Topper Open Report - Saturday 23rd April 2016
The return of almost wintry conditions reduced the entry for the Topper Open meeting on 23 April. Despite the forecast of a northerly wind bringing significant wind chill nine sailors from six clubs took part and enjoyed some close racing in the fresh breeze.
With a strong flood tide setting the boats down the start line the “I’ flag was used and this helped ensure clean starts for all the races. Local sailor Richard Townley led the fleet away in the first race and held a narrow lead at the end of the first lap of the trapezoid course. Samuel Shackle from Broxbourne, and Euan Harris from Orwell Yacht Club overtook him on the second lap. They finished in this order. With the wind flicking back from the NNW to just east of north for the second race the course was re-set and the fleet sent on their way. Samuel Shackle led almost from the start and maintained his lead to win his second race. Behind him Benjamin Reason from Harwich Town Sailing Club held second with Euan Harris pulling through from a bad start to third.
Despite two wins for Samuel Shackle the closeness of the racing meant the event remained open. The close racing continued in the next race with Benjamin Reason the winner but Samuel Shackle stayed in touch in second and secured the event with a race to spare. For the final race there was another winner with Euan Harris pulling away on the second beat to take a clear win. Mention must be made of James Deaton sailing with the 4.2 rig. With the handicaps applied he would have finished fourth overall and would have won the final race.
With the racing completed the competitors, the support boat crews and race team returned to the warmth of the clubhouse and its wonderful views of the river.