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Rooster 2023 - LEADERBOARD

ITCA Midlands Topper Traveller 2022/2023 Series

by Mike Powell 3 May 23:25 PDT
Close Sailing on the run during Bartley SC Traveller Round 1 © Megan Hardiman

For the 2022/2023 Midlands Traveller Series we scheduled in eight events taking the Topper sailors to 8 different venues across the whole Midlands region.

This series would see the traveller series visiting new clubs but also returning to many of the regular Midlands clubs such as Notts County, Bartley and Draycote. This would make the series very exciting and deliver some amazingly close racing throughout the fleet.

For the Midlands Traveller Series, the sailor is able to choose between the 5.3 or 4.2 size sail, these would be scored as a single fleet and then results broken out to award their respective positions, dependant on their sail size and with the racing taking place from September 2022 through to April 2023, this gave all of the sailors the opportunity to sail in a wide variety of wind and weather conditions.

Additionally, for the 2022-2023 Series, we have introduced a new initiative of providing coach support (aka Rachel Heggs) for the newer and younger sailors in the fleet to ensure we help with their development as they go forward in the sailing journey. This proved to be very successful and the feedback we have received is it has really helped to motivate the sailors to stay on the water for more of the races and ensure they had a great time at our Midlands Traveller Events!

The series kicked off with Round 1 at Bartley SC which a healthy number of sailors due to this also being a RYA Regional Training Group Indicator Event. The winds delivered with us having a Medium 10-14 knot breeze in a southerly direction. Katherine Gunn (Notts County SC) would be first out the blocks, winning Round 1 from Jessica Powell (Draycote Water SC) followed by Keali Rhodes (Northampton SC) in 3rd. For the 4.2 Classification, Morris Mellor (Draycote Water SC), making his only appearance of the series dominating this from Alex Chadborn (Notts County SC) in 2nd.

Onto Round 2, the Midlands Topper Sailors headed to South Staffs SC at the beginning of October. South Staffs SC is unique in our calendar as it features an Island in the middle of the water which the sailors must navigate past and with the gusting wind conditions, this was going to prove to be tricky and certainly had the capability to make or break a sailor's race. It would see Jessica Powell winning the event with 4 straight wins followed by Katherine Gunn in 2nd place and Sammy Mason (Notts County SC) taking 3rd. We also had a different winner in the 4.2 sail from the previous event and it was fellow Draycote Water sailor, Ed Whittaker taking the honours ahead of local South Staffs member, Mia Hateley in 2nd.

After a small gap in the calendar, due to the rearranged Topper National Series Event, we were now into December and Round 3 brought us a very cold day, where some of the inland waters had frozen over - but not at our host venue, Notts County SC. We were fortunate that everything was ok and the event could go ahead as planned. It was also great to see Heather Quinn and Gwyneth Lanyon, both from Notts County coming out of "Topper retirement" to take part in the event, just showing how popular Topper Sailing is in the Midlands.

Jessica secured her 2nd event win of the series, with Katherine in 2nd and Hari Clark winning the 4.2's.

The series was starting to take shape with it becoming clear that the battle for the Series title was going to potentially be between Jessica and Katherine who both had locked out the top 2 places at the first 3 events of the series. Keali Rhodes (Northampton SC) was sailing consistently well and moved up to a series 3rd place. The 4.2 sailors were just as close with Alex Chadborn leading just ahead of Hari Clark.

Round 4 and we were into the new year at Hollowell Sailing Club. The forecast was for it to be windy, however upon arrival, the reality was that the wind had dropped significantly. We had a number of club sailors trying Topper Travellers for the first time which was great to see as this would lead to a number of Hollowell sailors joining the Traveller Series for future events.

Jessica, looking to capitalise on the previous 2 event success's put in a clean sheet of race wins ahead of Imogen Green (Draycote Water SC) in 2nd. This now put Jessica in a strong position at the halfway stage of the series, however it was still all to fight for. On the 4.2 side, Ben Angell (Draycote Water SC) took the event classification win in his first appearance in the series ahead of Alex Stainton (Hollowell SC) and with the discards kicking in it would see Alex Chadborn, who did not attend the Round 4 still leading, just ahead of Hari Clark.

