Day 5 and 6 were the final days of the British National Championships. Again it was not easy sailing but for different reasons. On Day 5 visibility was poor but there was enough breeze to race. Once the race committee were happy with the safety of the sailors one race was completed in the best conditions of the week so far, up to 12 knots. 

All three fleets managed one race in the near hail rain conditions but with the tide reaching a near 3 knots and wind speed deteriorating, no further racing was completed and the fleet sent ashore ahead of the final day with just 5 races to show for 5 days racing. 

Day 6 promised all week to be the best conditions of the regatta and so it was with up to 20 knots and glorious sunshine, such a contrast from the week before. Three full races were sailed in 18 to 20 knots, with changing tide, once again proving a critical factor in last two races as it pushed sailors over line and kicked up a steep chop, however the sailors dealt with it brilliantly and it was great to watch.

Laura Gilmore lead going into the last day but had a tough time in the strong conditions however she persevered to finish a credible 6th and 1st Girl, a great achievement. The other Irish persevered in the conditions and all to their credit finished all the races without gear failure. The most notable charge up the leader board came from Tim Brow with a great day, finishing 15th, 8th 2nd in last race, with great speed but big line starts may require more work.

That concludes the British Nationals, now we look forward to the Topper Worlds Championships held by the National YC, Dun Laoghaire from the 14-19 August. Most of the fleet are packed ready to head over straight after this event. It should prove to be a great event.

Final Irish Results:

Laura Gilmore 6th
Timothy Brow 17th
Jack Brien 19th
Dougie Power 25th
Craig Campbell 26th
Erica Ruigrok 60th
Andrew Penney 72nd
Conor O'Farrell 73th
Sorcha Donnelly 79th
Tom Purdon 86th

Aisling Keller 5th
Kevin Harrington 40th
Suzanne Flannigan 46th

See here for full results.

*** *** ***

On Tuesday which was Day 3 of the Championship, the heavens opened up in Scotland. A mammoth amount of rain fell, which coupled with no wind i.e. 1 knot gusting, meant that no races were completed.

With only two races completed the qualification series was extended to Day 4. It was a more promising day with much less cloud cover giving signs a light  sea breeze could later develop.

Eventually after much wind speed up and down and moving the course inland to escape the massive tide (sometimes up to 2 knots or more), the wind stabilised to 5-6 knots at about 4pm.

The PRO was under pressure to get races in and as time got later and the fleet behaved more and more badly the races were confined to 1 lap, just 20 minutes per race. Not ideal for a National Championship but such was the nature of this week so far.

The breeze did pick up to 12 even 13 knots at times with the tide playing a huge roll for numerous black flags through the day. Up to 80 sailors were penalised over the two races from the day as the tide pushed the fleet over the line time and time again.

The Irish results were much better and after the discard all Irish sailors have made Gold and Silver Fleets with just two in the minor. Laura Gilmore with two more bullets took the overall lead in the championship. The 3rd race of the day was cancelled for safety reasons due to a deep fog approaching and the fleet returned ashore at 7pm.

Results and Final Fleets:

Laura Gilmore 1st
Craig Campbell 16th
Dougie Power 19th
Jack Brien 36th
Timothy Brow 51st
Andrew Penney 56th
Erica Ruigrok 68th
Tom Purdon 69th
Sorcha Donnelly 78th
Conor O'Farrell 89th
Aisling Keller 91st

Kevin Harrington 100th
Suzanne Flannigan 127th

See here for full results.

*** *** ***

Day 1 and 2 have been and gone of the 2011 Topper British Nationals held in East Lothian Yacht Club in bonny-Scotland. So far the event has been plagued by very light, inconsistent winds with the outlook for breeze still not good until the end of the week.

After two long races on the water where sailors and safety ribs were on the water each day to past 6pm, only 2 races have been completed. Both from Day 1 with the race 3 later abandoned  on Day 1. Day 2 was again not promising and one race attempt started late on however abandoned due to the sea resembling a mirror, beats turning into runs and back again. The end-result no further races completed.

The ISA Topper Squad are in attendance joining a strong number of Irish Topper sailors looking to bring the trophy back to the island of Ireland for the 3rd year in a row, but at this moment looks rather tough. The sailors and current results after 2 races are as follows:

Dougie Power 18th
Craig Campbell 33rd
Timothy Brow 38th
Laura Gilmore 43rd
Jack Brien 47th
Andrew Penney 85th
Kevin Harrington 105th
Erica Ruigrok 109th
Conor O'Farrell 129th
Suzanne Flannigan 135th
Tom Purdon 159th
Aisling Keller 166th
Sorcha Donnelly 220th

Some good individual results so far, including Laura Gilmore with a bullet in Race 2 but consistency proves hard to come-by. Results need to improve in a total fleet size of 270 with cut-off to Gold and Sliver at 90th and 180th places!

See here for full results.

Posted in: Youth Sailing
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