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Topper Open September 2007

    22 09 07
    Jonathan Hewat won the event and the Traveller Series in an event which ended with a bizarre Redress situation. Read full report for details.

    43 boats arrived for the final Topper Traveller. Well done hardworking Area rep Jo Wicken for generating such enthusiasm so late in the season.

    Unfortunately, the morning weather, though sunny, was testing in both its lightness and variable direction.

    Race 1 – Bad news for Topper Sailboats. You don’t need a new boat to win. Good news for oldies. You don’t need to be just a few years past weaning to excel. Clive Jackson from Papercourt, age unknown, but probably the writer’s side of thirty, and sailing Topper 16516 (30,000 Toppers have been made since this one!)) overtook Jonathan Hewat (the series leader) on the final run to take first place. Oldies rejoice.
    Race 2 – A big shift left as the gun went meant those at the pin end were laughing and the committee boat starters were cursing the race officer. Hewat got it right and led from start to finish, with Stephanie Wicken a close second. Jackson did well to salvage a 5th from a poor start.

    At lunch, Hewat had a 3 point lead over Jackson and Wicken.
    Race 3. Prayers answered. A steady, if light, south westerly had established itself. The lunch had contained too many calories leading to an over-enthusiastic line charge and general recall. Energy was better managed for the I-flagged second start. Juliet Beck led all the way round lap 1, with Hewat nibbling at her transom, as they started Lap 2. As these two match-raced up the second beat, Jackson caught them in clear air. By the finish, Hewat had hunted down Beck for first, Jackson took second and a weary Beck took third.
    Race 4. Beck, resolve undiminished, was a life jacket thickness over at the pin and was called back. Hewat had an easy win and held off Will Street from Pevensay Bay.
    This gave Hewat the event and he sailed home.
    Race 5. This race had one of the strangest racing incidents the writer has come across and is a lesson to all race officers and sailors. The first lap went beautifully, with Julia Beck leading. As the committee boat crew were writing down Lap 1 positions, a committee crew member did so by resting his recording sheet on a board with a large ‘1/2’ on the back. This was facing the sailors. Boats 1 & 2 ignored it. However boats 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, all took this to mean ½ a lap remaining and returned to the finish after completing the first beat. On receiving no ‘gun’, they retraced their paths, to rejoin near the back, making their displeasure known to the committee boat as they eventually finished. Having established what had happened, the Race Officer’s (writer’s) first instinct was to Abandon, second instinct was to award points based on first lap positions, which seemed to him the fairest option for everyone. However, Abandoning would have been unfair to the leading boats, and the Sailing Instructions / RRS did not allow the second option. So the results were posted as recorded and the inevitable redress against the Race Committee was lodged with about a dozen boats signing the form.
    The Protest Committee dismissed the redress and the results stood. This was tough on boats who were misled, but the writer agrees was the correct outcome.
    The lessons for the Race Officer are clear. Keep an eagle eye on less experienced assistants and do not allow anything to take place on the Committee boat that might cause confusion. Secondly, do not consider trying to manufacture what might appear to be a fair resolution if the S.I.s do not allow it.
    The lessons for the sailors are clear. Read the S.I.s,, stick to them and do not be led astray by extraneous signs, however tempting they might be.
    Julia Beck rightfully kept her first place, with Clive Jackson second.
    Congratulations to Clive Jackson for giving a lesson to all the Squaddies (except one), to Julia Beck for being single-mindedly competitive in every race, and to Jonathan Hewat who deservedly won the event and the Traveller Series. He looks to have a successful sailing career ahead of him.

    1   Jonathan Hewat       45500       Medway
    2    Clive Jackson          16516       Papercourt
    3   Julia Beck                 40877       Papercourt
    4   Stephanie Wicken    44304       Wilsonian
    5   George Spedding     45594       Queen Mary
    6   Will Street                 41590       Pevensey Bay

    Island Barn RSC Traveller 2007


    Sailed:5, Discards:1, To count:4, Ratings:PY, Entries:44, Scoring system:Topper Traveller Series
    PositionHelmSail No.ClubR1R2R3R4R5Points
    1Jonathan Hewat45500Medway2111(45 DNC)5
    2Clive Jackson16516Papercourt152(7)210
    3Julia Beck40877Papercourt383(15)115
    4Stephanie Wicken44304Wilsonian42134(40 DNF)23
    5George Spedding45594Queen Mary539(10)623
    6Will Street41590Pevensey Bay8972(40 DNF)26
    7William Barnes46100Papercourt7669(40 DNF)28
    8Alexander Le Gassick45616Wilsonian61011(17)835
    9Charlotte Bonella43126Papercourt91883(23)38
    10Tom Richardson45750Hastings(28)14158340
    11Josh McLynn44318Wimbledon Park224165(40 DNF)47
    12Catherine Whitehill40742Papercourt13(19)14111048
    13Daniel Adeline41850Bough Beech1915(32)61252
    14Thomas Weekes45367Maidenhead10204(21)2155
    15Dan Fenn44954NSSC12161223(40 DNF)63
    16Helen Baldwin44889Island Barn1572222(25)66
    17Charlotte Fenn42309NSSC16122514(40 DNF)67
    18Charlie Runcorn45972Wimbledon Park21(29)1824568
    19Jonty Freeman45818NSSC2321519(24)68
    20William Bovington44516NSSC11133118(40 DNF)73
    21Finn Caiger-Smith45228Wimbledon Park17271712(40 DNF)73
    22Martin Lown44510Crawley Mariners14172720(40 DNF)78
    23Louis Knevett35199NSSC18(31)23281180
    24Adam Bermingham44928Wilsonian(32)282126782
    25Caroline Baldwin42551Island Barn292220(34)1384
    26Jack Spence42004Papercourt20(30)3027986
    27Oliver Machell22619Papercourt3523(41)25487
    28Edward Le Gassick44489Wilsonian26252416(40 DNF)91
    29Olivier Greber44981Pevensey Bay24112636(40 DNF)97
    30Tom Howard43170Island Barn27391913(40 DNF)98
    31Joseph Simmons36364Portchester SC(36)35103126102
    32Felix Crowther32942Queen Mary(33)33283015106
    33Benedict Cooper45794Bough Beech30(36)293316108
    34James Peck20169Papercourt253234(35)18109
    35Olivia Bentley43729Island Barn(41)37332927126
    36Alistair Smith16499Island Barn34(43)383720129
    37Katie Hedgecock34062Lancing(42)41363817132
    38Elodie Jackson21419Lancing39(42)404014133
    39Isabelle Jackson24182Lancing404035(41)19134
    40Harry Bradley45746Queen Mary37343732(45 DNC)140
    41Matthew Morton44756Queen Mary(45 DNF)38423922141
    42Zoe Robinson43013Papercourt382439(45 DNC)45 DNC146
    43Kirsty Mackie33086Island Barn3126(45 DNC)45 DNC45 DNC147
    44Peter Grassick45159Papercourt(45 DNF)45 DNC45 DNC45 DNC45 DNC180