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Midlands Topper Traveller 2022-2023 Series Round 3 at Notts County Sailing Club

by Mike Powell 15 Dec 2022 08:24 PST 10 December 2022
Coach Rachel Heggs helping the new sailors - Midlands Topper Traveller Series Round 3 at Notts County © Claire Turner

After a longer than normal gap between Traveller events, due to accommodation of the recent ITCA NS1 North event, the Midlands Topper Traveller Series was back into full swing with Round 3 at Notts County Sailing Club on Saturday 10th December 2022.

Notts County is a strong supporter of the Midlands Topper scene and typically delivers one of the highest entry turn-outs of the season. This event would again not disappoint as we had over 35 sailors entering making this highest entry of the series so far.

It was also great to see Heather Quinn and Gwyneth Lanyon, both from Notts County coming out of "Topper retirement" to take part in a what was going to be a very closely race day.

Forecast was low temperatures and low winds; however the South Westerly wind direction meant the Race Officer was confident the event could go ahead. The event was also supported by coach; Rachel Heggs who would be on hand, both on and off the water to provide support and encouragement to our new Midlands Topper Sailors.

Upon arrival, it was immediately evident that the race officer's experience had brought about the right decision as we were greeted with blue skies and a 6-8 knot consistent breeze down the length of the venue. This meant a great course could be set using the maximum length for the upwind beat.

Being fully aware of the limited daylight hours, the team at Notts County were keen to get under way on time with Race 1 starting just after 10.30am. It would be Katherine Gunn (Notts County) and Jessica Powell (Draycote) who would continue their battle from previous traveller events, with Katherine edging into the lead at the windward mark.

Jessica then set about chasing Katherine down the run to get within a boat length as they reached the Leeward mark, however Katherine kept her cool on the second beat, increasing the gap to Jessica and taking the race win with Heather Quinn (Notts County) starting her return to Topper racing with a very strong third place.

With the direction of the wind being very consistent, Race 2 was under way quickly and the beat was evenly split. Felicity Angell (Draycote Water) had a narrow lead from Jessica Powell at the windward mark, with the chasing pack of local sailor Cillian Dyne, Heather Quinn and race 1 winner Katherine Gunn.

Jessica was able to get windward of Felicity on the reach and tuck back in at the next mark to take the lead, this is a lead that Jessica would maintain, taking race 2 honours and with the chasing pack catching Felicity; it would now be a dual to see who would finish second and third.

It looked like it would be Cillian followed by Heather, however with some excellent sailing, Katherine got herself onto starboard to cross both of them to snatch second place, followed by an excellent sail by Cillian to take third.

So, at the halfway point it would be Jessica, just ahead of Katherine on equal points, with Heather just a couple of points behind. 4.2 classification was being led by Hari Clark (Draycote) with 2 very consistently strong results (14th and 16th position) in the first two races.

After a short break the sailors were back out water for race 3, it was Jessica who was straight out of the blocks and took a commanding lead from the start with Katherine and Gwyneth looking to chase her down and Sammy Mason (Notts County) close behind in fourth place.

As forecasted, the wind was starting to drop, Jessica was able to stretch her lead to take the overall win with Katherine in second and Gwyneth putting in her best result of the day so far, finishing third.

With one race remaining, Jessica had maintained her event lead with two wins and a second place, with Katherine 1 point behind.

Race 4 got under way and Gwyneth Lanyon took an early lead off the start-line from Heather Quinn. Katherine knew that only a win could give her event victory chased hard and with the wind continuing to drop, the Race Officer made the right decision to finish the race at the second mark on lap 2.

Gwyneth maintained the lead to win with Heather close behind followed by Katherine taking third place.

So, it was Jessica Powell (Draycote) who would take the event win with two race wins and a second place, with Katherine Gunn (Notts County) second and Gwyneth Lanyon (Notts County) finishing third.

4.2 classification honours went to Hari Clark (Draycote), followed by James Burton (Notts County).

The award for the "Top Topper True Grit" award was presented by the event coach, Rachel Heggs to Ari Doel who at her first Topper Traveller, worked hard all day and did not let the tricky conditions beat her. Well Done!

Congratulations to Jessica Powell (Event Winner), Hari Clark (4.2 Winner) and our "True Grit" Topper Sailor; Ari Doel.

Thank you to Notts County SC for running an amazing event and making all of the Topper Sailors and families so welcome. It was an excellent day of sailing and we really look forward to returning to Notts County SC very soon.

The 2022/2023 Series is really hotting up with a real duel going on between Jessica and Katherine for the title which is certain to continue throughout the remaining events with a number of other sailors starting to show their championship potential such as Keali Rhodes (Northampton) with her very consistent sailing now moving herself into overall 3rd place.

The 4.2s are being led by Alex Chadborn (Notts County), however Hari Clark, with only two counting results so far has moved himself up into second place in the classification. It is all to play for across the fleets.

Thanks also to our event Sponsors; Topper Sailboats; Rooster and GJW Direct for their continued support of Midlands Topper Traveller Series

Also, thanks to Rachel Heggs for supporting our new sailors on and off the water, it really made a difference and with Rachels encouragement, it really helped with their sailing development and enjoyment throughout the event. We are hoping to have Rachel at most (if not all) of the remaining events of the 2022/2023 to support our new Midlands Topper Sailors.

The next event in the series is Round 4 at Hollowell Sailing Club on Saturday 7th January 2023, Entry is now open and booking in is through the ITCA Website. We look forward to you joining us there.

If any Junior Midland Topper sailors are interested in participating at the ITCA Midlands Traveller events, it is a great opportunity to enter a friendly and local race series. Please contact us on the email address if you would like any more information.

Area website:

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5.346391Jessica Powell211‑44
2nd5.348571Kat Gunn122‑35
3rd5.346168Gwyneth Lanyon‑75319
4th5.347023Heather Quinn34‑729
5th5.347354Sammy Mason5‑64514
6th5.347794Felicity Angell4‑76717
7th5.346770Cillian Dyne‑838819
8th5.348907Keali Rhodes‑1095620
9th5.348193Jasper Focardi Dolling6109‑1125
10th5.346971Oscar Rowe98‑101027
11th5.349038Jake Blakeway‑131312934
12th5.346241Oli Rogers121213‑1437
13th5.342257Daisy Jones‑1614141240
14th5.325187Keira Lee17‑22161346
15thTopper 4.247533Hari Clark1416‑201747
16th5.329090Ari Doel18‑191118.547.5
17th5.342356Oliver Baron(UFD)151718.550.5
18th5.320665Maddie Gregg‑2117152153
19th5.348535Chloe Grayton1111(DNC)DNC57
20th5.345370Peter Astley15(DNC)192357
21st5.346135Jai Dhaliwal22(DNC)211659
22ndTopper 4.2123James Burton1920‑222059
23rdTopper 4.236182Alex Chadborn‑2623231561
24th5.346124Laurie Lamb242118‑2563
25thTopper 4.245747Ed Whittaker20‑25242468
26th5.343526Charlie Millward‑2718262670
27thTopper 4.248214Peter Gathergood‑2824252271
28th5.348166Ben Wallis23(DNC)DNCDNC93
29th5.348798Izzy Ritchie25(DNC)DNCDNC95
30th5.346512Alex Stainton(DNC)DNCDNCDNC105
30th5.347222Georgia Riddell(DNC)DNCDNCDNC105
30thTopper 4.241858Harry Mallen(DNC)DNCDNCDNC105
30th5.344036Dilara Soyer(DNC)DNCDNCDNC105
30th5.348165Eddie Quinn(DNC)DNCDNCDNC105

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