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Topper round-up from GJW National Series and GJW National Championships

by Dave Rowe 16 Sep 2022 04:58 PDT
GJW Direct Topper National Championships podium © Ruth Attridge

It's been a fantastic race year for Topper sailors competing in the GJW National series (NS) events around the country and the GJW Nationals held at WPNSA.

NS events had suffered cancellations during the Covid pandemic so although Covid was still having an effect with some sailors unable to attend, the excitement to be back racing at NS events was intense.

Round 1, Day 1 held at Datchet Water sailing club and the wind forgot to turn up so no racing. Sunday was a better day with a light breeze and Lily Browning was to take R1 win and with 3 more consistent results Win the Autumn Championship Title in the 5.3 fleet and Holly Norton with two race wins took the 4.2 title.

NS2 Winter Championship

This was scheduled for the end of February just as the UK was hit by a number of storms and the race committee made the decision early in the week to cancel which when the weekend arrived was an excellent decision as WPNSA was gusting over 30 knots on both days.

NS3 Inland Championship at Grafham Water

Entries were up on NS1 as Covid was having less impact on sailors and their families. The forecast was light but for 2 days the breeze blew just above forecast and the racing was tight with multiple race winners. Joe Rowe was to take the title in the 5.3 Fleet and Jacob Davis in the 4.2 fleet.

NS4 Costal Championship

Scheduled to be in the east of the UK but just weeks before a change of venue was needed. Plas Heli was the new venue and this set sailors and parents a challenge in logistics, numbers were slightly down but still a great turnout showing how keen the Topper sailors are to get racing in big fleets.

Light winds again and Jess Powell was consistent on day one in the two races held. Day 2 and Joe Rowe took two race wins to take the title of Coastal Champion in the 5.3 Fleet. The 4.2s completed the same number of four races and Thomas Semmens came out on top after two race wins.

NS5 End of season Championship at Rutland water was a windy one and many of the fleet had been waiting a long time for this.

The racing was fantastic with lots of thrills and spills but Leo Yates was to come out on top to win the 5.3 Title. 4.2s battled hard and Harry Sims constant results won the 4.2 fleet.

This was also the last event in the series and with two championship wins Joe Rowe was the overall National series Winner, with Lilly Browning taking second place and Alex Jones in third.

The 4.2 fleet with a different winner at each event was close racing with Thomas Semmens in first, Harry Mitchell second and Harry Simms in third.

ITCA GBR Nationals

WPNSA was host to the GJW National championship in mid August, with sailors dashing back from Lake Garda. They were greeted with some great weather albeit lighter winds.

The 5.3 fleet was flighted and due to race a two days qualifying followed by three days of Finals. The two days of qualifying in difficult breeze delivered four races and this decided the split in to gold and silver fleets.

Lilly Browning, Alex Jones, Tom and Bobby Driscoll all sailed well going into the finals.

After some tricky results some sailors decided the 6.4 was the way to go and with the support of Topper sailboats providing rigs six sailors raced the final three days in the 6.4 rig, joining in with the sliver fleet start and recording a separate set of results.

Day 1, Lilly Browning started strong with two race wins and Merryn Attridge match this winning races 3 and 4. Lily not giving up bounced back to take race 5 and 6 and with only 1 discard due to the number of races sailed it would be the consistency of Merryn's results that would see him take the event honours and the title of 2022 National Champion, with Bobby Driscoll in 2nd and Lilly Browning 3rd.

Silver Fleet was won by Finley Waterhouse and 6.4 fleet honours go to Daniel McGregor.

A fleet of 25 4.2s completed 12 races a two way battle between Thomas Semmens and Jacob Davies, it was Thomas Semmens with extremely consistent results that took the 4.2 National Championship title.

Thanks go to GJW as title sponsor, Rooster, Harken, and Optimum Time as class sponsors and a special mention for Russ Dent of Topper sailboats who provided full shoreside support at all the series events and Nationals.

We look forward to this years racing starting this weekend with NS1 South at Island Barn.

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