Topper Travellers Event at Bolton
Saturday 01st June

Words by Mark Platt, Photos by SailPics.co.uk

A fleet of 18 toppers arrived at Bolton Sailing Club to discover that British weather forecasting is an inexact science.  Instead of 12 knots, gusting 16 as forecast, it was 20 knots gusting over 25, by far the windiest conditions of the series so far.

Race 1 got away on time with local sailor Sam Platt leading the way, but soon overtaken by Steph Wingeatt.  The lead changed many times with the gusty conditions leading to many spills and capsizes until the last lap, when the lead was taken by series leader Tom Wallwork, followed by Sam, then Oli Blackburn.  Sam capsized rounding the last mark to allow Oli to claim second and Sam dropping to third.  This was the most challenging of the races with only 11 finishers.

After lunch the second race got away in slightly more benign condition, but with gusts still topping out at over 20 knots.  The lead was swapped around by the competitors like a game of pass the parcel until Oli took control to lead around the last two laps and Tom claiming second spot.

With a first and second each for Tom and Oli, the third race would be the decider.  The PRO kept the same course for a third time as the wind direction had stayed steady.  Nick Devereux led the way, but inexplicably sailed past the third mark of the course No 10 (but fortunately on the correct side) and sailed on to No 9.  Bizarrely the next 16 competitors followed Nick’s example, only novice sailor Carl Trinder read the 2’ high No 10, in bold black figures, on the bright yellow mark illuminated by the brilliant sunshine.  On the second round Nick spotted his earlier schoolboy error and led the fleet correctly around No 10.

With only three legs to the finish it was still Nick leading, Tom and Oli fighting for second and Steph in fourth.  As the first three tacked after rounding the mark, Steph stayed on starboard, then tacked on a good port shift with more pressure and took the lead.  Steph held on to take her first race win of the series and take third overall, followed by Nick , then crucially Tom taking third and the overall win, then in Oli fourth.  Tom won overall on count back from Oli in second.

The under 14 prize went to Sam Cooper, with Isabel Lamb taking a very well deserved endeavour prize.

Overall

Sailed: 3, Discards: 1, To count: 2, Entries: 18, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Fleet SailNo Club HelmName R1 R2 R3 Total Nett
1st 47303 Redesmere Thomas Wallwork 1.0 2.0 (3.0) 6.0 3.0
2nd 47076 Leigh and Lowton Oliver Blackburn 2.0 1.0 (4.0) 7.0 3.0
3rd 44777 Leigh and Lowton Stephanie Wingeatt (4.0) 4.0 1.0 9.0 5.0
4th 46853 Budworth Nick Devereux (19.0 DNF) 3.0 2.0 24.0 5.0
5th 44627 Bolton Sam Platt 3.0 5.0 (7.0) 15.0 8.0
6th 46654 Leigh and Lowton Lucy Mearns 5.0 (8.0) 5.0 18.0 10.0
7th 45884 Bolton Michael Platt (9.0) 6.0 6.0 21.0 12.0
8th 46023 Redesmere Anya Haji-Michael 7.0 7.0 (8.0) 22.0 14.0
9th Under 14 43694 West Lancs Sam Cooper 6.0 (10.0) 9.0 25.0 15.0
10th 44517 Budworth Angus Reilly 8.0 9.0 (10.0) 27.0 17.0
11th Under 14 44849 Rudyard Matthew Harrison 10.0 12.0 (15.0) 37.0 22.0
12th Under 14 35947 West Lancs Molly Nixon (19.0 DNF) 11.0 11.0 41.0 22.0
13th Under 14 40081 Chester Isabel Lamb 11.0 (15.0) 14.0 40.0 25.0
14th Under 14 44144 Rudyard Toby Cope (19.0 DNF) 13.0 12.0 44.0 25.0
15th Under 14 45497 Chester Lloyd Roberts (19.0 DNF) 14.0 13.0 46.0 27.0
16th Under 14 44388 Bolton Tom Platt (19.0 DNC) 19.0 DNC 16.0 54.0 35.0
17th 41711 Bolton Carl Trinder (19.0 DNF) 19.0 DNC 17.0 55.0 36.0
18th Under 14 44531 Bolton James Devereux (19.0 DNF) 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 57.0 38.0

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