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SW Topper Traveller Series at the Allspars Final Fling 2023 at the Royal Western Yacht Club

by Sean Semmens 17 Oct 2023 10:56 BST 14-15 October 2023
Thomas and Harry fighting to round mark one first - Toppers at the Allspars Final Fling in Plymouth © Paul Gibbons Photography

The SW Topper Traveller Series concluded with the last event being the appropriately titled 'Final Fling' sailed from the Royal Western YC in Plymouth. The 'Final Fling' - a throwback to the 1980s when over 100 boats used to bomb around Plymouth Sound as the last event in the Plymouth dinghy calendar - is steadily growing as a must-do dinghy regatta with over 70 boats taking part including nine eager Topper sailors keen to show the older sailors how to do it.

Saturday dawned with a brisk NW forecast and it turns out that Windguru under estimated. After a race 1 abandonment due to a wing mark drifting off downwind faster than the Toppers, 3 races in 15 to 20kts plus ensued, while the other fleets had the excitement followed by delays due to shipping across the race course the Toppers sharing a Race track with the strong Phantom fleet, the Topper romped around the Eastern sound to get three races in.

All three won by Thomas Semmens, however that does not tell the full story as Harry Mills and Thomas were within a couple of boat lengths at the top mark in races 1 and 2. Edward Lee improved as the day went on to bag a 3,3, 2.

Sunday looked less exciting with less wind from the very shifty direction of East and less shipping. A very enthusiastic race team obviously knew more than the rest of us and launched the fleet to get everyone out there for when the wind would inevitably fill in. Fair play to the PRO after about an hours delay the wind duly showed up near the breakwater so a quick reset of race areas and racing started in 5 to 6 knots.

The light and shifty conditions suiting Victory Montgomery who won boat of the day to post 1,2,2, with Thoams and harry sharing the other race wins.

In the end Thomas had done enough to win the event with Harry second a result that also won him the SW traveller series overall. A solid weekend from Edward celebrating his birthday earnt him a third place overall. The race for first girl was won by Tayah Gilboy holding off Charlotte Simmonds.

Special mention to Leo Kaneko winning the 4.2s both days being challenging for the newer sailors (lots of wind and not a lot of wind).

Many thanks to the RWYC for a lovely weekend in the sunshine (although not at all warm... sunshine), also many thanks to sponsors and local riggers Allspars who donated all the goodies for prizes.

More photos: paulgibbinsphotography.pixieset.com/finalfling2023/topper

Overall results for the 5.3 rig:

1st Thomas Semmens - Brixham Yacht Club & Paignton SC
2nd Harry Mills - Saltash SC
3rd Edward Lee - Saltash SC
1st Girl - Tayah Gilboy - Paignton SC

Overall results for the 4.2 rig:

1st Leo Kaneko - Dittisham SC
2nd & 1st Girl - Grace Montgomery - Dittisham SC

Full combined results:

PosSailRigHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1490985.3Thomas Semmens11121‑36
2476215.3Harry Mills223‑63111
3343 (47735)5.3Edward Lee3323‑4415
4478575.3Tayah Gilboy‑54445522
548196TopperVictory Montgomery(DNC)DNCDNC12225
6490175.3Charlotte Simmonds455‑77728
749019TopperCharlie MacKenzie6(RET)RET56631
846913Topper 4.2Leo Kaneko7RET6‑98837
9(576)Topper 4.2Grace Montgomery(DNC)DNCDNC89946

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