26 Toppers arrived at Island Barn on 17th February for its increasingly popular South East Topper Winter Regatta for the Barnstormer Trophy. This trophy was named after the average wind strengths expected for February. But there was certainly no storm at the Barn this day. The sailors arrived to a polished mirror of a reservoir. An early lunch was taken and during the desert some very welcome clouds started to suck in a light south westerly. Lord be praised. Racing started two hours late with a general recall. Race Officers fault, too much starboard end bias. Outer distance mark moved 30 metres forward and off we go. Aaron Evans (Silver Wing SC) won comfortably from Leo Wilkinson (Maidenhead SC and DWSC). Henry Koe (South Bank) was some way back in third. Wilkinson showed his consistency by repeating a second in Race 2, giving him a regatta lead as Evans dropped to fourth. Race 2 was won by Josie Meredith from Papercourt , with Lily Barrett from the host club third.
So top four with a final race to go were Wilkinson, Evans, Meredith, Matilda Gregson (Starcross yacht Club). Wilkinson and Meredith scrapped the whole two laps, never sepaated by more than a boats length. Great viewing. Wilkinson edged it by a length, with Evans second, Maisie Bristow (another Topper from Island Barn) third and Barrett fourth.
After a discard Wilkinsin and Evans were equal on 3, but Wilkinson won it on count back. Island Barn's much improved Lilly Barrett scored a solid third, one point ahead of Henry Koe.
A relieved race officer thanked the clouds profusely and the sun popped out to provide a wonderful sunset to accompany new Island Barn Commodore Uta Grienbach's presentation of the Barnstormer trophy to Leo Wilkinson. See you all on February 16th next year.