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.
|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|
|6th||46654||Leigh and Lowton||Lucy Mearns||5.0||(8.0)||5.0||18.0||10.0|
|9th||Under 14||43694||West Lancs||Sam Cooper||6.0||(10.0)||9.0||25.0||15.0|
|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|