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Royal Cork's Rian Collins Wins Topper Northerns at Donaghadee Sailing Club

6th July 2021

Donaghadee Sailing Club on the north County Down coast heard the first gun fired in the Topper Northern Championships on Saturday 3rd July with a sense of relief and excitement.

Race Officer Aidan Pounder, Commodore of Ballyholme YC, assisted by Colin Loughead of Royal Ulster, sent the 37 competitors off for the first of three races on the first day, having waited for the breeze to fill in. The strong tide in the Sound off Donaghadee gave the sailors trouble resulting in general recalls, but all three races were completed successfully.

The Topper Northern Championships get underway at Donaghdee Sailing ClubThe Topper Northern Championships get underway at Donaghdee Sailing Club

Not like the following day when racing was abandoned in the early afternoon due to rolling fogbanks, so despite trying to run a fourth race which would have given a discard, three had to suffice.

For Rian Collins of Royal Cork, the long haul north was worthwhile for he lifted the overall first prize with Daniel Palmer of Ballyholme runner up.

Rian Collins of RCYC (left) was the overall winner of the Topper Northerns pciturd here with Donaghedee Sailing Club Brian LennoxRian Collins of RCYC (left) was the overall winner of the Topper Northerns pciturd here with Donaghedee Sailing Club Brian Lennox

With prizes galore for the two divisions, the spoils were relatively well spread around the country.

Tyler Playfair of Carrickfergus won the 4.2s in Belfast Lough with Ballyholme's Hugo Boyd second. Ella Fitzgerald of National YC and Sutton Dinghy Club took the 5.3 prizes, followed by Eve McDonagh of Ballyholme. Junior Male went to Rian Collins, with Palmer runner up and

Junior Female to Autumn Halliday of Strangford Lough YC with Isobel Nixon of Ballyholme runner up. Toby Hughes (Royal North and Ballyholme) won Youth Male with Max Killiner also from Royal North second.

Brian Lennox, Commodore of Donaghadee SC, was delighted that the event could be held at his club; "I am delighted to see so many dinghies back in the Harbour after such a long break due to Covid. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this event a fantastic occasion".

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Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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At a Glance - Topper Championship Dates in Ireland 2021

2nd-4th July Irish Nationals at Strangford Lough Yacht Club

24-30 July 2021, Topper World Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club

2nd-6th August 2021 UK Topper Nationals Ballyholme Yacht Club

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