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ITCA Topper North Travellers at Rossendale Valley Sailing Club

by Ava Harris-Scott 26 Oct 2023 18:11 BST 21 October 2023
Topper North Travellers at Rossendale Valley © Ross Baird

On Saturday 21st October, North Toppers returned to Rossendale Valley Sailing Club for the second race of the 2023-2024 series. We were greeted by a number of enthusiastic club members and a light, but shifty wind varying from a westerly to northerly courtesy of a close large hill to the north-west.

After the briefing from the Race Officer, Fiona Spence, we went afloat and prepared for race 1.

After a fairly standard start to the 5-minute countdown, the U-flag was lowered and the wind shifted 90 degrees, meaning there was a big bias down at the port end, which George Spence (Ripon) took advantage of. The race started with almost all boats being able to make the mark in one. George rounded the windward mark in first, with Tristan Shaw (Budworth) just behind and Ava Harris-Scott (Elton) not too far behind them.

The reach across had turned very tight and the boats all struggled with the dropping of wind on the course, until a big shift came in which Kyla Baxter (Covenham) capitalised upon perfectly, and gave her a big lift along the reach, rounding the mark now in third place. Toby Eagleton (Scaling Dam) also caught this lift putting him up to 5th. The course was an outer-2 and the wind had slightly started to increase to a steady 6 knots. The race ended after a bit of back and forth between Tristan and George, Ava and Kyla finishing in those positions.

Following the left shift that had occurred in the first race, the course was moved down the lake, meaning a longer beat could be used. The wind had just picked up and the conditions were improving. The T-flag was lowered, and the boats were off. Emre Frankland (Yorkshire Dales) got UFD so came in for an early lunch. Ava rounded first at the windward mark, with George following closely behind.

This time it was an outer-4 so a much longer race. A bit further down in the fleet battles were going on between Kyla, Reuben Lawrance (Budworth), Lara Eagleton (Scaling Dam) and Tristan. Ava and George maintained 1st and 2nd, until the last windward mark rounding, where Ava just touched the mark, forcing her to do a 360-degree penalty turn, handing the lead over to George, who held it to the finish.

Everyone came out refreshed after lunch ready to start the third race of the day. With the race under way, and no sailors with a UFD this time. Halfway through the first beat a heavy left shift came in forcing the entire fleet to tack onto port. Again, Ava rounded the windward mark in first with Reuben and George a little further back. Tristan, who had rounded the windward mark in about 5th had fought back to the front, just behind Ava on the 3rd beat, he just managed to overtake her at the end winning, him the race.

It was all down to the final race to decide the winner of the event with Tristan, George, and Ava all very close on points. A left shift came in just at the start of the race so Kyla who started port end was already in the lead. Ava was pretty much last after having a terrible start, and Tristan and George were further up. This race was outer-6 so was going to be a long one.

Kyla rounded the windward mark with a great lead. Ava was down in 15th and had a lot of catching up to do. As the race progressed Kyla's lead got larger, with George and Tristan were battling it out close to the front. Ava was steadily moving through the fleet and on lap 3 and her and Emre both went more left getting lifted then tacking onto port getting another lift resulting in Ava and Reuben fighting it out for second.

A few laps later, Kyla and Ava thought they had completed the final run to the leeward mark and headed toward the finish line, only to discover there was one more beat remaining, so headed back up and losing the lead. The race finished with Lara winning, Tristan second and George third.

Other notable achievements during the event include Lucy-Laura Miller competing in her first North Topper Travellers event, finishing 14th overall, but achieving very credible positions of 10th and 8th in races 1 and 3 and Toby Eagleton finishing 8th overall and gaining a 5th place in race 1 - a successful day of sailing for the Eagleton family.

Thanks to Rossendale Valley SC for hosting the event and Rooster Sailing for supplying the prizes. The next event on 11th November is at Budworth SC.

Overall Results:

1stTristan ShawBudworth SC1‑4124
2ndGeorge SpenceRipon SC21‑336
3rdAva Harris‑ScottElton SC322‑87
4thLara EagletonScaling Dam SC‑664111
5thKyla BaxterCovenham SC43‑5411
6thReuben LawranceErrwood SC Budworth SC(DNS)57719
7thAnabelle BramwellHollingworth Lake SC97‑16925
8thToby EagletonScaling Dam SC511‑181026
9thXavier BramwellHollingworth Lake SC7‑1361326
10thBenjamin SmallwoodBudworth SC1210‑14628
11thEmre FranklandYorkshire Dales SC16(UFD)9530
12thSophie ThorougoodBudworth SC119‑121232
13thAnnabel HayfieldHollingworth Lake SC‑158101533
14thLucy‑Laura MillerSheffield Viking SC10178‑1835
15thMatthew BairdBudworth SC81415‑1737
16thEmily DengatePennine SC‑1815111137
17thLucy LewisElton SC141217‑1943
18thLaura ParsonsBudworth SC17‑18131444
19thNayth TwiggsWinsford Flash SC1316‑191645
20thFreddie Smallwood (Topper 4.2)Budworth SC1919‑202058

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