Please select your home edition

GJW Direct Topper UK National Championships 2023 at Plas Heli

by Jessica Powell 11 Sep 11:15 PDT
On the reach (Day 5) - Jessica Powell wins the GJW Direct Topper UK National Championships © Fiona Spence

Very quickly after the Topper World Championships in Cork I was then at the 2023 Topper Nationals in Plas Heli and with over 130 Sailors in the 5.3 fleet it meant that there would be flighted starts.

Plas Heli is a great sailing venue and the class association had organised some very good evening activities to make the event very enjoyable including having a sailor's hub which was lots of fun. Everyone was looking forward to the BBQ on Thursday evening where we could all meet up and enjoy the live music.

The weather forecast for the week looked very varied ranging from light winds at the start of the week, to very heavy wind conditions being forecast on the final day.

For me, my first Nationals at WPNSA last year had been a real challenge as I was not able to have consistent results and I could not work out why. This year, I have been able to work hard on this and was hoping I could take the confidence from a great 2022/2023 National Series and World Championships going into the Nationals.

Measurement and registration took place on the Sunday with qualification on Monday and Tuesday and the finals happening on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The number of points carried through to the final series would be your position after qualifying (non-discardable), so my target was to put myself in the best position as possible after qualification.

On the first day of qualification the winds were medium WSW breeze and my first race did not go as planned, finishing 13th in my flight as I struggled a little. However, the next two races were a lot better as I managed to win both giving me 2 ducks and put me in 3rd at the end of the first day.

Tuesday's wind was slightly lighter with a change of wind direction to NW. The course direction changed and with a weak current at Plas Heli, we were able to complete the 3 scheduled races where I managed to achieve all top 3 results, and another duck for a race win. At the end of qualifying I was lying 1st overall and would be wearing the yellow leader race bib on the Wednesday for the start of finals which I was super excited about.

The winds just kept getting lighter during the event and on Wednesday we had 5 knots from the south. Only 2 races were completed in difficult conditions, I finished in 9th and 2nd and was still just leading by 1 point from Leo O'Doherty (493) and Alex Jones (114).

On to day 2 of the finals and the planned launch to get four races in was delayed due to more low winds in a South direction, we did not launch until the afternoon when the wind picked up enough. Only two races were completed and I managed another race win and a 6th place which meant I would be going into the final day still wearing the leader's race bib, but it was again only with a 1 point lead from new World Champion, Alex Jones.

With the last day forecast being windy, there were four of us that looked like we could win the event (Leo O Doherty, Luke Simpson, Alex Jones and I) and I knew I was going to have to sail well. I set myself a goal that I still wanted to have the yellow bib at the end of the day.

On Friday, it was very windy. I had been practising a lot with my wave technique as I know this has been an area I have needed to work on, especially living in the Midlands. Three races were planned and I had the most amazing day, winning all three races and becoming the 2023 Topper National Champion!

I am so pleased to have won this as I have worked so hard with my training and preparation. The World Championships had been a hard week and I was pleased with my fourth place overall (Junior World Champion) and then adding the win at the Nationals was just amazing.

The class association (ITCA) put on a brilliant event and really made it very special. It was also great to have the support of Russ Dent (Topper) at the event all week, helping all the sailors with repairs and advice.

A special thanks to Tom Goodbourn who was my coach for this event and was very supportive to me and gave me lots of encouragement and to my parents.

Thanks to all the people who have supported me through the year (Fernhurst Books, Rooster & GLL Foundation) along with Draycote Academy.

I am really looking forward to getting back in my Topper and starting the new 2023/2024 season.

Gold Fleet Results:

