Topper midland champs at Notts County

ITCA (GBR) Midlands Championships at NCSC

The International Topper Class Association’s UK Midlands Nationals, sponsored by Dinghy Rope and Adidas, were held at Notts Country Sailing Club on the 9th-10th July.

Adidas Sailing Logo Dinghy Rope Logo

Thirty-two boats entered and launched for the first race on the Saturday morning. A medium strength wind took the sailors out North from the clubhouse to the start line. As the SSW wind built it was swinging whilst John Parr & Tom Haslam, the event race officers, tweaked the race course.

The format for Saturday was two races, lunch break and two more. The wind built into the afternoon creating challenging conditions for the sailors.

The first race was a Hollowell take-over with Andrew Sturt, Morgan Smith and Gemma McDonnell in first, second and third – respectively. Moving into the second race, the wind built to its climax for the day, though the gusts were strong and unpredictable right through the afternoon.

The end of the first day left Andrew Sturt lying in the lead with Tom Parkhurst from Beaver in second and Nick Welbourn of Hykeham Sailing Club in third. Other notable performances of the day were from Charlie Turnbull of Rutland Sailing Club and Heather Quinn and Molly Hinsliff-Smith of Notts County. Charlie achieved a 4th in race two after an unlucky first race. Molly, despite a bout of bad luck in race four causing a number of capsizes recomposed herself and kept plugging away until she finished, despite being in a position where many would have retired. Heather Quinn completed race two on a 4.2 rig after a fight with a 5.3 in race one. Heather was the biggest success story of the event. She had never raced before, but was not shy to have a go. She is a credit to the coaches of the NCSC Saturday club.

The Sunday race program ran races five, six and seven originally they were going to be back-to-back races before prize giving, however the high winds meant the race team decided to call a break before the final race.

Tom Parkhurst won the first race of the second day, with Nick Welbourn taking second and Andrew Sturt third. Nick Welbourn went on to win the final two races of the event, giving him the overall championships after discard. Trent Durkhoop of Beaver put on an excellent show in the final race, coming in third place and so 7th overall in the championships. Another personal achievement well worthy of accounting is that of Adam Foster, from Notts County. He scored a 20th in the final race, which showed a significant improvement over the weekend and incredible staying power in very testing conditions. Another notable result is Kamran Ewbank who was first under 13 well into the top half of the fleet at 13th, followed by Oliver Millls & William Thomas, all under 13, looks like there will be some close racing for many years to come!

The feedback from the Topper Association was full of praise for the Notts County Team including of course Luke, Ross, John & Race team and Ian & safety team. Parents were talking about the best open of the year. “Please pass on all our thanks to your team at NCSC it was a cracking event”. The Association is also looking at running the Nationals at Notts County, they were so impressed.

Thanks to our sponsors Dinghy Rope and Adidas who provided some were stunning and motivating prizes for many sailors. Dinghy Rope provided a high-performance Topper mainsheet, a number of valuable vouchers for their online store and many other rope/sailing-accessory related prizes. Adidas supplied a range of items of clothing from their sailing range. For many the talk of the weekend was the GoreTex jacket. Remember next time you buy the support they have given to the Toppers and Juniors.

Champion:      Nick Welbourn, Hykeham.
2nd:                 Andrew Sturt, Hollowell.
3rd:                  Tom Parkhurst, Beaver.

Under 13: Kamran Ewbank, Staunton

Some photos below –  results

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