by James Logan
Midlands Traveller Series event for the Topper and Optimist classes was hosted by Nottinghamshire County SC (NCSC) on Saturday 21st May 2011. The Topper and Optimist Open attracted nearly 30 Toppers and 10 Optimists.
Topper and Optimist Open 2011
A great weather system sat over and around the UK last weekend. Great, that is for sailing events in the Midlands. NCSC looked great from the approach gravel track; the recently cut grassy rigging and launching area leading onto the lake where a nice F3 South Westerly breeze was just picking up a gentle chop with wave tops glinting in the early summer sunshine. Pauline in the galley was ready with breakfasts which the visitors from around the region, together with the club’s junior Saturday Club and participants of a couple of other training courses going on, enjoyed as they parked up trailers and started to prepare for a fabulous day on the water.
Phil Kilburn, PRO for the day, gave the briefing – the wind direction meaning the length if the water could be used to give a 600m first beat. Nearly 40 boats launched for the first of three races through the day. In the 26 strong Topper fleet, Matt Venables from Sutton SC eventually managed to fight off strong competition, including five National and Intermediate RYA Junior Squad members, to take the top spot. He repeated this result in race two which, with one discard to use, gave him the Topper Class win. As the breeze picked up to a strong F4 through the early afternoon Ed Connellan from Middle Nene SC came through strongly to take top spot in the third race. RYA North Zone squaddie Sophie Otter from Hollowell SC sailed a great event and managed to come in third overall to split up the Junior Squad sailors. Local sailor, Lawrence Logan, sailed a consistent event to come in fifth.
Topper and Optimist Open 2011
The Optimist fleet of 10 boats, also well supported by RYA Junior Squad members, enjoyed close racing in the good breeze, the shifty conditions at the first mark due to a clubhouse wind shadow making for difficult tactical decisions up the beat. Arran Holman of Hollowell took two bullets in the first and second races, giving him the top spot for the Optimist Class on the day. Local sailor, Andrew Kilburn, took a good win in race three to give him overall second place. The other Notts County sailor, Tom Smith, was the first Optimist Junior (age 12 or under) giving him the Optimist Midlands Challenge Trophy – a fine glass display case of knots – all to be learnt of course! With sailors coming from as far afield as Trearddur Bay on Anglesey and Scaling Dam near Whitby this was Midlands ‘plus’ traveller which everyone enjoyed.
The NCSC Club Commodore, John Parr, presented the prizes and trophies. He encouraged a well deserved round of applause from the assembled sailors for their hard working parents and supporters. The prizes and vouchers for the winners were generously made available by Speed Sails – sponsor of the Midlands Optimist Series.
The day ran smoothly and many thanks are due to the club members who did the hard work supporting the racing, manning the safety boats, to Pauline for running the galley and to the Commodore and Kim for work behind the bar as well as officiating at the prize giving.
Nottinghamshire County SC website