Douglas Horner was the overall winner of last Saturday's Topper open meeting

Cloudless skies, a light to moderate breeze, and temperatures in the mid-20s were the ideal conditions for the Topper open meeting at Wilsonian Sailing Club on Saturday 31 May. Three races were scheduled, one in the morning and two back to back in the afternoon with two to count. The event attracted 15 visitors, including Sam Rowe who recently won the Topper open at Medway YC, and five from the host club. The trapezoid lapping course was set in Short Reach within sight of the clubhouse.

In the first race Douglas Horner closely followed by Kate Gibbs and Steve Restall gradually pulled ahead of the fleet on the first lap. Gibbs lost out, having to make penalty turns after trying to cut inside while rounding the CB4 mark. On the next three rounds Andy Fielder made steady progress through the fleet to close fast on the leader. However, on the last lap Horner held off the challenge for line honours with Fielder second and Gibbs third, while Katie Restall had the satisfaction of finishing fourth, ahead of dad Steve.

The second race did not start well for Horner and he had to play the wind shifts well to come out in front with Fielder at the first mark. Fielder and Horner shared the lead for the first three rounds, with Sam Rowe close behind waiting for them to make a mistake. On the final lap Horner made the mistake of not staying out in the favourable ebb tide on the beat to the windward mark. Fielder took full advantage of this error and held a comfortable lead to the line, leaving Horner to fight it out with Rowe for second place.

The third race was crucial with Horner and Fielder tied for top place and the other prizes still up for grabs. Horner made a perfect start winning the committee boat end, gained an early lead which was gradually extended for a convincing win and overall victory. Meanwhile, Sam Rowe and Steve Restall were having a close tussle for second place. Eventually Row won the battle and promotion to third overall, while Restall’s third place secured fourth prize and Fielder could discard his 6th place for runners-up spot.

Katie Restall in 6th place won the prize for first lady and Felicity Minns, from Chichester YC, was presented with the prize for the furthest travelled. Thomas Kift, although at the back of the fleet, was awarded the prize for endeavour.

Overall Results

1st 44304 Douglas Horner (Wilsonian SC)

2nd 43229 Andy Fielder (Broadwater SC)

3rd 43729 Sam Rowe (Downs SC)

4th 43170 Steve Restall (Downs SC)

5th 43770 Tim Ellis (Broadstairs SC)

1st Lady; 44666 Katie Restall (Downs SC)