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Southwest Topper Traveller Series Round 3 at Paignton Sailing Club

by Isobel Williscroft 2 May 03:49 PDT 28 April 2024
5.3 fleet top 3 in the SW Topper Traveller at Paignton © James Mills

The third Traveller in the South West Traveller Series took place on Sunday 28th April. This event was hosted by Paignton Sailing Club and despite conditions being variable they still provided great racing within the fleet.

The day started with about a consistent 10kts which allowed the first race to run smoothly and to complete the long 2-lap windward-leeward course which had been laid well by the race committee and mark layers. However, by the end of the first race, the wind had begun to drop and was beginning to shift to the left.

At the start of the second race, the wind had dropped considerably and despite the port-hand bias on the start line it initially paid to start starboard due to the pressure that flowed over the right-hand side of the course. This lack of pressure on the port-side at the start caused a bunch up of many of the sailors thus guaranteeing close competition between those on that side of the fleet.

By the end of the second race, you could start to see dark grey clouds making their way overhead. These clouds brought the wind, heavy rain, and a mix of hail. The ones who came out on top in that race were the ones who managed to hike consistently and avoid heading into irons. Compared to the laid-back nature of the first two races, this race brought the well-awaited chaotic and fun nature of sailing in stronger wind conditions.

This wind though had quickly vanished by the fourth race and the sun was shining again, though this lack of wind made the racing slow and reliant on techniques and finding the few and far-between patches of pressure. This race ended up being finished on the second upwind leg.

Throughout the event, it was a close competition between Harry Mills and Thomas Semmens who were both consistently fighting for first place in each race however in the end it resulted in 1st Place for Thomas Semmens in the 5.3 rig. Whilst Harry Mills took 2nd Place and Edward Lee closely followed in 3rd. This close competition however was not limited to the 5.3 fleet, in the 4.2 fleet Finley Kirkby came 1st with Brooke Browning in close 2nd and getting first girl.

Overall, this event provided a lot of fun to all the competitors involved. It also showed an increase in competitors and this event had the greatest number of competitors so far in this South West Traveller Series which hopefully is a sign of bigger competition and more competitors in the following events. Many thanks to Paignton Sailing Club for hosting another amazing Topper Traveller weekend.

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