Round 5 was due to be at Blithfield SC which is a new event on the Midlands Topper Traveller calendar, however due to thick fog, the event was unable to run. This was disappointing as we were all looking forward to sailing here, however the club are very keen to have us back and we already have a date in the calendar with the club as part of our 2023/2024 Series.

We had better luck with the weather for Round 6 of our series which was held at Banbury SC. With 2 discards in the series, Jessica was in the box seat to clinch the series if she was able to win the event, however if Katherine was able to take the event honours it would throw the series wide open again. The winds were due to be stronger in the morning with a dropping forecast in the afternoon and Jessica put in a further 4 straight wins to seal the series result for the 2nd year running, with 2 events remaining. Chloe Grayton had a very strong day and secured 2nd place and her best result of the series. Hari Clark went one better than Round 4 and took the 4.2 classification honours moving him closer to Alex Chadborn in the battle for who would win the 4.2 Series.

Onto Round 7 at Northampton where the sailors were greeted with very strong winds which would really test the sailors as this was the first real windy event of the series. With Northampton being a larger facility, they were able to set a trapezoidal course and it was Jessica Powell who led the fleet again winning the event in the windy conditions followed by Katherine Gunn and Jake Blakeway (Trimpley SC). A number of sailors chose to use the 4.2 rig, which made this very competitive with Thomas Matthews (Grafham Water SC) joining the Midlands Traveller Series for the first time and taking the fleet win (and 8th overall) from Ben Angell in 2nd.

Onto our final event of the season, this was at Draycote Water SC on 22nd April 2023 where we had over 35 sailors entering and with this with also being the presentation of the series awards, it looked set for a great day. 1st and 2nd had been decided in the overall series, but 3rd was still there for the taking between Jasper Focardi Dolling (Dovey YC) and Chloe Grayton (Notts County SC).

Winds were light and it was visiting North Sailor, Jasper Bramwell (Hollingworth Lake) who would take the event win with 4 straight race wins, from Jessica Powell in 2nd and Jasper Focardi Dolling taking 3rd, meaning that Jasper would pip Chloe to take 3rd in the series.

Coming into the last event of the series, only 2 points would separate the top 3 in the 4.2 classification with Ed Whittaker (Draycote Water SC) leading from Hari Clark and Alex Chadborn, just behind. Hari would make the most of the light winds and take the 4.2 title ahead of Ed and then Alex.

With the 2022/2023 Midlands Traveller series now complete, it would be overall Series winner: Jessica Powell defending the title and again claiming the coveted ITCA Midlands Series Jacket and perpetual Topper Series Trophy, taking 5 event wins and finishing in the top 2 at every event. Katherine Gunn would finish the series in 2nd place ahead of Jasper Focardi Dolling in 3rd.

Hari Clark won the 4.2 sail classification with his excellent run of form and now received for the first time a 4.2 Winners Jacket, followed by Ed Whittaker in 2nd and Alex Chadborn in 3rd.

Under 13 honours went to Chloe Grayton who had sailed amazingly well throughout the series, finishing 4th overall.

Oliver Baron (Staunton Harold SC) won "Endeavour Award" and presented with our new Endeavour Perpetual Trophy. This award for the series was given for his fabulous effort and determination throughout all of the Midlands Topper Traveller Events, recognising when conditions meant the 4.2 sail would be his better option and benefiting with some terrific results.

Well done to every Sailor who took part in the series, it was great that we managed to run 7 of our 8 planned events and there were over 60 sailors entered from 5 different regions.

Overall Results:

