Topper Open 2016
Ely Sailing Club welcomed three guest sailors to our annual Topper Open event that saw 12 racers take to the waters in Topper Dinghies, four of whom were adults. The lake was smooth with the lack of wind, but despite this, several courses were set and the sailors enjoyed some drifting speed races.
In the first race, Kirk Stamford had a flying start and led for nearly the entire race until he was overtaken on the last downwind leg. However, he caught a wind shift and sailed across the finish in first place. Visitor James Denny claimed the second position after being overtaken in the last moments by Kirk. Chandler Stamford, who usually sails a Laser, came third after losing out to James and Kirk upwind. Ted Pepper came fourth closely behind the race leaders with Ian Wakeling 5th.
After this, the second race was underway with a new course involving an adventurous trip up to buoy number 7 which was challenging in the wind conditions. Chandler Stamford had a great start and was the most windward boat at the starboard end giving him clear airs and more speed. His brother Kirk was just behind and tacked to also take advantage of clear wind to sail away from the pack. James Denny provided close competition once again, but eventually lost out to Chandler and Kirk in this short race before lunch. Chandler claimed line honours over his brother, with Denny third and Ted once again fourth. Mike Williams came 5th and James Perry was 6th.
Following lunch, the wind had shifted but was also disappearing altogether as a result of the rain shower. Denny and Kirk Stamford had a cracking start covering the fleet up the beat providing dirty winds and slowing them down. Chandler Stamford had lost wind on the start line and crossed last but made it back up to second by the first buoy after tacking into some advantageous wind shifts near the tree lined bank. With James Denny leading, Chandler second and Kirk third, the front three positions remained unchanged for the rest of the race with Denny opening up a larger lead. Close behind was Ted Pepper, with special mention of Rhys Williams in 5th who sailed particularly well.
It was all to play for going into the last race with Chandler, Kirk and James all tied on points each counting a first, second and third. Chandler led out the start being the only boat starting from the starboard end of the line and was first to round buoy 1. However, he was shortly overtaken by his brother on the downwind leg, but he was able to keep James Denny behind him. With this being a 1 lap race in the calm conditions, Kirk flew across the reach and stormed upwind. Chandler and James were battling for second place as Kirk was simply uncatchable. Kirk clamed first with Chandler coming second after a tacking battle with James. Ted was consistent and came fourth.
Well done to all who took part and for some fun and enjoyable racing in the challenging conditions.