29er Open. Saturday, May 3rd
Perfect 29er weather. Force 4 to 5. Not a big turnout. It is a youth boat, we were in revision season, and it was our first Open.
Our star visitors were Steve Wilson (Ullswater) and Tom Smedley (Hayling Island); both have sailed separately for Britain but are now sailing together and were fresh from securing 2nd at the Youth Nationals and a place in this years British Team. However Chris Catt and Mark Heather, 2 brilliant youth sailors from Downs had put together a great regatta at the Tiger Trophy in the Winter, and were not here to be rolled over. Justin Visser and Simon Wheeler, two rising stars from the Transitional Squad were also fancied, along with fellow squaddies Jonathan White and Alex Cruttendon. From Island Barn we had Sophie Jones with Sam Tozer, plus Luke Hayes and Tom Smithers sailing the type for the first time, (which should probably be done in a little less breeze!) The only all female crew were Rosie White and Helen Lasko.
We put on 5 races with some ease (other classes please note!). 2 back to back morning and 3 back to back afternoon, with a barbecue, bar, and prize-giving and everyone away by six o'clock.
By lunch, Smedley and Wilson had two bullets, with Catt and Heather on two 2nds. Catt and Heather scored a close 1st in Race 3 and so Race 4 would be crucial.
Catt and Heather led twice at the windward mark, but each time were hauled in downwind. With the finish downwind, as the class prefers, Smedley and Wilson took it and the top prize, rubbing it in with another bullet in Race 5.
Visser and Wheeler, with immaculate consistency, scored all 3rd s and unsurprisingly came 3rd.
This type is slowly establishing itself at the Barn and with more and more Topper sailors growing up fast, we hope to see a very healthy fleet in a few years.
1: 4pts Tom Smedley and Steve Wilson (Hayling Island S.C.)
2: 7pts Chris Catt and Mark Heather (Downs S.C.)
3: 12pts Justin Visser and Simon Wheeler (Royal Lymington S.C.)
4: 16pts Jonathan White and Alex Cruttenden (Pevensey Bay S.C.)
5: 19pts Sophie Jones and Sam Tozer (Island Barn R.S.C.)
6: 21pts Rosie White and Helen Lasko (Burghfield S.C.)
7: 27pts Luke Hayes and Tom Smithers (Island barn S.C.)