PosChamp No.Sail No.HelmRigR1 BartleyR2 South StaffsR3 NottsR4 HollowellR6 BanburyR7 NorthamptonR8 DraycotePts
1st61146391Jessica Powell5.3‑211111‑25
2nd23548571Katherine Gunn5.3122‑332‑510
3rd18948193Jasper Focardi Dolling5.34‑5‑9444319
4th31548535Chloe Grayton5.354‑19626‑923
5th2648907Keali Rhodes5.336‑8765‑827
6th35349038Jake Blakeway5.377‑119(DNC)31036
7th2746971Oscar Rowe5.38‑1110877‑1140
8th20546241Oli Rogers5.36(DNC)1211822.5(DNC)59.5
9th17645370Peter Astley5.39(DNC)20(DNC)10141669
10th35642356Oliver Baron5.3131617‑28‑18121775
11th25046124Laurie Lamb5.31117‑241611‑22.52176
12th61347354Sammy Mason5.3(DNC)3555(DNC)DNC83
13th14747533Hari Clark4.2(DNC)2115191416‑2485
14th24245747Ed Whittaker4.2(DNC)1225201911‑2787
15th2536182Alex Chadborn4.2141523(DNC)1718‑3287
16th361123James Burton4.216232223(DNC)10‑2594
17th19541858Harry Mallen4.21518(DNC)242315‑2995
18th28546135Jai Dhaliwal5.3(DNC)(DNC)2121151731105
19th87148214Peter Gathergood4.21722272721(DNC)‑34114
20th16147023Charlie Millward5.3(DNC)(DNC)26221622.528114.5
21st30448367Matthew Gayler5.3(DNC)9(DNC)1312DNC22121
22nd80547738William Clarke4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNC17201330145
23rd34547762Edward Croxton4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNC182222.526153.5
24th2331767William Mawby‑Groom5.3(DNC)8(DNC)109DNCDNC157
25th17747762Alex Stainton5.3(DNC)14(DNC)15DNCDNC15174
26th67344165Emily Dengate5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNC1413DNC23180
27th25547613Ben Angell4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNC12DNC9DNC216
28th34945197Sam Udal‑Bell4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNC2924DNC33216
29th57546007Thomas Matthews4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC819222
30th58848798Izzy Ritchie5.310(DNC)29(DNC)DNCDNCDNC234
31st21842830Charlie ONeill5.3(DNC)19(DNC)DNCDNC22.5DNC236.5
32nd Y61Finn Neal4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNC30DNC22.5DNC247.5
33rd 17515Ruby Tildesely5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC22.535.5253
33rd12228381Alexander Mulhall4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC22.535.5253
35th17048719Jasper Bramwell5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC1261
36th27548653Imogen Green5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNC2DNCDNCDNC262
37th24746168Gywneth Lanyon5.3(DNC)(DNC)3DNCDNCDNCDNC263
38th6747181Clem Middle5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC4264
39th66723AHeather Quinn5.3(DNC)(DNC)4DNCDNCDNCDNC264
40th62744036Dilara Soyer5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC6266
41st26747794Felicity Angell5.3(DNC)(DNC)6DNCDNCDNCDNC266
42nd9248681Ava Harris‑Scott5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC7267
43rd 46770Cillian Dyne5.3(DNC)(DNC)7DNCDNCDNCDNC267
44th19247222Georgia Riddell5.3(DNC)10(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC270
45th66648667Bronwen Thomas5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC12272
46th7748324Morris Mellor4.212(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC272
47th28548974Nathan Clark5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC13273
48th 42257Daisy Jones5.3(DNC)(DNC)13DNCDNCDNCDNC273
49th  Mia Hateley4.2(DNC)13(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC273
50th64447316Vincent Shorter5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC14274
51st 25187Kiera Lee5.3(DNC)(DNC)14DNCDNCDNCDNC274
52nd 29090Ari Doel5.3(DNC)(DNC)16DNCDNCDNCDNC276
53rd 26027Bear Odling5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC18278
54th 20665Maddie Gregg5.3(DNC)(DNC)18DNCDNCDNCDNC278
55th 41441Audrey Yang4.218(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC278
56th15848258Nayth Kukla5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC20280
57th 47101Lizzie Cook4.2(DNC)20(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC280
58th Y62Amelie Renard4.2(DNC)(DNC)DNC25DNCDNCDNC285
59th Y3Liv Beswick5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNC26DNCDNCDNC286
60th 48166Ben Wallis5.3(DNC)(DNC)28DNCDNCDNCDNC288
61st 41983Ollie Green5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC325
61st16048165Eddie Quinn5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC325
61st 42296Rosie Griffith5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC325
61st 46531Lara Griffith5.3(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC325

We are looking forward to our 2023/2024 Traveller Series starting in September 2023. Dates and venues are already in place and information for these are available on the ITCA Website

Thanks to all the hosting clubs for all the support given during the series to the Topper Sailors. Also a huge thank you to Topper Sailboats, Rooster and GJW Direct for their continued support of the Midlands Topper Travellers.

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.

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