Bleddyn Mon wins the Magic Marine Topper UK National Championship in Largs last week
From the biggest ever entry, Wales’ Bleddyn Mon collected his first major title when he secured the Topper class UK National Championship with a 17th in the final race on the Clyde off Largs on Friday 12 August.
Mon, from Anglesey’s Red Wharf Bay Sailing Club, whose elder brother Eifion holds the world title and is current UK Inland champion, still needed only
a conservative final race to win overall but only just did enough to win.
Entering the final day with a 38 points cushion over Wimbledon Park’s Oscar
McVeigh, Mon pushed his strategic plan to sail middle, conservative lanes to the limit.
With big shifts favouring the left after the starts of both races coupled to the need to start cleanly amidst the melees which had seen plagues of black flag dsqs handed down at many of the starts by race officer Ken
Falcon, the pressure on Bleddyn was intense.
His final margin may have been only three points over McVeigh, but there was no mistaking his strength and talent in the light prevailing winds. Mon entered the finals with four races wins from five starts and had a first and second on the penultimate day.
“I was a little nervous,” admitted Mon, “But I was pretty confident that I could still put in the top 20 placing that I needed, so I was quite relieved when I heard I had won.”
A strong finish – a fifth then a first in the final race – gave McVeigh second overall.
Top Scot Peter Irwin (Linlithgow Loch) completed a good comeback after a controversial penalty within yards of the finish line which dropped him from second to 14th on Wednesday which was immediately followed by a disqualification for a starting infringement. Irwin’s sixth and ninth gave him third overall, while Tarbert’s Nell Hardie finished in 12th place, first girl.
In the Silver Fleet Jebel Ali’s Ben Butler posted a second and a third from the final day to overtake the Spey Valley’s Kim Ross who took second.
In the 26 boat Regatta fleet, which had a great week including circumnavigating the island of Cumbrae, Elton’s Lucy Jackson won from Strathclyde Loch’s Hannah Paris.
With a record entry of 278 boats competing, split for the finals into 127 boat gold and silver fleets, plus the Regatta fleet, the championship roundly rebuked the theory that championship entries inherently drop when they venture north of Hadrian’s Wall.
1 B Mon (Red Wharf Bay SC) 29pts
2 O McVeigh (Wimbledon Park SC) 32pts
3 P Irwin (Linlithgow Loch SC) 43.5 pts
4 T Gillard (Rotherham) 50.5pts
5 E Mon (Red Wharf Bay SC) 54.5pts
1 B Butler (Jebel Ali, Dubai) 162 pts
2 K Ross (Spey Valley SC) 166pts
3 S Foskett (Staunton Harold) 178.5pts
1 L Jackson (Elton SC) 24pts
2 H Paris (Strathclyde Loch SC) 25pts
3 L Murray (East Lothian SC) 30pts