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Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

Eastern Topper Traveller Round 7 at Ely Sailing Club

by Edward Medcalf 20 Sep 07:10 BST 10 September 2023
Eastern Topper Traveller Round 7 at Ely © Nathan Franklin

For those not yet familiar with this particular corner of the Fens, Ely Sailing Club sits in the shadow of the city's glorious cathedral; Roswell Pit itself, the sailing club's dancefloor, lies a few feet below sea level and on this occasion pretty much below wind level. That didn't mean there wasn't fun to be had.

After the summer hiatus for some minor events (Worlds, Nationals etc.), the Eastern Region's travelling Topper contingent reconvened here to contest round 7 of their 10-event series on Sun 10th September with the event also acting as a qualifier for selection for the winter's RTG squad.

To pretend to offer much more accurate commentary on race one would be a disservice to the reader as it would be comparable to trying to describe half an hour's activity in a busy ants' nest. By the end of the first lap, only the eagle-eyed race team-high in their eyrie had a clue who was where. The hushed crowd high on the clubhouse bank observed windless roll tack capsizes, mainsheets getting caught on gate buoys and wind oscillations of 40 degrees on the figure-of-eight demolition derby course; at times 30 yards separated those travelling upwind at 5 knots from others fending slack-sailed booms from banging their heads. Out of the morass emerged Jensen Jakob (NBYC) followed by Nathan Clark (WOBYC) and Abbey Penny (Snowflakes SC) in the 5.3s, and Toby and Faith Turner (SBSC) in the 4.2s.

Race 2 saw a general recall but then exasperated in equal measure. Competitors were clearly thinking more tactically and the breeze filled in marginally. Nathan got a great start to the right although the entire fleet was more compressed than in race 1. Anyone who had made a break from their rivals then suffered increasing stress levels if they glanced in their rear-view mirror at pursuers catching up in the arbitrary gusts, hearing that dreaded sound of a fast-moving boat closing in whilst seemingly sitting in treacle. Reliving her outstanding result in one of the Nationals' races, Tabby Blackman Northwood (Hunts SC) gained a second place to Jenson's win, with Nathan 3rd. Claudia Savory (SBSC) enjoyed her own moment of glory while the 4.2s filled their podium with Toby Turner, Faith Turner and Toby Hailey (WOBYC).

On a briefly serious note, it was clear that the 'Easties' who had participated in the larger fleet events over the summer had significantly improved their skill levels, most notably at getting clean starts on a crowded line.

The 3rd race began with another general recall; 25 lunch-fuelled Topper sailors were too keen. When it did get under way celebratory shouts could be heard from Toby Turner as he found himself in clear air. The wind then switched itself off for a bit and light-wind experts Ellie Thwaites (NBYC) and Jenson gently crept away, neck and neck for the whole race even though Jenson attempted to round the downwind mark the wrong way round and undertook a tenuous unwinding procedure. Faith in her 4.2 mixed it with the mid-fleet 5.3s. Commendably local hero Kieran Vanhoutte achieved the biggest delta by moving from 10th up to 5th over 3 legs.

Just for fun and for something else to do, the wind then switched around precisely 180 degrees for the final race. Thunder was heard to the west and for the first time on this 30-degree centigrade day, the sun went in. Would we experience a stormy blast to close the day with screaming reaches and heart-stopping gybes? No. Race 4 was fittingly all about the locals; kudos has to be given to Ed Human (Ely SC) for being up with the leaders and then Jash Downs (Ely SC) for sensibly taking the long route around the entirety of a 10-boat Topper sandwich and producing a 6th place result, much to the pleasure of his family on the beach. Some of the syntax emanating from the afore-mentioned raft-up was decidedly nautical but remained humorous. Up front, there was a 4 boat slow-motion dogfight which could have been won by any of the participants - credit to Ralph Leftley (NBYC) for hanging in there to contest and to Harry Wemyss (Hickling Broad SC) who found himself in the hot seat when the music stopped to take the win.

Therefore the 5.3 event was won by Jenson.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
Topper 4.2
1st44888Toby TurnerSnettisham Beach SC‑11113
2nd45500Faith TurnerSnettisham Beach SC‑22226
3rd45562William MottSnettisham Beach SC4‑53310
3rd44163Toby HaileyWOBYC334‑510
5th16708Henry LambertHunts SC‑545413
Topper 5.3
1st48709Jenson JakobNBYC111‑23
2nd48974Nathan ClarkWOBYC233‑58
3rd47625Ellie ThwaitesSnowflakes/NBYC/RSWSC442‑810
4th47634Abbey PennyHorning SC3‑84310
5th46884Harry WemyssHickling Broad SC/Snowflackes SC‑856112
6th46929Ralph LeftleyNBYC76‑10417
7th45701Tabitha Blackman NorthwoodHunts Sailing Club‑12291021
8th49034Kieran VanhoutteEly Sailing Club‑975921
9th16517Magnus MedcalfBrancaster Staithe SC5‑1271123
10th44144Joshua Blackman NorthwoodHunts Sailing Club1098‑1227
11th80848Nathanael SparrowBASC610‑131329
12th28140Edward HumanEly Sailing Club1113‑15731
13th6441Jash DownsEly Sailing Club13‑1414633
14th11885Claudia Savory ‑1911161441
15th44547Robin HaileyWOBYC14‑15121541
16th47927Freddie ReevesCams Sailing Club16‑19111643
17th48573Jack FranklinSnettisham Beach SC151618‑1949
18th47759Fergus MarshalEly Sailing Club17‑21171852
19th47Daniel GibbsEly Sailing Club‑2120191756
20th45811Mushui ZuoGrafham Sailing Club1818‑202056
21st45796Noah HughesWaldringfield SC2017(DNC)DNC61
22nd Reuban MazliahEly Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNC72
22nd48148Sophis EatonSnettisham Beach SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC72

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