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ITCA Midlands Topper Travellers Series Round 4 at Notts County Sailing Club

by Hayley Turner 16 Dec 2023 10:38 PST

Without a shadow of a doubt, the stubborn freezing fog we were shrouded by at Notts County was winter at its rawest. Round 4 of the Midlands Topper Travellers Series finally got the go ahead after a watchful morning waiting for the fog to lift.

However, the waiting time was not lost with the most seasonally decorated boat to be judged. With tinsel wrapped round every spare non movable boat part, Christmas lights, Elves, baubles and even a Christmas pudding tightly strapped and hung on boats, the successful winners delightfully received their prizes at a very generous prize-giving over hot chocolate.

With AP dropping around noon, sailors launched and disappeared into the low laying fog, with the committee boat confident that the pin end and marks were all visible, sailing got under way with lucky ambition to get 3 races in.

Toby Turner took the initial lead in the first race, but there followed much confusion as to if there was an individual or general recall. With half the fleet turning back, the leaders cracked on to the windward mark, but Toby took a U-Turn and headed back to the start line. This gave way to new leaders Jake Blakeway and James Burton, both holding solid strong positions throughout to finish first and second with Faith Turner jostling with Ed Whittaker in 4th for her 3rd place.

With the fog clearing and visibility now available right across the water just about to the far banks, the second race quickly got under way and saw Faith take her first ever 5.3 race win with her brother Toby taking his first 2nd place in a 5.3 fleet, putting the sibling rivalry to rights, followed by the incumbent Traveller winner Oscar Rowe.

The final and third race of the day saw Daniel Riley come through for a taste of the front row action with Oscar this time as the light winds dropped to even lighter winds, with Toby in the mix finishing in 4th place. Faith Turner was hot off the line, gaining a strong lead from the start, putting distance between her and the other front runners, a position she held for the whole race, and went on to secure her second race win, followed by Oscar and Daniel.

Three successive back-to-back races to count, in freezing fog and falling winds. All hardy sailors deserve an accolade for getting out there. Main sheets were frozen, blocks broken, and all fixed by sailor's fair hands on the water. At the end of the day, just one point separated second, third and fourth positions with guest sailor Faith Turner making her debut in a 5.3 fleet and benefitting from her two race wins to secure her very first event win too. Jake Blakeway sailed in to a brilliant 2nd place with 3rd and 4th place tied on points, on roll back and the outcome based on the position in the last race, it was declared Oscar Rowe take 3rd with Toby Turner in 4th place.

Series 4.2 fleet leader, Hari Clark continued with his strong position and led the 4.2 fleet all day, with a 9th, 10th and 11th place overall, maintaining his lead once again in the 4.2 fleet. Oliver Baron had two consistent 13th place overall and a 14th to earn him second spot on the 4.2 podium with Hannah Swinton in 3rd place.

With there being just 1 point between Oscar Rowe, the current series lead and Jake Blakeway, it's all to play for at Round 5 of the ITCA Midlands Topper Traveller Series at Blithfield Sailing Club on 13th January 2024.

We would like to extend our thanks to host club, Notts County Sailing Club and Race Committee for providing great racing and hospitality. And for such a stunning venue. A beautiful welcoming club and welcoming Midlands ITCA Region.

Overall Results:

PosChamp NoHelmSail NoRigR1R2R3Pts
1st691Faith Turner45500 3115
2nd353Jake Blakeway49038 15511
3rd27Oscar Rowe48672 73212
4th48Toby Turner44888 62412
5th361James Burton20844 26715
6th177Alex Stainton46512 54615
7th305William Clarke46770 87823
8th242Ed Whittaker46971 412925
9th147Hari Clark475334.29101130
10th99Daniel Riley26692 DSQ8331
11th582Edward Croxton44437 10111031
12th250Laurie Lamb47181 1191232
13th588Obehi Atalor48798 12141339
14th356Oliver Baron423564.213131440
15th257Hannah Swinton343524.21416RET50
16th545Jack Cresswell45438 NSC151550
17th288Audrey Yang469274.21517RET52
18th Tom Hopwell47426 DNSDNCDNC60
18th26Peter Gathergood489074.2DNSDNCDNC60

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