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Topper open meeting at Waldringfield Sailing Club

by Diana Pipe 14 May 03:05 PDT 12 May 2024
Topper open meeting at Waldringfield © Alexis Smith

The sun was out, water bottles filled and suncream applied for a beautiful sailing day on the River Deben. Waldringfield SC welcomed 13 Topper sailors from across the Eastern region, some with years of winter squad training under their belts, some quite new to racing.

With tricky conditions on a flood tide, the race officer set courses to offset the cross tide and offer true beats and runs. After a clean start, the first race got under way in 6-9 knots and a cross tide. Many of the sailors usually sail where there is no tide, so it took a little while for the tidal advantages to be spotted and tactics to be worked out. Nathan led the sailors home closely followed by Toby, Harry and Joshua.

With the wind shifting and pressure fluctuating between 5-12 knots, the second race saw James take a port tack flier at the start and cross the fleet. In this race more sailors switched on to the tidal gains but the wind shifts lead to many changes in positions. Harry worked the shifts and came out on top in first followed by James and then Nathan. Faith (5th) and Bertie (6th) got off the start line well and had their best races of the day.

Race 3 was another start when the sailors all tacked onto port at the start but this time gains were made up the left of the beat where Jensen had worked towards. He extended his lead on the fleet and had a healthy distance from Toby in second and Nathan in third. Hugo Jury had also taken advantage of the left shift and had his best finish of the day in 7th.

By the final race of the day, the tide was starting to slacken, but the streaks of wind continued to challenge the sailors. Do you go left where the wind will come in from,or do you go right, out of the tide? Harry and James set off together on a port tack flier and both crossed the fleet. They led the fleet until local sailor Hugo Mason popped up at the second windward mark in second place. Was it local knowledge or luck? [Skill! HM]

The fight to the finish continued where Harry won, then Hugo, with James 3rd. Nate Sparrow worked hard throughout the race finishing his best race in 5th.

Overall, a stimulating day's racing, where fluctuating wind and strong tides lead to many changes in positions on some beats and opportunities to extend for others. 6 out of 12 sailors had finishes in the top 3.

Many thanks to all the volunteers at the club, the race officer, his team, beach master, galley, and safety boat crews, for organising a happy and successful day.

5.3 Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4Pts
1st48974Nathan Clark133411
2nd48679Harry Wemyss319114
3rd49093Jensen Jakob541616
4th46389James Pipe824317
5th16517Toby Turner272718
6th44144Joshua Blackman Northwood485825
7th45335Hugo Mason61012230
8th47625Faith Turner9561030
9th44016Nate Sparrow71111534
10th46117Bertie Parrett11681237
11th31919Hugo Jury10127938
12th30890Penny Davies129101142

4.2 Fleet Results:

1st Noah Hughes

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