Warm,sunny, breezy conditions greeted the 35 Topper sailors competing at the ITCA Midlands Topper Championships, held at Notts County Sailing Club on 24th and 25th June, sponsored by Morton Boats, Pinnell and Bax, and Dinghy Ropes.
There was a wide range of ability levels represented, from 9year olds having a go on reefed 4.2 rigs, to those who are at the very highest level of Topper sailing and who are regularly in the top 30 at national events. These young sailors are part of ‘The Friendly Class’ and they did themselves, their clubs and their class, proud at this event.
There were four races on the first day (one start being a general recall), two on the second, and there was some great spectator sport. As always this season, those at the top of the fleet battled against one another and took it in turns to deliver some close results, with eight sailors achieving 1st, 2nd and 3rd places over the two days, a testament to the talent that there is in both the class and the region.
There were some unexpected spills on Sunday, in the gusty, shifty conditions, catching even the most experienced racers unaware, but after all six races were completed, the top honours went to Charlie Turnbull, RYA (and recently returned from Bermuda, where he represented Great Britain at the O’pen BIC Un-Regatta, part of the 2017 Americas Cup), 2nd was Greg Cornes (Aldridge SC) 3rd and first girl was Gemma McDonnell, (Hollowell SC). First U13 and 6th overall was Will Thomas (Notts County Sailing Club), 2nd U13 was Ben Paling (Notts County Sailing Club) and 3rd U13 Hector Mellor (Carsington SC). There were also a number of other prizes awarded to recognise the 1st, 2nd and 3rd 4.2 sailors, and for those who demonstrated Endeavour and Resilience (those all important life skills).
Thanks must go to the race committee, safety crews and event organisers, who provided a thoroughly enjoyable two days with a typical Notts County welcome and a great example of the inclusive and supportive environment that Topper sailing seeks to encourage.