Topper Traveller (Royal Harwich Yacht Club) Saturday 26th MaySunny, windy and warm, the perfect conditions you need for a days sailing. On the 26th May Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Ipswich hosted the 5th Eastern Area Topper Traveller of this year and I must say the best one yet!
We got to the Club at 9:30 which gave me plenty of time to take my boat off the roof rack and enter the event for 10:00. Then after I had my boat rigged and set up for the great wind conditions, as the wind was about 15 knots gusting 27 knots at some points of the day. I had a nice big bowl of pasta which gave me plenty of carbohydrates for the day and enjoyed the lovely view while waiting for the tide to come in! Then, when the briefing had finished I set of to go get changed into my sailing kit. I thought that it was a great day to put my Rooster Classic Hikers on for the first time this year. I also wore; My Neoprene Zipped Boots, PolyPro Top, Aquafleece, AeroMesh Hat and my Winter-pro Gloves which have lasted me a long time. When I got out of the changing room I quickly discovered that it was warmer than I thought, so took my Aquafleece® off! My kit was a great combo for the conditions on the day. The Race Officer managed to fit in 4 races, with the conditions in our favour. The first race started at 12:30 with the strongest of the tide of the day as the tide was still coming in with a huge force behind it to. In the first race the left hand side of the first beat favoured greatly as the disadvantage of the channel was on the right side of the beat as the tide was the strongest there. My first race wasn't the best, however I went to left side which helped a lot because you could see the sailors on the right side struggling and in the end of that race I finished with an 8th out the 27 sailors that were racing. In the second race the course changed, the race officer making the reaches longer. This was good advantage for me, as in my sailing I know that I can gain a few places on the reaches as I found out by getting 7th. The third race of the day was not my best as it started off by me and another sailor being over at the start, so I had to go back and start later than the rest of the fleet. Then, I had to try to gain as many places to get back to the top half of the fleet. In the end of this race i managed to gain a lot of places to get a 13th. However, after reflecting on this race I came to the conclusion that this race might not have been the best of races position wise but my best race because I worked really hard to gain as many paces in the time scale I had. The fourth race consisted of some great sailing coming close to the end as it was a great battle between me and Steven Clayton towards the finish line. At the end of that race I finished in 7th. By the end of the event I came 7th out of the 27 boats that entered, with my 13th as my discard. Overall the day was great with perfect sailing conditions! I learnt lots from my first event on the sea in my topper, as I learnt lots on controlling my boat with the tide being a challenge and I learnt that sometimes if something bad happens in a race you should just put it behind you and carry on racing. Overall Joesph Mullan got 1st, Hugh Braidwood 2nd, Steven Clayton 3rd, Gus Dixon 4th, Jack Cammann 5th, George Hunter 6th and closely followed by myself (Thomas Charter) 7th. I had a great time and would like to thank the Race Officer for putting together some excellent races and the RHYC for being amazing hosts for the Topper Traveller.