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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Southwest Topper Traveller Series Round 5 at Saltash Sailing Club

by Tom Semmens 5 Jun 06:09 BST 1 June 2024
Aerial view of the SW Topper Travellers at Saltash © James Harle

Saturday 1st of June saw the fifth instalment of the SW Topper Traveller Series hosted by Saltash SC. An enormous amount of pre planning and social media pushing guaranteed an excellent turnout.

Saltash, located just over the Tamar bridge in Cornwall, put on an amazing show, with promise of prizes for every sailor An amazing 30 sailors from all over the region including a large contingent from Parkstone YC in Poole arrived to find a wonderful clubhouse facing Devon behind the river, there was gorgeous sunshine but not much wind and the forecast breeze was not very promising. With 4 of the top 10 UK ranked 5.3 rig sailors - strong competition at the front end of the fleet was guaranteed.

After the Commodore Jamie Mills presented a short history of the club the RO promised in the briefing 4 races and hopefully one in a light Northerly before an anticipated inversion of wind and a sea breeze to follow. And so it transpired... Race 1 was started in extremely light winds with only a handful of boats able to cross the start line for a while, many sailors including some of the pre-event favourites forced backwards by the current.

By now the club launch 'Herbie-Davy' was utilised by your authors Grandad Dave Oliver to provide the eager parents with a spectator boat, to view the action close up, negating the need to view from the shore through the torture of binoculars.

Harry Mills used local knowledge to good affect in race 1 sneaking off to a good lead, and having a fantastic season so far it looked certain this would be the first race in the bag for Harry, only for the wind to collapse again and the fleet compress. In the end Harry drifted across to finish by less than a boat length in front of Zac Chapple. Felix Harle always a master of light winds clocked in a very useful 3rd place.

After the conclusion of race 1 the RC set up the task of moving the CB (not for the last time of the day) and reset up for a flaky Southerly sea breeze.

Whilst the racing was now well and truly under way the sailors had not noticed the frequent visits to the race track of a spy in the sky in the form of a drone camara. The drone operated by the highly talented James Harle just about had the range to fly out to the race course and film the starts and beginning of each race before enforced trips 'home' to the club for battery changes and a return to repeat for the next race. The footage will surely make in into social media and is fantastic viewing.

By the time race 2 was started a light SW breeze was starting to establish with the welcome sign of some cumulous cloud over Dartmoor signalling the sea breeze was likely to prevail against the gradient light Northerly. In race 2 Felix continued to show his pace by winning from Tom Semmens and Holly Norton showed great tactics to come in 3rd.

Race 3 had a start line biased to the port end and tide taking the fleet over and down to the port end. Success was all about a good start at the pin and a quick tack as soon as possible. Tom Semmens nailed this to take a commanding lead which was never really challenged. Zac and Felix coming in 2nd and 3rd. After Race 3 any one of the top 4 ranked sailors could win with Felix leading Tom by 1pt with Zac 1 pt behind and Harry will have been very grateful that a 4th race looked likely and a discard about to kick in so he could drop his 8th place in race in race 2, so it was all to play for.

Race 4 required a similar strategy to race 3, but by now the cat was out of the bag making the port end of the start line rather busy! Felix just crossed on port and continued his great day to use his undoubted excellent boat speed to sail off for a win to take a well deserved regatta win. Harry came 2nd to pull himself back onto the podium, Ollie Rawlings escaped the melee at the start and sailed clean to secure his best result with a 3rd with Tom ruing a terrible start recovering to 4th in the race and was pipped by Harry on countback finishing 3rd overall. Holly took best girl in 5th one place behind Zac overall.

With the light winds forecast many of our younger sailors tried out the bigger 5.3 rigs, However, In the 4.2s, 3 sailors closely fought it out. Sailing with the 5.3s in light winds was always going to prove tricky, but well done to Finlay Kirkby winning all 4 races from James Colls and Hattie Steel.

The prize-giving proved an epic affair with prizes for the podium places donated by local company GOAT marine, who also donated one of their new carbon tiller extensions to the sailor who showed outstanding sportsmanship Hattie Steel in one of her first events had no one around to witness her hitting a mark, however rather than think to herself 'oh well no one saw' took her penalty turn, proving honesty pays! Rooster provided prizes for every sailor, these were issued in ballot of tallies so those drawn first had first dibs at the very generous Rooster goodies. Our massive thanks to them, this really made the event fantastic for those not necessarily in the front of the fleet.

The event was closed by drone footage of all the sailors, as the drone retreated into the sunset. A fantastic weekend was had by all and massive thanks to all at Saltash SC and especially Jamie Mills who bore the vast majority of the organisation.

Next stop the beautiful sailing venue of Dittisham on the river Dart, make sure you are there.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1GBR 477820Felix Harle‑31315
247621Harry Mills1‑8427
3GBR 49098Thomas Semmes‑52147
4GBR 48600Zac Chappell242‑98
5GBR 47399Holly Norton43‑6512
6GBR 48513Nicola Richards665‑1117
7GBR 47021Ollie Rawlings‑1497319
8GBR 47926Millie Smith758‑1220
9GBR 48196Victory Montgomery87‑11823
1047732Edward Lee9‑149725
11GBR 48356Holly Williams‑301016632
12GBR 48508Joel Tidey131210‑1535
13GBR 47857Tayah Gilboy121112‑1335
14GBR 49232Charlie MacKenzie‑1713141037
15GBR 46346Harry MacLeod11‑17131741
16GBR 49231Charlotte Simmonds‑2115151444
17GBR 47615Toby Colls101621‑2347
18GBR 44193Amelie Ballantyne151919‑2053
19GBR 49234George Reynolds19‑22181653
20GBR 30364Edie Phillips‑2718201957
21GBR 40002Jack MacLeod1620‑232258
22GBR 48678Thomas Norton‑2221172159
23GBR 46690Pippa Wilton‑2923251866
24GBR 46913Leo Kaneko20‑26222567
25GBR 47310Finley Kirkby‑2524242472
26GBR 42331James Colls23‑28262675
270Tac Burton18‑30302876
28GBR 34458Jasmine D'Arcy242727(DNF)78
29GBR 47653Martina Vasili2825‑292780
30GBR 47835Hattie Steele26‑29282983

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