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#topper – The International Topper Class Association and Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club have announced that local chandlery company, Firmhelm are supporting the World Championship 2014.

Over 700 sailors, coaches and their families are expected to visit Pwllheli for this championship that is to be held between August 8-15 2014.

Gareth Roberts, Events Manager, Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club said " The Topper World championship 2014 is our major international event in this year's sailing calendar and we will be offering our Top Welsh Welcome to competitors and families. Sailors will be racing on one of the best sailing waters in Britain, while families will have a chance to visit the many attractions of the Llyn and Snowdonia and experience our unique Welsh heritage and culture."

Jane Butterworth of Firmhelm Ltd says "Our daughter Chloe has been sailing a Topper competitively for the last four years and is a member of the RYA National Intermediate and Welsh National Squads, she is really looking forward to seeing all the Nations coming to her doorstep to compete for the International Topper Class Association World Championships 2014 and is keen to do well herself on her home waters in her last year in the Class.

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#topper– Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough has won the Topper world championships in Loctundy, Brittany, France today.

Racing was cancelled today so Liam remained top of the 102 boat fleet with a healthy 13–point lead. Prize giving is at 5p this evening.

Ireland also had three other top 20s with Niamh Doran 12th, Tom Purdon14th and Conor Sherriff 17th.

Liam packed in a tough training season winning silver at the Irish Youth Nationals on Lough Derg.

Liam got off to a solid start with four top 3 finishes in his first four races including two fleet wins. He won yet another race on Day 2 but even with the steady breeze of 12 knots, Liam had to overcome some difficult sea conditions. Commenting after racing on Wednesday Liam remarked "The wind was quite steady, but it was tricky to deal with waves and current at the starting line. Moreover beating to get the windward mark was one-sided, and tide wasn't helping".

The sailors then faced very light conditions yesterday with winds of only 8 to 9 knots in the morning then dropping to even less in the afternoon. Liam continued his dominance at the top of the fleet while trying to avoid useless risks, ultimately leaving him in pole position at the end of the penultimate day with a 13–point cushion. Commenting after racing Liam said "At the beginning I wasn't confident enough to take risks but now given the results I feel like trying some strategies out. But in any case I really stay concentrated on my sailing and I know that at the end of the day getting constant results is more effective than trying to win each leg.

liamglynnpodium

Draped in the tricolour, Liam Glynn from Belfast lough makes his acceptance speech at the Topper World Championship prizegiving

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As for today the difficulty was to stay under the line with the current pushing you over but I managed and got good starts."

 Topper is one of the most competitive youth classes with many Olympians having progressed through the ranks. Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton was once a star within the Topper ranks as well as Rio 2016 hopeful Philip Doran and ISAF youth silver medallist Finn Lynch the three only came close to claiming the world title which Liam now celebrates.

 

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#topper – Liam Glynn from Ballyholme YC is leading the Topper World Championships in Loctudy, Brittany, France. In a fleet of 102 boats, he has already registered 3 firsts, 1 second and a third.
He has already won the Irish Nationals this summer at Donaghadee where conditions were similar with little breeze and lots of tide. Hopefully there is a little bit more wind forecast today although tomorrow is looking light without a sea or land breeze kicking in during the afternoon. Today is the first of the races where the gold and silver fleets have been separated and the racing starts properly. Ben Martin (BYC), Tom Purdon (BYC and SLYC), Peter Gilmore (SLYC), Lucy Mearns (SLYC) and Emily Hill (CAYC) should also make the Gold fleet.

Today wind-speed up to 12 knots , sunshine but also tidal stream were expecting the 117 contestants for the International Topper Class World Championship.
Racers were disturbed at the starting line by the tidal current as pointed out the young British William Birch Tomlinson who got the 4 th place for this evening.
"In the first and second race it was hard to stay under the starting line as the current made the dinghies drift.Then in the following legs everything was about taking the right decision and tack at the right moment to get the windward mark."
The Irish Liam Glynn, at the head of the overall results seems to share this point of view:
"The wind was quite steady but it was tricky to deal with waves and current at the starting line. Moreover beating to get the windward mark was one-sided and tide wasn't helping."
A light land breeze strengthened the wind-speed on the race and the real wind eventually dropped at midday. Then the land breeze had to vanish because of some clouds covering the body of water.
As for the French contestants, the process of learning how to sail this typically Anglo-saxon dinghy is still on the way.
"I never sailed a Topper before and I am far from the top ten but I don't really mind, Chloé Le Bars confesses. I usually sail Lasers and I'm not used to the Toppers' tricky balance. However I'm starting to get hold of this new boat even though what you feel when you hold the tiller is so different."
When we consider Marie-Anne Resmond the transition is even stiffer since she evolved from oppies to sporty catamarans. Hence a tough but pleasant return to single-handed dinghies .
"Going back to dinghies is so challenging, since you have to show real technical skills to sail them. I have so much to learn and to remember (many things forgotten when sailing catamarans) and I find it thrilling."
Tomorrow golden and silver fleet will be merged and that is when the real challenge to get in the top three starts.

