in Nathan, got the inside line at the final mark and ground to a halt within spitting distance of the finish line. Anya roared into the equation at snail's pace, discombobulating and distracting Nathan sufficiently to allow Magnus to hold on by a coat of old blue Topper paint. Some redemption for Magnus who had snapped his mast in the previous Traveller to commemorate the occasion of his grandmother Sue's 80th. She never thought she'd get a mention in Y&Y. In the 4.2s William was creditably in the middle of the 5.3 fleet and completed the victory.

And so it finished. Our thanks to the Horning team, in ties and blazers you know, for their persistence and determination to get the event done. Well done the galley too! We're grateful to Area Rep Michael for behind the scenes co-ordination. Next stop Snet Beach for the regional championships on 10th-11th June.

Overall Results:

5.3s
1st Ellie Thwaites
2nd Jensen Jakob
3rd Nathan Clark

4.2s
1st William Mott
2nd Toby Turner
3rd Faith Turner

Related Articles

Topper Coastal Championships at Poole
115 sailors from all corners of the UK take part The NS4 coastal championships saw 115 Topper sailors (85 x 5.3s, 28 x 4.2s, and 2 x 6.4s) travelling from all corners of the UK to Poole Harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world (second only to Sydney's in size). Posted on 23 May
Toppers at Portchester
Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series Event 2 For Event 2 of the Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series we headed over to Portchester SC on Sunday May 12th. Portchester is blessed with a fantastic sailing area, but only once the tide is in, hence a leisurely start to the day was in order. Posted on 19 May
P&B Northamptonshire Youth Series at Middle Nene
Galley team laid on such a spread it took several trestle tables to display Well, I blame Bill Gates, but more of that later on. An impressive 40+ boats signed on for the second round of the P&B Northamptonshire Youth Series at Middle Nene Sailing Club. The events are growing in popularity. Posted on 15 May
Toppers at Waldringfield
Water bottles filled and suncream applied for a beautiful day on the River Deben The sun was out, water bottles filled and suncream applied for a beautiful day on the River Deben. Waldringfield SC welcomed 13 sailors from across the Eastern region, some with years of winter squad training under their belts, some quite new to racing. Posted on 14 May
South West ITCA Traveller at Castle Cove
Summer arrives for the 23 sailors taking part Weybiza was at its best, sunny with around 10kts of breeze. 23 sailors were signed up to race in the 4th South West traveller of the year, hosted at Castle Cove Sailing club, there was a good fleet of 16x 5.3 sailors and 7x 4.2 sailors. Posted on 13 May
SWYSA Regatta at Paignton Sailing Club
Sun and a friendly welcome on the English Riviera Run as a culmination of the fleet-specific winter training sessions which SWYSA has organised over the winter for RS Teras, Toppers and ILCAs, the event was hosted by Paignton Sailing Club on a sunny Saturday. Posted on 8 May
Southwest Topper Traveller Series at Paignton
Great racing despite the variable conditions The third Traveller in the South West Traveller Series took place on Sunday 28th April. This event was hosted by Paignton Sailing Club and despite conditions being variable they still provided great racing within the fleet. Posted on 2 May
Toppers at Hamble River
27 sailors for Rooster Southern Traveller Series Event 1 27 Topper sailors arrived early on Sunday morning at HRSC, all looking forward to the first event of this year's Traveller Series. Posted on 24 Apr
Topper Invitation Coaching at Grafham Water
24 very enthusiastic sailors from across the country in attendance The GBR Class Association for Toppers (ITCA-GBR) organised an Invitational Coaching Event at Grafham Water on 20th/21st April where we had 24 very enthusiastic Topper sailors from across the country in attendance looking to develop their racing skills. Posted on 23 Apr
ITCA (GBR) Topper Training at Hamble
Blessed with perfect weather for the 15 sailors We were blessed with perfect weather for the ITCA (GBR) coaching day at Hamble River Sailing Club on Saturday April 20th. An ideal mix of sunshine and medium breeze! Posted on 21 Apr