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Topper South West Traveller Series at Dittisham Sailing Club

by Charlie MacKenzie 19 Jun 08:19 BST 15-16 June 2024
Launching during the Topper SW Traveller at Dittisham © Phil Tucker

The South West Traveller Series was kindly hosted by Dittisham Sailing Club for a weekend of training and racing on the 15th and 16th of June.

A very well attended weekend with many sailors travelling from afar, saw some very exciting conditions, with strong and shifty winds to add to the complexity of the strong tide in Dittisham, making for some very exciting racing for both the 5.3 and 4.2 fleets.

After a great day's training on Saturday, racing on Sunday got under way with 4 races planned in total, with the first 2 races in the morning.

First race was a triangular course, finishing with a windward leeward leg. The race started with West Southwest winds with a consistent 13kts breeze occasionally gusting up to 18kts. Off the line the local sailor Leo Kaneko was showing his strong local knowledge through the course he chose to sail, landing him high up in the fleet at the windward mark. Finishing of the last lap, Ed Lee with line honours, closely followed by Harry Mills in 2nd then Thomas Semmens in 3rd. Finley Kirkby takes line honours for the 4.2 fleet closely followed by James Colls in 2nd place and with Brooke Browning in 3rd.

Starting the second race we had a small rain shower giving us a few more kts of wind to help push us up to the windward mark in a tight fleet, and with the extra few kts of wind it gave us a nice fast run down the leeward leg, helping us get over the line in time for a lovely home cooked lunch at the club.

After our lunch we headed back out to the committee boat eagerly awaiting our next course. With an increase of wind to around 16kts our windward mark had been moved further up the river, near Sandridge boat house giving us a very beautiful beat up to the mark for the third race, showing the skill of the mark layers and the race committee. Thomas had a consistent strong lead that remained, giving Thomas a well deserved 1st place, followed by Harry Mills and Edward Lee.

With all the sailors keen to get back for Father's Day. We started our fourth and final race quickly with all boats making a clear start over the line. The breeze stayed fresh as we headed up to Galmpton and past Wadderton mark. Harry had a strong start putting him way ahead of the fleet with Thomas and Ed chasing him close behind, however Ed underlaid the windward mark on the last lap letting Charlotte Simmonds and Tayah Gillboy pass him leading to Harry earning a 1st, Thomas a 2nd and Charlotte with a hard fought 3rd place.

By the time the overall scores were calculated in the 5.3 fleet Thomas won by a point from Harry, with Ed 3rd and Tayah 4th as first girl. In the 4.2s Finlay came first from James and Brooke 3rd and first girl.

A tremendous weekend overall with a well deserved mention to the DSC's Mr Arthur Marshall for putting out a brilliant regatta fleet and hosting such a competitive ITCA Traveller Series. Finally a special thanks to all of the volunteers that made this event possible, including the Race Committee, mark layers, Safety boat teams and the crew in the galley.

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