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Southwest Topper Traveller Series at Fowey

by Sean Semmens 3 Apr 11:44 BST 31 March 2024

On Sunday 31st March the second Southwest Topper Traveller series races took place in the stunning Cornish port of Fowey. It was a bright, windy and somewhat shifty day. It was great to see the fleet of 13 boats back at Fowey after a gap of about 10 years and both Gallants and Royal Fowey clubs did an amazing job of hosting the sailors and support crews!

The weather was perfect for brisk racing with strong tides and winds giving lots of challenge to the racers. While there were a few capsized boats, it was a great effort for so many to stay dry despite a lot of close calls!!

In the 5.3 class Thomas Semmens placed first overall and showed his class by leading all four races pretty much from the start although Charlie Mackenzie who placed second overall pushed him close in the first race to the first mark! Charlie was a safe second in the next two races too and only in the final race of the day did Charlotte Simmonds, who placed third overall, manage to keep within sight of Thomas with a second place, very closely followed by Toby Colls and Charlie.

Special mention goes to two sailors who showed great character on the day. Firstly, Henry Richards who got himself to safety and tried to fix his boat after equipment failure on more than one occasion earning him the Commitment award, and also to Willow Richards who took a nasty bump to the head in the first race and had to retire, but stayed to support the racing with a smile on her face.

Another special mention to the race organisers who did a fantastic job. The dummy start in the first race of the day with the race clock not starting after the winter break and the windward mark drifting downwind halfway through race three as Thomas was approaching were excellent diversions!!

It was great to see a 6.4 out sailing with London /SE sailor Erica Bishop taking advantage of a holiday home to compete on semi home waters. With Erica winning the 6.4s, and Thomas, Charlie, Charlotte as the 1,2,3 in the 5.3s all in the newer generation 'grey' hulls, it was a very successful day for the new Topper!

Finlay Kirkby had a fabulous day on the water in the 4.2 class winning every race and placing first overall and in the 6.4 class Erica Bishop, although on her own in her class, did a fantastic job of reminding us all that Toppers are great fun for adults as well as children!

Thanks to both Fowey Galants SC and Royal Fowey YC and their volunteers for putting on a fantastic weekend and hopefully see you at Paignton at the end of April.

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