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ITCA Midlands Topper Travellers Series - Rounds 2 & 3

by Allison Blakeway 14 Nov 2023 01:08 PST
Oscar Rowe wins at Hollowell and South Staffordshire © Claire Turner

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.

However, light winds greeted us on arrival at Hollowell Sailing Club on 21st October (despite the forecast). However, this didn't deter our sailors, with visitors Oscar Rowe and Jacob Blakeway generating some competitive sailing against home sailors Alex Stainton and Will Clarke.

Will took the initial lead in the first race, and looked like he would hold this position. However, going too far over towards the bank meant he lost both wind and position to end up sixth, with Oscar Rowe pushing through to take his first Traveller race win. Alex and Jake followed in second and third.

With a steadily building wind, the second race saw the three leaders fight it out with Oscar taking his second win, followed by Jake and Alex. Following the lunch-break, Will came back into contention, following Alex and Oscar, with Jake 4th.

The final race saw a change of course, and Jake Blakeway was hot off the line, gaining a strong lead of almost a full leg, a position he held for the whole race, and like Oscar in the morning session went on to secure his first Traveller win, followed by Oscar and Alex.

At the end of the day, just two points separated the top three positions with Oscar Rowe making the most of his race wins to secure his first event win too. Jake and Alex were tied on points, with each having a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, so the outcome was based on the position in the last race, giving second place to Jake Blakeway, who took the series lead, and Alex Stainton in 3rd place.

Hari Clark led the 4.2 fleet all day, with a fifth and two seventh places overall, and maintained his lead in the 4.2 fleet. The Endeavour award was presented to Jacob Blakeman, who was attending his second ever Traveller and completed all races, and Values Awards were presented to Oliver Baron and Alex Mulhall.

Hollowell Round 2 Results:

PosRigSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5.348672Oscar Rowe112‑34
2nd5.349038Jacob Blakeway32‑416
3rd5.346512Alex Stainton231‑56
4th5.346770William Clarke6‑73211
5th5.344437Edward Croxton‑946818
6th5.345370Peter Astley‑1187419
7th5.346971Edward Whittaker55‑10919
8thTOPPER 4.247533Hari Clark7‑105719
9th5.346124Laurie Lamb‑8680620
10th5.348907Peter Gathergood49‑131023
11th5.347023Charlie Millward10119‑1430
12th5.347301Alexander Wysota14‑15111136
13thTOPPER 4.242356liver Baron1312‑151338
14th5.336622Thomas Croxton‑1513141239
15th5.335086Jacob Blakeman‑1616121543
16thTOPPER 4.247181Emme Astley1214(DNC)DNC46
17th5.328381Alexander Mulhall17(DNC)161649
18thTOPPER 4.246927Audrey Yang‑1918171752
19thTOPPER 4.234352Hannah Swinton‑1817181853

With there being just 2 points between the top three, the next Traveller at South Staffordshire SC on 4th November was expected to be interesting, as strong winds were expected, although due to drop eventually, and rain being a permanent feature.

Between launching and starting, the Dad's emergency maintenance team were called upon to fix a broken ratchet block and a missing clew strap, and all was well by the starting horn.

Will Clarke and Jacob Blakeway played cat and mouse with each other throughout the first race, with each of them taking turns in the lead. Ultimately it was Will who took the win, with Laurie Lamb following Jake in third.

The wind and rain both built in the second race, where competitors were again led by a lead boat. Jacob Blakeway relished the windy challenge, and took a strong lead over Laurie Lamb, followed by Oscar Rowe. It was only once the boats were off the water at lunchtime that it became known that all boats except one had taken one mark rounding incorrectly, consequently giving Will Clarke a second win, with everyone else dropping one place.

In the 4.2 fleets, another competition was emerging, with Hari Clark and Oliver Baron each taking a sixth and seventh place overall at the lunch-break.

The rain continued, but the wind dropped to almost nothing in the afternoon, which changed the dynamic again. Jake struggled in the lighter winds, which gave Oscar Rowe a chance to take the lead, followed by James Burton and Alex Stainton. The results between these two were reversed for the last race. Meanwhile, in the 4.2 fleet, the changing conditions favoured Hari Clark, who led the 4.2 fleet home, followed by Oliver Baron.

All in all, it was definitely a day of two halves, but ultimately Oscar Rowe took a second event win, and the series lead, with Jacob Blakeway second and Alex Stainton third. The Endeavour Award was presented to Obehi Atalor, and Values Awards presented to the only female competitors in the event, Hannah Swindon and Audrey Yang, both of whom kept going despite the cold and rain.

We would like to extend our thanks to host clubs, Hollowell Sailing Club and South Staffs Sailing Club for providing great racing and hospitality.

Three races into the series, we've had three separate leaders, and just four points separating the top three positions (Oscar Rowe (1st), Jacob Blakeway (2nd) and James Burton (3rd). The next event at Notts County on 2nd December is likely to be an interesting event.

South Staffs Round 3 Results:

PosRigSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5.348672Oscar Rowe‑85117
2nd5.349038Jake Blakeway22‑748
3rd5.346512Alex Stainton4‑15329
4th5.320844James Burton‑54239
5th5.346770William Clarke118(RET)10
6th5.346124Laurie Lamb3310‑1216
7thTOPPER 4.247533Hari Clark6‑74717
8th5.344437Edward Croxton‑11115521
9th5.346971Ed Whittaker‑12126624
10thTOPPER 4.242356Oliver Baron76‑151326
11th5.348907Peter Gathergood108‑12927
12th5.326692Daniel Riley‑13991129
13th5.347031Alexander Wysota910‑131029
14th5.332542Jasper Nicholls‑151411833
15th5.348798Obehi Atalor141314(RET)41
16thTOPPER 4.234352Hannah Swinton(RET)DNS161449
17thTOPPER 4.246927Audrey Yang1616(DNS)DNS51
18th5.335086Jacob Blakeman(RET)DNSDNSDNS57

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