2016 Topper SE Travellers Results

Super turnout, nearly 50 boats...

Sodden grass all day, never stopped drizzling...

Some great racing, The results are here.

Congrats to Scott Wilkinson, overall winner, Leo Wilkinson, 1st U13, and Thomas Williamson, 1st 4.2 rig.

More report and photos in due course.

Before we get into a proper report, I thought it might be worthwhile to write up a little bit about the protest we had. I don't think I'd go as far as saying I enjoy conducting protest hearings, but I've done a few, and generally the Topper ones have been pretty reasonable. The parties, have, frankly, tended to conduct themseleves better than some adults do. This was a good example, and all the parties came out of it, to my mind, with considerable credit. I think probably, bearing in mind we are supposed to be a self policing sport, and protests are our policing, we don't have enough protests in sailing, so they should be encoraged rather than discouraged. If they were a bit more usual maybe they wouldn't be so stressful too?

I won't go into the details too much, but basically there were three boats approaching a mark overlapped, which is normally a very straightforward affair, but in this case it was anything but, and its not at all suprising that perceptions of the incident differed. Its always amused me about the legal process that we as citizens are supposed to instinctively know what the law is at all times, but should we be formally accused of breaking it then it ends up with two or more very highly paid and hopefully skilled people arguing over what the law actually was, with another highly paid and experienced person supervising, and twelve unskilled and inexperienced people having to listen to it all and pick the right answer. And its a bit like that with sailing. The whole incident took maybe 10 seconds, and six of us spent maybe twenty minutes trying to work out what everyone should have done!

Anyway, basically the two inside boats got into a mess, and one of them (correctly) took a penalty, whilst the outside boat had to give mark room for both. What we reckoned, judging by all the evidence, was that outside had given enough mark room had the inside boats not got into a mess, but because they got into a mess it was very easy to understand why the protesting boat, who got throughly stuffed up through no fault of her own, was of the opinion that both boats should have given her more room. It seemed to me to be a very reasonable protest to make, even if in the end we didn't find it appropriate to penalise outside.