Open meeting round up from 27/28 April
Occasional sunshine and a good force 4 northwesterly breeze set the scene for the Topper Open at Wilsonian Sailing Club on Saturday 27th April. The three-race event attracted an entry of 23 boats from all over the southeast.
The first race started with most of the fleet over the line prematurely but after a general recall they got away cleanly at the second attempt.
Mark Heather showed his World Champion credentials by taking the lead on the beat to the first mark. Although he held for the three rounds, Chris Catt was snapping at his heels all the way with only six seconds separating them at the line.
Andrew Smith drew ahead of the rest of the fleet for third spot while Douglas Horner held off the challenge from Tim Allardyce for fourth. Richard Waite was up with the leaders over the first lap but dropped back to finish in sixth place
The wind had backed to the west during lunch, so the re-start was delayed while a new course was set for the two back to back races.
Race two produced some keen racing again between Catt and Heather, although this time Steve Restall was also in the frame and lying second to Catt at the end of the first lap. However, over the next two laps Heather gradually established a lead over Catt to claim another victory while Horner and Smith overhauled Restall to take third and fourth respectively.
As only two races were to count, going into the concluding race, Heather was already assured of overall victory and Catt the runners-up spot.
But the other top prizes were still up for grabs. Heather and Catt were not content to rest on their laurels though and once again were in a tight tussle at the front of the fleet but this time Catt managed to keep ahead for line honours.
Smith, Allardyce and Horner, contenders for the top prizes, were having a private battle behind the leaders. Smith was leading the way on the first two laps with Allardyce just ahead of Horner but on the final lap Horner took a dip and Allardyce edged ahead of Smith on the final beat to the line.
Smith and Horner were tied on seven points for overall third prize, which was broken in Smith’s favour, having beaten Horner in the last race, Allardyce picked up fifth. Robert Waite in seventh was awarded first junior prize and Lucy Heather in tenth was the first lady prize
Sam Rowe won the prize for perseverance.
1, Mark Heather 43856 (Wilsonian SC) 2pts
2, Chris Catt 42079 (Downs SC) 3pts
3, Andrew Smith 30800 (Wilsonian SC) 7pts
4, Douglas Horner 44304 (Wilsonian SC) 7pts
5, Tim Allardyce 41828 (Medway YC)
6, Steve Restall 42040 (Downs SC) 13pts
1st Junior: Robert Waite 42619 (Downs SC) 13pts
1st Lady: Lucy Heather 42804 (Wilsonian SC) 18pts
For Perseverance: Sam Rowe 43729 (Downs SC) 30pts