Topper Open at Bolton Sailing Club
Saturday 23rd May 2009

By Keith Roberts

Bolton Sailing Club hosted the Topper Open on Saturday 23rd May with 32 boats taking part in the competition. The competitors had travelled from as far away as Carsington and Blithfield. The weather lived up to the forecast of overcast conditions in the morning, with some sunshine in the afternoon. There were 6 home boats with Leigh and Lowton and Redesmere fielding 9 boats apiece.

In the first race Sarah Yeates (Leigh and Lowton) led from start to finish. Ruth Shevelan (Bolton), James Asquith (Redesmere) and Andrew Green (Leigh and Lowton) had some close racing, changing positions several times until local girl Ruth took second place. The girls dominated race 1 taking first and second. Third place went to James Asquith. Unfortunately Andrew Bridgman, Jamie Purcell and Jamie Catchpole failed to fully read the sailing instructions and were disqualified for sailing on the wrong side of the island.

After lunch the sun came out and the wind had increased slightly to a F3. Lucy Yeates (Leigh and Lowton) got a good start and sailed away from the fleet to take first place. The rest of the fleet had some extremely close racing. Andrew Bridgman (Blithfield) managed to get some clear wind and sailed into second place where he finished. Sarah Yeates took third place. The finish in the middle rankings was extremely tight with the OOD having to use photographs to decide the position of boats as eight boats finished within 2 seconds of each other making identification of the sail numbers very difficult.

By the time the third race started the wind had shifted 180 degrees and the wind speed had dropped to a F2. Andrew Bridgman (Blithfield) got a fantastic start and sailed to victory taking first place. Yet again there was close racing within the rest of the fleet. However, at the end of the race Andrew Green took second and Sara Yeates third.

Overall Results:

1st Andrew Bridgman (Blithfield)
2nd Sarah Yeates (Leigh and Lowton)
3rd Lucy Yeates (Leigh and Lowton)
1st Under 14 Jamie Catchpole (Leigh and Lowton)
1st Home boat Ruth Shevelan (Bolton)
Endeavor award went to George Mitson (Bolton)

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