by Kate Holmes
The Topper Winter Regatta was held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) over the weekend, 25th to 26th February. A fleet of 181 attended the event.
The Topper fleet in action - Topper Winter Regatta 2012
The sun shone, the sea sparkled and it certainly did not seem like the end of February. Sadly, the wind was not so obliging, averaging just five knots for much of the time, and two of the planned six races were lost when the wind faded away.
The WPNSA venue is a particular favourite with the Topper community and for many of the youngers sailors this was their first visit to the Academy and home of Olympic sailing. For those who have spent their winter training with various squads this was their first opportunity to show the result.
The first two races were won by Crispin Beaumont from Bartley Sailing Club near Birmingham and Thomas Wallwork from Redesmere near Macclesfield; both inland locations and both sailors from Adam Cockerill’s National Intermediate Junior Squad. Amongst the females, Emma Phillips from Starcross, Katie Barraclough from Burghfield, Ellie King from Emsworth Slipper and Rhiannon Flack from Spinnaker were all towards the front of the fleet.
The second race, and the last on Saturday, saw Edward Higson from Frampton on Severn and Dan Venables from Sutton Sailing Club lead the pack; two more inland locations. Both are members of Dave Cockerill’s National Junior Squad so a sort of hierarchy was re-established amongst the squads and in the Cockerill household. Dan had been black flagged in the first race so this was his opportunity to make a mark. Katie Barraclough and Emma Phillips scored a third and fourth respectively for the girls.
The Sunday morning was given over to sunbathing and socialising until the wind started to build around lunchtime and two races followed. In the first Dan Venables emerged once again as winner, but so did a new name, Arran Holman from Holowell. Laurence Logan and Crispin Beaumont were second and two other new faces, Christopher Cowan from Portchester and Aled Goddard from Clwyb Hwylio Bala emerged in third place.
In the final races Dan Venables and Crispin Beaumont emerged as the winners of the last two flights.
So overall the first four were Dan Venables, Crispin Beaumont, Laurence Logan, Arran Holman and Thomas Wallwork. Emma Phillips from Starcross was seventh and led the females, with Katie Barrowclough from Burghfield 11th and second female and Rhiannon Flack from Spinnaker 19th and third female.
The Topper fleet launch from the expansive slipway at the WPNSA - Topper Winter Regatta 2012