PosNatSail NoHelmClubCarryR7R8R9R10R11R12R13Pts
1stGBR48677Jessica PowellDraycote Water SC1‑926111113
2ndGBR48433Alex JonesParkstone YC7511262‑1624
3rdIRL‑47655Luke SimpsonCounty Antrim YC6493313‑222260
4thGBR49098Thomas SemmensBrixham YC/Paignton SC210614‑161571064
5thGBR49096Jasper Focardi DollingDovey YC8316195‑2311668
6thIRL47644Leo O'DohertySligo YC913104‑30261770
7thGBR47863Rory ClowIsland Barn Reservoir SC1735104934‑4682
8thGBR48733Peter TokajukIsland Barn Reservoir SC13‑46122071016583
9thGBR48571Kat GunnNotts County SC238‑20121211131897
10thGBR48600Zac ChappellParkstone YC51789(UFD)19357100
11thGBR48719Jasper BramwellHollingworth Lake SC434521‑3581730119
12thIRL‑49099Tom DriscollBallyholme YC/RNIYC35‑52392202149121
13thGBR48602William BrownIsland Barn1022827‑56171920123
14thGBR48667Bronwen ThomasPembrokeshire PSA162030233112‑4111143
15thIRL‑49097Emily MacafeeBallyholme YC44‑63351636932145
16thGBR48320Harry MitchellErith YC/King George SC20491552624(DNC)8147
17thGBR48907Keali RhodesNorthampton SC / Draycote sc381114‑3919361023151
18thGBR47676Seb DaviesWarsash SC411326‑302872512152
19thGBR47303Cameron McDaidLargs SC1425(UFD)532718184159
20thIRL‑49092Cormac ByrneBallyholme YC12‑6129112444634160
21stGBR48248Olly SmithParkstone YC34261772334‑4721162
22ndIRL47720Siun Ni ChoistealbhaMalahide YC3172733112733‑44169
23rdGBR48661Henry AgiusDalgety Bay SC47‑5437151525627172
24thGBR45768Torquil MorrisonEmsworth Slipper SC194148‑55482283189
25thGBR47028Leah MayIBRSC/Tsc43423137‑5816515189
26thGBR48568Thomas LooseleySt Andrews SC27‑5543183352736189
27thGBR48618George SpenceRipon SC5167133447‑4835193
28thGBR47782Felix HarleParkstone YC303923‑6313482813194
29thGBR47181Clem MiddleDraycote Water SC32113284420(RET)DNC196
30thGBR47830Ethan RhodesWarsash SC61161146628‑5142210
31stGBR47647Isla ToddIsland Barn Reservoir SC484038‑585014914213
32ndGBR48681Ava Harris‑ScottElton SC28225235172932‑53215
33rdGBR47173Dan PowellCardiff Bay YC2637‑444418392428216
34thGBR49176Harry DenceIsland Barn Reservoir SC3312182629‑595054222
35thGBR48579Henry MartinPortchester SC373825‑6054311226223
36thGBR44192Jago JenningsWaldingfield25443424‑45332938227
37thGBR48964Fred BuckleyYorkshire Dales SC57‑51454910262319229
38thGBR49184Emily ShearerDalgety Bay SC3248‑552947213432243
39thGBR49093Jensen JakobNBYC/Snowfakes SC2929‑61842533055246
40thGBR46447Ava FrancisSpinnaker SC362833223050‑5247246
41stGBR48535Chloe GraytonNotts County SC24‑57363453353729248
42ndIRL47721Rory Brennan‑HobbsNational YC1531414385855(DNC)251
43rdGBR47776Jake DaviesWarsash SC393244237‑545345252
44thGBR47634Abbey PennyHorning SC463021‑4040403839254
45thGBR46430Seb RobbDowns SC601851(UFD)25424025261
46thGBR49034Kieran VanhoutteEly SC22565036‑61372141263
47thGBR48508Joel TideyParkstone YC63‑53243239453633272
48thGBR48154Harry SimsLlandegfedd SC182746514938(RET)48277
49thGBR48974Nathan ClarkWaveney and Oulton Broad YC554542‑5243442040289
50thIRL49172Hannah WalshNational YC4536191763‑645656292
51stGBR47264Reuben LawranceBudworth SC/Errwood SC5919564522‑624449294
52ndIRL49164Grace KeatingLough Derg YC/National YC56333247414149‑58299
53rdGBR47734George BurdenParkstone YC66594957(UFD)321524302
54thIRL‑49175Iseult SpeirsBallyholme YC6414(UFD)312157RET57311
55thGBR48069Tild PhillippsSnettisham Beach SC50474738‑55494337311
56thGBR44036Dilara SoyerDraycote Academy2115(UFD)UFD3246DNCDNC315
57thGBR47731Isabel WilliscroftPaignton SC492422415263(RET)DNC318
58thGBR46915Theo HarleN/A54‑65636214554231321
59thGBR48679Harry WemyssHickling broad SC4050‑575646513150324
60thGBR48050Eva FarnellLargs SC42‑66622559434551327
61stGBR48526Robert holeHunts SC58‑60405060603943350
62ndGBR47853Izzy JohnsonChipstead SC112354(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC356
63rdGBR45506Finlay ToddIsland Barn Reservoir SC524360543861(DNC)DNC375
64thGBR45701Tabitha Blackman NorthwoodHunts SC62‑62586157525452396
65thGBR48318S BainesRudyard Lake SC656453485156(DNC)DNC404
66thGBR43911Flo ToveyMumbles YC5358595962(DNC)DNCDNC425

