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Kit Guide

Not the ideal start to a regatta......

By Jake Bowhay 2nd October 2020

The Topper Winter Regatta is seen as a benchmark of how your winter training is going but it also makes up part of the Topper National Series. For this reason I was aiming for a good result while also trying to work out what I need to spend my remaining squad camps working on.

We arrived Friday evening, unpacked the boats and then headed back to the youth hostel where I was staying with some friends from my local Topper squad, the JETS.

Saturday morning I headed down to the academy to wash my boat and rig. Then disaster, “Dad where’s my kit bag?” He replied, “Where ever you left it.” Unfortunately for me that was in our garage, over one and a half hours away on a good run! This meant I had to spend the next half hour hunting round the dinghy park trying to find some kit to borrow. Thankfully, due to some very generous sailors, I was able to get enough together to save my weekends sailing. On the plus side, I did get to try out the new Rooster Supertherm kindly loaned by Jack, from Rooster, and I’m happy to report it is incredibly warm and comfortable.

There was a short postponement while we waited for the wind to stabilize, before we headed out on to the water in around 20knots of breeze. Before the start of the first race I made sure I’d completed all of my pre-race prep to ensure I was ready. The first race went reasonably well and I finished 10th however I knew I could do better.

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Next race went better and I finished 6th although I knew I could be even more aggressive on the start line. In the final race of the day I came 1st! This was my first ‘bullet’ at a National Series.

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After racing I headed back to the youth hostel for an early night ready for more strong winds on the next day.

As forecasted, the next day we were greeted with more windy conditions. Fortunately I now had my own kit bag; I definitely appreciated my Rooster hiking pads more now having sailed the previous day without them.

The first race of the day went well with a 4th and I definitely felt like I could hike harder than before. The second race I also scored a 4th after gaining places from the convergent breeze on the left of the outer loop. The last race of the day did not go to plan; an altercation on the start line resulted in a capsize and I took the decision to retire from the race.

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Overall I finished 10th and 2nd youth which is my best result yet. Hopefully with some more hard work I’ll be able to improve on this position at the next National Series at Datchet.

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