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Scottish Topper Traveller at the RYA Scotland Late Summer Championships at Loch Tummel Sailing Club

by Gavin Homer & Kian Sterritt 7 Oct 2022 00:55 PDT
Finlay Briggs, 2nd - Scottish Topper Traveller at the RYA Scotland Late Summer Championships at Loch Tummel © Marc Turner / RYA Scotland

34 toppers split evenly between the regatta and main fleets turned up the final Scottish Topper traveller of 2022. The event was round 3 of the 22/23 travellers but due to the postponement of round 2 at Stonehaven it had been a month since the fleet had managed to race against each other.

Some of the fleet decided to head up on Friday night to get a good camping slot as the event was a multi class regatta, the optimist, feva, ILCA 6, techno's and Q foilers also competing. Saturday morning and competitors woke or arrived to find it was definitely not late summer but Autumnal as the first frost of the year had arrived.Some wit had even posted it was the late winters on his FB post.

Following the usual excellent Tummel bacon rolls the race committee headed out to see what the wind was like. With a northerly forecasted and light wind, it was always going to be tricky. The regatta fleet managed to launch first and they got some good training in before they headed in for lunch.

Just as the regatta fleet headed in the breeze filled to about 10 knots at the club from the north and breeze was present on the racecourse so the main fleet headed out. Your correspondent was happy that he had stayed on shore rather than helping with mark laying as at one point the windsurfer's course had an easterly, the topper course was a westerly and the club still had a northerly.

The breeze did settle down enough with a mean direction of NW but with large shifts, gust and lulls to keep sailors on their toes especially as some puffs were much localised. Thomas Loosely managed the snakes and ladders best to win the race followed by Henry Agius and Finlay Briggs.

Race 2 got under way but was abandoned due to the wind dying but not before sailors saw the optimists running towards them as they were also heading downwind. With N over H raised as the wind died, the fleet paddled /rocked or were towed ashore.

Meanwhile post lunch the regatta fleet headed out for some racing in a bit more consistent breeze. They managed to get two races in before they the wind totally disappeared.

Following an excellent evening meal by the club the parents that stayed on site were able to relax, enjoy a glass of wine, catch with fleet members, meet other parents within the RYA system, and share their experiences.

Sunday, as per forecast the wind had shifted round to the west so first positive point was it wasn't as cold overnight, next was with the breeze heading more down the loch meant the breeze was going to be more consistent, but with the breeze forecasted to rise to 30 plus knots the race committee were keen to start sharply.

Race 2 started on time with the breeze at about 10 knots and Ben Homer led the way round the course to win the race by a clear margin followed by Emily Shearer and Finlay Briggs.

Race 3 your correspondent was on the water but was assigned to the outer loop so could do a great write up on the Scottish optimist fleet. He did not have the opportunity to follow the topper fleet up the first beat but by the time they reached the mark to head down the last run Ben Homer had pulled through the fleet to lead followed by Cameron McDaid and Henry.

Race 4 started the fleet was still on P flag and X flag went up at the start, most of the top sailor's wanted to be at the committee boat pushed themselves over the line but knew they had misbehaved and all restarted correctly but the fun then started as the first puff as per forecast came in. As the top end sailors were revelling in the conditions they had experienced Rutland at the end of June, the lighter or less experienced sailors were trying to manage the conditions that they would usually be reefed in or had never raced in.

Following the gust the wind did it's usual at Tummel and died back to 10 knots for the fleet to enjoy a competitive 2nd beat and run to the finish.Ben continued his winning streak followed by Finlay Briggs and Cameron McDaid.

With judicious use of the U flag in various fleets, the committee was on plan with approx. 40 minutes race time for the leaders and a turnaround time for a race of an hour.

The Oppis started race 5 and your correspondent had thought the wind had lightened but there were a few large shifts towards the right but the top sailor seemed to be in the right place at the right time. As they neared the windward mark, the breeze slightly increased and off I went to the outer loop. The breeze continued to increase so the run on the outer loop was always going to be interesting place be as several boats were death rolling down the run.

Ben Homer continued to lead the way followed by Henry Aguis and Finlay Briggs The finishers headed back to the start area for race 6 (5 on the day), the breeze increased again, the race officer decided with it gusting over 25 knots there should be no more racing for the day and the fleet headed home.

Regatta Fleet - day 2

We headed out straight after the main fleet on Sunday to try to get some races in before the forecasted increase in wind. We managed 2 competitive standard format races with everyone putting in their best efforts to get around a triangle course with no problems! Just as we looked set to start a 3rd race the forecasted breeze did indeed kick in meaning we were forced to retreat and regather on shore.

After a short break to catch, our breath lots of the sailors were still keen to get out on the water and have some fun. So after a wee discussion and practical shore session on how to reef and de-power our sails we split into 2 groups; one group taking part in team relay race reaching out to a buoy and back and the other completing an obstacle course ashore (with added knot-tying challenges!) before swapping over.

By the close of the weekend, we had completed four standard-format races as well as plenty of extra fun, games and learning along the way. All thanks to both the individual and team efforts of all the regatta sailors, volunteers and coaches.

The coaches indeed found it quite a challenge to narrow it down to five additional Prizes awarded to sailors for exemplifying the British Youth Sailing Values and Behaviours! A fun weekend for all and hopefully good motivation heading into the winter training period.

With all sailors ashore and enjoying the tray bakes the overall results came out. In the regatta fleet Sandy Reid won from Jonah Bell followed by Lottie Kohn. Meanwhile in the main fleet Ben Homer won following by Finlay Briggs with Henry Agius in third.

Going forward with the 2022 season the Scottish topper fleet still a busy winter with the RYA Scotland Academy program and also the opportunity to head down to NS 1 North at Leigh and Lowton SC in early November.

Regatta Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st47952Sandy Reid‑4331411
2ndR3Jonah Bell1‑544312
3rd48665Lotte Kohn5‑726720
4th8Rowan Munro767‑10121
5th48590Catherine Serrano‑131182223
6th45407Max Young24(DNC)71023
7th48350Duncan MacKinnon9‑12131124
8th45267Lily Rodgers‑11859527
9th45189Jess Barron‑141912628
10th37564Laura Eleanor Leona Greig89(DNC)8934
11thR8Hordiy Balfour31013‑161339
12th46353Henry Macintyre10136‑151443
13thR5Christian Armas12‑141013843
14th60504Cicely Blair‑17212141745
15th45737Orlagh Macdonald‑16151151546
16th21694Emilia EWER15‑1714111252
17th6Finlay NUTT616(DNC)171655

Main Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st48096Ben Homer‑411114
2nd48582Finley Briggs33‑42311
3rd48661Henry Agius2‑535212
4th48716Thomas Looseley145‑7414
5th47303Cameron McDaid5623‑716
6th48264Emily Shearer‑7264517
7th21545Harry Rooksby67‑106625
8th48100Josh Milroy8878(DNC)31
9th48211Rohan O'Kane‑1511129840
10th413Sam Milroy91011‑141040
11th48050Eva Farnell‑1299121242
12th48818Tristan Somerville1114810(DNC)43
13th46128James McPherson13‑151411947
14th46940Freya Millar(DNC)1213131149
15th45962Marcel Nalewajko10161515(DNC)56
16th48059Lucy Leyshon141716(DNC)1360
17th48585Edward Wrigley161317(OCS)DNC64

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