Silver Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubCarryR7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
1st46364Matthew EmersonSpinnaker SC/Warsash SC8258287‑12124
2nd49166Kate KennyWexford807‑18321110131
3rd49187Gloria SmithIBRSC6824‑3671635159
4th47625Ellie ThwaitesSnowflakes/NBYC/RNSYC7011213‑211515147
5th48087Baz Sanderson‑WoodLlandegfedd SC6927‑4162620171
6th49178Sam ClancyDesborough SC7626‑4611856178
7th47399Holly NortonParkstone YC671212113‑3118163
8th48758Kyla BaxterCovenham SC7415‑241152111161
9th48872Stan O'RourkeMalahide YC78814(UFD)3631207
10th48165Steffan WilliamsNew Quay YC721813‑2319414163
11th47350Louis VossParkstone YC10913‑254483166
12th47926Millie SmithParkstone YC7921156‑22128163
13th48246Keah EdwardsCam SC85142011‑3826185
14th46147Lara EagletonSDSC931461614‑329184
15th47732Edward LeeSaltash SC8363014‑55164208
16th49195Rohan O'KaneClyde Cruising Club86‑3531512835203
17th48652Lucas SymonsIsland Barn Reservoir SC90272210‑45177218
18th47653Amelia GilboyPaignton SC772312‑62291322238
19th44144Joshua Blackman NorthwoodHunts SC922891920‑5716241
20th47746Thomas PeaceWarsash SC8822‑372231913222
21st47833William Le GriceWarsash SC71201036(UFD)2051275
22nd45155Meg WebbWarsash SC1031920‑5393919262
23rd48140Lorien Howard‑McDonaldSnettisham Beach SC116311381037(DNC)282
24th48645Oliver WillettErith YC/Thorpe Bay YC96‑41339331925256
25th47730Henry MossDowns SC87‑54525122244276
26th46939Sophie Le GriceWarsash SC89‑382934352421270
27th48185Charlie ShiresStokes Bay / JETs734(UFD)45524123305
28th48145Helena Mills BowersParkstone YC81165627751(DNC)305
29th21545Harry RooksbyAberdeen & Stonehaven95‑602829501427303
30th46772Honor HopkinBarry YC/Cardiff Bay YC1003426173630(DNC)310
31st46768Natasha BakerMumbles YC9429‑4730441042296
32nd48581Efa ThomasCardiff Bay YC97551928‑581834309
33rd49007Sam MorleyLlandegfedd SC102(DNC)DNC12UFD22319
34th47299Xavier BramwellHollingworth Lake SC1112553543‑6033312
35th48315Eve WealthyStokes Bay SC/JETs10143458‑462532300
36th47641Connor ParishStokes Bay SC91394933‑562729324
37th48744Thomas RobinsonStokes Bay SC983023(UFD)235838337
38th47220Clay Sanderson‑WoodLlandegfedd SC11510392615(DNC)DNC339
39th47857Tayah GilboyPaignton SC106334047‑492917321
40th48153Leo YatesIsland Barn / Shoreham75(DNC)DNCDNCDNC11345
41st48818Tristan SomervilleHelensburgh SC994431512433(DNC)349
42nd48148Sofia EatonSnettisham Beach SC10491754(UFD)5247350
43rd48672Oscar RoweDraycote SC12331383734‑4837348
44th47743Thomas VenningShotwick Lake SC11346‑5140254928352
45th47124Thomas BeckNewhaven and seaford SC1125342181761(DNC)370
46th48138Zoe MorleyLlandegfedd SC12257‑6031403530375
47th48264James McPhersonHelensburgh SC108‑525050264539370
48th49182Isobel JefferiesWPSC/QMSC118371661(RET)4048387
49th48878Ffion CerratoWarsash SC84453424(RET)DNCDNC388
50th46593Elena BeckNewhaven & Seaford SC1241744‑57305553380
51st48152Connie MurphyBudworth SC128‑513542324343374
52nd49191Nayth KuklaWinsford Flash SC114‑585332544724382
53rd46611Jack WrightLlandegfedd SC119424343‑573646386
54th47389Freya WattsCBYC1205654393823(DNC)397
55th44627Matthew BairdBudworth SC12940484927‑5040383
56th48066George SimsLlandegfedd SC105‑595748424441396
57th46124Laurie LambDraycote Water11747‑6225594645401
58th46512Alex StaintonHollowell SC11032215953(RET)DNC409
59th44484Laura ParsonsBudworth SC12749‑6346286236411
60th48893Rosie PankNorfolk Broads YC12136324448(DNC)DNC415
61st45779Wilf ToveyCardiff Bay YC/Mumbles YC12548415247‑5349415
62nd47450Claudia SavorySnettisham Beach SC1266127563756(DNC)430
63rd48800Cicely BlairSt Andrews SC107505860(UFD)5450446
64th49183Sylvia JefferiesWPSC/QMSC1306255555134(DNC)454
65th47646Daniel PlantPembrokeshire PSA131‑645963414252452
66th48573Jack FranklinSnettisham Beach SC1326361583959(DNC)479

