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Midlands Topper Traveller Round 2 at Chase Sailing Club

by Midlands Topper Area 20 May 2018 22:28 PDT 19 May 2018
Fleet heading to the start area during the Midlands Topper Travellers at Chase © I Ferguson

A day not dissimilar to round 1 a week earlier but some snakes and ladders, Masters Topper Sailing, lots of young sailors entering their first open meeting, a lost boot and a near photo finish made for an interesting Round 2 of the 2018 Midlands Topper Traveller Series at Chase water at the weekend.

Another dire wind forecast for the weekend took shape as the week progressed and many of the travelling sailors were probably reluctantly making their way over to Chase Sailing club for another delayed shifty drifter of a day's racing. They were not wrong.

After an hour's delay the race officer decided it was time to get on the water ready for the forecast 4 knots gusting 4 knots wind that was forecast for the afternoon. The water was mirror like at this stage apart from the surfable swell created by the neighbouring waterski club. 31 sailors eagerly launched including our first Master entry in recent years. The age range on the day was 10 to 63 and there was a fantastic turnout from the Chase Youth Sailing who fielded 9 sailors most of whom had only started sailing this year and had just completed level 1 and 2.

Race 1 got underway with business as usual for series leader Greg Cornes leading the way. This was quite short lived as Greg managed to find one of the days snakes and subsequently found himself towards the back of the fleet at the halfway point. Eventually he found one of the ladders of the day and managed to find his way back to the front of the fleet and take the win from Will Thomas and the leading Girl Kate Robertson.

Race 2 saw Will take off to a flying start at the starboard end of the line while those at the port end dealt with an extremely light shifty patch of wind. As the first beat unfolded (and it was a beat) some coming from the middle of the fleet led by Jude Singleton took their place at the head of the field. Charlie Turnbull then took over the lead from Jude and Greg Will and Kate were in the middle of the pack at the halfway point of the beat. Jude led the fleet round mark 1 followed by Annabel Turnbull, Charlie and Greg had managed to get on the back of the leaders too. Close behind was local sailor Taylor Berry having managed to keep a clear lane upwind and break clear of the pack. Annabel led the fleet round the Leeward mark followed by Jude, Greg, Charlie and Taylor. In the light shifty breeze and scorching sun one of the sailors had decided to remove their boots only to 'capsize in a gust' and lose one overboard. Jude made it to the finish first with Greg rapidly approaching in 2nd place, and a one booted Annabel came home in 3rd.

After a late lunch, where strangely the ski boats were not on the water either, race 3 was scheduled for 3.45pm. Will and Kate were the early leaders. Kate, as the previous week, spent most of the race at the front of the fleet. Maybe she was dreaming of the first race win at a Midlands Traveller that she missed out on the previous week. Alas, it was not to be as a remarkably close finish saw Greg win and take his second traveller win of this year's series. Meanwhile towards the back of the fleet the first timers of the Chase Youth Sailing were tenaciously battling the ever changing wind direction and strength not to mention the washing machine effect caused by the ski club who only seemed to be out when we were on the water.

Time had run out and the day was ended one race early. A special honourable mention should go to Merryn Attridge who went to the aid of Delyth Hopkins who was struggling to haul her boat out to the point where an adult could assist. Again, despite far from ideal conditions, a good day out for the travellers, a great experience and confidence boost for the Chase Youth Sailors and a great performance from the regular Chase Topper sailors with two of their sailors, Taylor Berry and Callum Anderson scoring a top 10 result. Many thanks to Chase Sailing Club and its members for organising the event and for their warm friendly welcome that they extended to us all.

Chase SC Midlands Topper Traveller 2018 Prize Winners:

1st overall, Greg Cornes (Chase SC)
2nd overall, Kate Robertson (Swarkestone SC)
3rd overall, Will Thomas (Notts County SC)
1st U14, Taylor Berry (Chase SC)
1st Master, Steve Turner (Chase SC)
1st Chase Youth Sailing, Ethan Horsley (Chase SC)
2nd Chase Youth Sailing, Delyth Hopkins (Chase SC)
3rd Chase Youth Sailing, Huw Hopkins (Chase SC)

Full results can be found here and the series to date can be found here.

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