Topper Open September 2010

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FINAL SOUTH EAST TOPPER TRAVELLER 2010
ISLAND BARN 18 09 10
 
topper_open_ibrsc
 
The caterers were not amused. ‘You told me 35 Toppers, max!’ fumed Andy Howard, a perfectionist in the art of feeding Topperlets, after he’d realised 57 Toppers had arrived. Andy’s 35 gourmet portions would clearly need a major-miracle to satisfy the hungry hoards. The Pope was in town, so why not? Some say they definitely saw Andy on his knees in the kitchen.
Race 1 started in a shifty Force 2 with a general recall. An ‘I’ flag deterred the majority; but four boats in the restart repeated the digression, 2 returning, 2 mistakenly taking their chances on not being spotted and duly hearing the sound of silence on the finish line.
This Open Meeting was about three things. Having fun on a glorious Indian summer’s day, qualifying for the much-sort-after zone squad places, and deciding who would be the 2010 South East Traveller Champion. The two main contenders for the latter were Felix Crowther from Queen Mary and Tom Howard from the host club. To take the trophy from series leader Crowther, Howard needed to win, with Crowther third.
Howard threw down the gauntlet by winning race 1 with Crowther second. This promised to be close. James Curtis (Island Barn) excelled to take third in an old sailing school boat, making a strong case to dad to buy him something a little less battered.
In Race 2, Howard was disastrously fowled by a novice on his final start approach and finally started in mid fleet. To his credit he recovered to fourth by the end, passing twenty five boats. Crowther seized his chance and led from start to finish, holding off Patrick Keech from Chipstead in second. Last year’s champion Clive Jackson, he of the to-die-for sailing weight, took an improving third.
In Race 3 Howard broke Crowther’s cover by punching a corner. Unfortunately, it was the left corner with the wind going right, and he trailed in twenty eighth to Crowther’s seventh. Game over? We will see. Teresa Franz from Papercourt surprised everyone except herself by winning this race and Keech again showed the squaddies how to do it, with a second, just beating Chipstead club-mate Luke Hagon.
In the final Race 4 the best breeze of the day showed up, providing a steady force 3 for both laps. Howard needed a third with Crowther four places behind, to take the event and the series from Crowther. At the end of Lap 1 Howard was the prescribed 4 places clear of Crowther. Nail-biting stuff. But he was only ninth. He needed a blinder of a final beat. He overtook two on this leg to round the windward mark in seventh. He needed to pass four more on the downwind legs. He got passed one on the run, but the finish arrived just too early and he finished sixth. Crowther, finishing a lowly (by his standards) ninth, breathed a sigh of relief, as he knew his discard would see him through. Clive Jackson finally showed a bit of last year’s form by taking first, with Oliver Scott of Docklands rejoicing in a rare second.
So Felix Crowther, son of outgoing Area Rep. Jeff, deservedly took both the event and the Traveller Series, with his friend and rival Tom Howard third in the event and second in the Series. Clive Jackson consoled himself by beating Tom Howard on a tie-break for second place on the day.
Andy’s lunch? It turned out not to be prayer. He was, in fact searching for a larger pasta pan. So the Pope failed to help. But the Local Tesco came in very handy.
 
 
 
Prize winners:
 

 

Prize
Name
Club
Overall
1st
Felix Crowther
Queen Mary
1st
2nd
Clive Jackson
Papercourt
2nd
3rd
Tom Howard
Island Barn
3rd
4th
Hamish Streeter
Hayling Island
4th
5th
Patrick Keech
Chipstead
5th
6th
Luke Hagon
Chipstead
6th
1st Adult
Clive Jackson
Papercourt
2nd
1st Female
Harriet Ward
Queen Mary
10th
1st Under 13
Hamish Streeter
Hayling Island
4th
1st Non-squad U18
Patrick Keech
Chipstead
5th
1st Island Barn
Tom Howard
Island Barn
3rd
2nd Island Barn
Alstair Smith
Island Barn
9th
3rd Island Barn
James Curtis
Island Barn
16th
1st IB Junior
Nancy Scott
Island Barn
29th
1st Regatta Fleet
Talya Gundogan
Island Barn
1st
 
1st SE Traveller Series
Felix Crowther
Queen Mary
2nd SE Traveller Series
Tom Howard
Island Barn

 

 
 
For full results see topper open racing results