4.2 Fleet Results:

PosNatSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13Pts
1stCHN49199CHE LIUBeijing Sailing Center25521116431‑10‑1231
2ndGBR46007Thomas MatthewsGrafham Water SC‑1577102‑13925265.5358.5
3rdGBR49180Oscar LayDesborough SC174245335‑195‑215.5659.5
4thGBR48627Lucas KeenStokes Bay111116‑17‑20417494462
5thGBR47621Harry MillsSaltash SC8‑1668910‑1132952163
6thGBR48196Victory MontgomeryPaignton & Dittisham3‑193512251061118‑1566
7thGBR47797Charles WoodWarsash SC123(UFD)310‑2361111223779
8thGBR46771Henry NoelWarsash SC621011‑166799102‑141385
9thCHN49000MuEn ZhongIsland Barn Reservoir21‑24462016412‑2461812110
10thGBR44888Toby TurnerSnettisham Beach1819(UFD)15714‑2311712125111
11thGBR49177Sam DenceIsland Barn Reservoir912(UFD)7‑22582012141079113
12thIRL47951Paidi A'CoistealbhaMalahide YC1013129‑241216(UFD)888910115
13thGBR47021Ollie RawlingsLyme Regis SC168(UFD)12111510181512(DNS)118136
14thGBR47533Hari ClarkDraycote Water SC46212217181983204(DNC)(DNC)142
15thGBR45757James BroadHill Head SC14‑2515131911217(UFD)22141311151
16thGBR46465Callum HarrisShoreham SC‑2891114131413251013(OCS)1514151
17thGBR45500Faith TurnerSnettisham Beach71419‑20719157‑2016162016156
18thGBR48133Reuben WealthyStokes Bay SC13171719821(SCP)16(SCP)1531718164
19thGBR26795James PipeWaldringfield SC‑2620(RET)163918141624241917180
20thGBR48683William SadlerReading SC24‑2681542421212217722(DNC)185
21stGBR45562William MottSnettisham Beach1121.52523288231172720(DNS)(DNC)204.5
22ndGBR47078Megan CerratoWarsash SC1918131814272824141825(DNC)(DNC)218
23rdGBR47026Sophie VenningShotwick Lake SC232716271820261513‑301524(DNC)224
24thGBR46221Joel KeenStokes Bay2510242629261213212613(DNC)(DNC)225
25thGBR49081Mattie SvendsenGoring Thames SC201518212328(RET)2218192318(RET)225
26thGBR47860Finlay RhodesWarsash SC22232024‑27425‑272723192120228
27thGBR44193Amelie BallantyneStarcross YC‑2721.51417212524262521‑271619229.5
28thGBR47725Lena TokajukIsland Barn Reservoir52822(DNS)25222228(UFD)252823DNC259
29thGBR48476Toby LayDesborough SC2929262530302919(UFD)2917(DNC)DNC294
30thGBR47306Georgia ScottDale YC/Ppsa303023(DNS)26291729262826(RET)DNC295

Regatta Fleet Results:

PosRigSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st5.323000Skye Sanderson‑WoodLlandegfedd SC‑51411119
2nd4.246389William PipeWaldringfield SC141522‑615
3rd5.330684Lene HolstenLlandegfedd SC423453‑721
4th4.244301Ewan ParishStokes Bay SC3(RET)2374322
5th4.247316Martha ShorterPSC/ IBRSC‑986238229
6th4.231711Toby EagletonScaling Dam SC63‑7647430
7th4.224817Jacob Blackman NorthwoodHunts SC‑121210785850
8th4.22Grace MontgomeryDittisham SC1158‑1299951
9th4.246271Rowan MorleyLlandegfedd SC‑1571281311556
10th5.343525Poppy ShiresStokes Bay SC216914610‑1757
11th4.245802Sorley MorrisonEmsworth Slipper‑1495912141059
12th4.246919Fred LayDesborough SC106(DNC)1010121361
13th4.242010Harrie WebbWarsash SC811‑151111151268
14th4.245473Alice LeeSaltash SC13151313156‑1675
15th4.248318Teddy ScottDraycote SC71314‑1614161175
16th5.348800Bertie BlairSt Andrews SC‑1710111516131479
17th4.237111Frankie WebbWarsash SC161416‑1717171595

Related Articles

RYA Scotland Winter Championships
56 junior and youth entrants battled at Largs 56 junior and youth entrants across six classes gathered for the Winters Championships over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of December in Largs for a sought-after opportunity for sailors to come together from all corners of the country. Posted on 3 Dec
Topper Fleet Summary from Kinsale
The hunt for boats continued and resulted in new sailors joining the fleet In 2023, the KYC topper fleet experienced a year of outstanding sailing. Despite occasional disruptions from the typical Irish weather, the sailors maintained enthusiastic. Posted on 1 Dec
ITCA Midlands Topper Travellers Series rounds 2&3
You'd think that the aftermath of recent named storms would create some strong winds You'd think that the aftermath of recent Storms Babette and Ciaran would create some strong winds for the most recent of the Midlands ITCA Travellers, and that's what most of us thought going into around 2 and 3 of the Midlands Topper Travellers Series. Posted on 14 Nov
Eastern Region Topper Traveller Series Finale
From the ridiculous to the sublime at Waveney & Oulton Broad From the ridiculous to the sublime. 27 of the East's brightest sailing prospects gathered at Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club (WOBYC) on 22nd October 2023 for the Eastern Region Topper Traveller finale with the championship title up for grabs. Posted on 28 Oct
Topper North Travellers at Rossendale Valley
Rooster Sailing support with prizes On Saturday 21st October, North Toppers returned to Rossendale Valley Sailing Club for the second race of the 2023-2024 series. We were greeted by a number of enthusiastic club members and a light, but shifty wind. Posted on 26 Oct
Topper End of Seasons at Warsash
Many sailors in the 4.2 fleet sailing their first open event For the final event of the Rooster Southern Topper Traveller Series and End of Season Championships, we were hosted by my home club Warsash SC. There were 2 days of racing planned, with a mixed forecast, we were 32 sailors in total. Posted on 24 Oct
ITCA (GBR) 5.3 & 4.2 Training at Weymouth
Working on boat handling with a dolphin happily playing around My dad and I went down to Portland late on Friday night. After a great campervan Saturday breakfast consisting of bacon sandwiches we went to the boat park to meet our friends from Warsash SC to get our boats ready before the 9.30am briefing. Posted on 21 Oct
Independent Schools Association National Regatta
Draycote hosts 33 boats and one windsurfer The Independent Schools Association 2023 National Regatta was held at Draycote Water Sailing Club on Thursday the 12th of October. 33 boats and one windsurfer pre-entered to take part in this ISA National Championship. Posted on 17 Oct
SW Topper Travellers at the Allspars Final Fling
9 eager Topper helms keen to show the older sailors how to do it The SW Topper Traveller Series concluded with the last event being the appropriately titled 'Final Fling' sailed from the Royal Western YC in Plymouth. The 'Final Fling' is a throwback to the 1980s when over 100 boats used to bomb around Plymouth Sound. Posted on 17 Oct
Starcross Tera and Topper Open
The day started with no wind, so the PRO ran a tug-of-war between the fleets The second Tera and Topper Open Meeting saw record-breaking attendance, with 38 boats entered from 11 different clubs. With blue sky and a lovely wind building to 8 knots, conditions were perfect. Posted on 10 Oct