Rooster Topper South East Travellers and Chipstead Topper Open, at Chipstead Sailing Club
|15 September||Full results here.|
A beautiful morning greeted the 40 Topper sailors that had gathered from 12 clubs around the region for the latest round of the Rooster Topper South East Traveller Series at Chipstead Sailing Club just outside Sevenoaks.
This event also co-incided with the annual Chipstead Topper Open, resulting in an impressive turnout of sailors of all ages - from juniors to veterans and everything in between. An optimistic four races were planned, and a combination of the wind Gods playing ball and the ruthless efficiency of race officer Dan Fox, meant that the full schedule was completed.
The first race was sailed in a gentle westerly breeze and got underway at the second time of asking. It was dominated by Aaron Evans from Silver Wing SC, with the experience and local knowledge of veteran Doug Haig securing 2nd place, and junior Hugo Valentine also from Chipstead SC completing the podium places. The wind picked up for the second race with some lively gusts to keep the fleet on their toes, and a tight battle quickly ensued between Aaron Evans, Hugo Valentine, Henry Koe from South Bank SC and J Crossley from Datchet Water SC. After a number of place changes, especially downwind, Aaron picked up his second win of the day and Henry pipped Hugo on the line to take second place. A well deserved lunch was then served, with the competitors re-fuelling for what would surely be more close and exciting racing in the afternoon.
After lunch, the wind was relatively stable but easing slightly, and the same race course was used. In the third race, a shifty first beat led to big gains and losses across the fleet - but Aaron Evans again managed to ease to the front where he remained until the finish. Doug Haig took second and Lawrence Donnelly from Surrey Docks SC came through nicely for third. With the winner of the event now decided, there will still many places up for grabs in the final race, where the wind thankfully held on to ensure fair racing. Normal service was resumed, however, with Aaron completing a clean sweep of four bullets, Doug Haig taking his 3rd second place and Hugo Valentine completing a trio of third places - with these results mirroring the overall results for the event. The performance of the race was arguably by Callum Sarsfield of Chipstead SC who was called over at the start, but battled through from the back of the fleet to finish 7th.
In addition to the overall podium, prizes were awarded to first Lady which was won by Club Class Captain Jane Marshall just ahead of junior Ella Cantor also of Chipstead SC. First Youth went to Aaron Evans, first Junior to Hugo Valentine, first Veteran and the Chipstead Topper Open trophy both went to Doug Haig.
A great day was had by all the sailors, spectators and parents, with such a fantastic turnout from both the travellers and the local boats alike. A big thank you goes to the race committee, volunteers and caterers from Chipstead Sailing Club that made the event a huge success. Thanks also go to our event sponsor Rooster for the prizes.
by Jane Marshall