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Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series Event 5 at Bosham Sailing Club

by Stu Davies & Roger Cerrato 15 Jul 2023 16:35 BST 9 July 2023
Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series Event 5 at Bosham © Kyle Wood

The Southern Toppers travelled to Bosham SC's Cobnor outpost for round 5 of the Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series. A strong entry of 38 boats was split into 23 x 5.3s and 15 x 4.2s.

The forecast was for light winds and a flooding tide for the majority of the day; however, the weather gods were listening and as the 11am launch signal went, the sailors were met with sun and building breeze.

As the sailors launched you could tell which sailors had listened to the wise words at the briefing, as most launched straight into the middle of the river and sat watching as the few that hugged the shoreline made steady progress towards the race course, a clear sign of things to come!

4 races were scheduled with the usual Southern Traveller Series format of 5.3s off first followed by the 4.2s. The PRO had a cunning plan to make best use of available water; windward-leeward for the first 2 races whilst the river was narrow, but then utilising a sausage-triangle course as the river was widened by the flooding tide.

Race 1 in the 5.3s got under way with a clear line, Jake Davies positioned himself towards the committee boat and utilised boat speed to head for the shoreline, popped out at the windward mark leading from Torquil Morrison and Seb Davies. These positions were unchanged for 3 of the 4 laps until Jake threw it in on the last downwind, gifting the win to Torquil. Jack Gardner had his best race to finish in a very creditable 5th and Sophie Le Grice was first girl in 7th.

A similar pattern emerged in Race 2, good starts and heading for the shore to the right paid, this time Seb Davies led for 3 laps from Henry Martin who then took the lead at the end of the last downwind when, like his brother in race 1, Seb went for a swim! but recovered for a second place. Ava Francis was leading girl in 7th.

The racing at the front of the 5.3s remained close for Races 3 & 4 but Torquil managed to win both to secure the event overall counting a perfect score of 3 bullets. His performance in a blue 45*** Topper proving that you don't need the newest boat in the fleet to win! Meg Webb was first girl in Race 4 with an excellent 5th.

Racing was equally as tight in the 4.2s, with 3 different winners in the 4 races emphasising the current strength of the Southern 4.2 fleet.

Bosham SC sailor Benjy Gardner put his local knowledge to good effect in Race 1 taking the win from Henry Noel and Charles Wood. Race 2 and Henry this time secured the win from Charles with James Broad achieving a 3rd, a position that he obviously cherished as he achieved the same result in Races 3&4 as well!

Race 3 was won by Charles with an improving Thomas Matthews in second, leaving it all to play for in Race 4 between Henry and Charles. Henry kept a cool head and sailed well to take the final win followed by Thomas again in second.

Congratulations to all the sailors for some tricky racing in strong tidal conditions.

Overall Results:

5.3 (full results here)
1st Torquil Morrison (Emsworth Slipper SC)
2nd Henry Martin (Portchester SC)
3rd Jake Davies (Warsash SC)
1st Girl - Ava Francis (Spinnaker SC)

4.2 (full results here)
1st Henry Noel (Warsash SC)
2nd Charles Wood (Warsash SC)
3rd James Broad (Hill Head SC)

We now have a summer break from the Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series whilst sailors enjoy the Topper Worlds in Cork and the Nationals in Pwllheli. Our next event is at Hill Head on Sunday September 3rd, this one is also a secondary indicator for next winter's South Topper RTG.

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