Results after four races :
Topper 4.2 m² :
1. Hamish Beaumont (GBR), 14 pts ; 2. David Rosie, (GBR), 26 pts. ; 3. Georges Graham (GBR), 26 pts ; ... 15 classés.
Topper 5.3 m² :
1. Liam Glynn, (IRL), 25 pts ; 2. Phoebe Connellan ( GBR), 31 pts ; 3. Bella Fellows (GBR), 31 pts ; ... 102 classés.

Published in Topper

#Topper – A lack of wind made the fleet of 117 Toppers –   including eleven Irish helms – wait all morning to finally reach the starting line at 13h30 yesterday at Cercle Nautique de Loctudy‎, France.

Ireland's best result came in the blue fleet when Emily Hill of County Antrim Yacht Club finished second.

Also competing for Ireland is Mark O'Conor and Conor and Eve Byrne of the National Yacht Club, Issy Delamer of Howth, Niamh Doran and Conor Sheriff of Courtown, Alison Dolan of Blessington, Liam Glynn of Ballyholme, Emma McKnight and Tom Purdon of Strangford Lough, 

Because wind speed was not b enough to overcome tide, the racing committee could only launch the first legs of the race in the early afternoon.

The first legs of the day took place in a six to eight knots wind and lower at the end.In addition to that a powerful current , sometime overcoming the wind, worsened the already tricky conditions. Eventually,the committee members had to reduce the length between marks so that all the contestants could finish the race in time.

An hour later, time used to rearrange the marks for the new course, the Toppers went up on a second leg with more stable weather conditions but still very light wind. Within four to six knots, the fleet of 117 single-handed dinghies crossed the starting line but went no further.

The weather forecast for today is quite similar... competitors will have to wait until Wednesday to get a deserved constant twelve knots wind speed.

Results

Topper 4.2 (15 boats)
1. Millie Aldridge, GBR
2. Matthew Sanders, GBR
3. Lowri Boorman, GBR

Topper 5.3 (51 boats)
Yellow fleet:
1. Oliver Aldridge, GBR
2. Crispin Beaumont, GBR
3. Harriet Ward, GBR

Blue Fleet:
1. Elliot Kuzyk, GBR
2. Emily Hill, IRL
3. Peter Gillmore

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#topper – Waterford Harbour showed it's sunnier side for day two of the Irish National Topper Championships, with a similar breeze to yesterday giving more fantastic racing for the fleet but the strong currents continuing to complicate matters at mark roundings. Report and Photos (below) by Gareth Craig.

The race committee made the most of the perfect weather ahead of a relatively windless forecast for Sunday by packing in four races. The overnight top-two further consolidated their lead over the following pack with a string of good results pulling Dougie Power (WHSC) and Laura Gilmore (SLYC) clear in head-to-head for the overall lead. Multiple restarts were the order of the day as the fleet of nearly 50 youth sailors repeatedly egged each other on against the tide to force general recalls, and the dreaded black flag even made a number of appearances!

The wind gradually built through the day, blowing a good Force 3 – 4 by the later stages, and swinging a little between races, but staying from a north to north-westerly direction to keep the famous Dunmore Swell at bay for great Topper racing condition.

By the time the fleet came ashore with seven races complete and a single discard in play Power held the lead by three points from Gilmore, with Conor O'Farrell from Carlingford Lough YC 13 points further back in third and the rest of the top ten predominantly filled by sailors from along the east coast.toppernats

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#TOPPER – The Topper Leinster sailing Championships at Howth Yacht Club on March 31st/April 1st is the first event of the season for the Irish Topper class and with qualification for the ISA Topper Squad at stake, a competitive fleet of up to 40 boats is expected from clubs as far apart as Wexford and Antrim.

To qualify for the 2012 ISA Topper Squad sailors must compete in both the Leinsters in Howth and the Mitsubishi Youth Nationals in Dun Laoghaire in mid-April. The Topper squads are training groups formed, co-ordinated and managed by the ISA (and RYA in the North).

The ISA squad comes under the Olympic pathway which allows for progression from the junior fleet to the Olympic classes. The squad will be re-selected in April after the Youth sailing Championships and will prepare the sailors to compete in the 2012 Topper World Championships at Workum in Holland.

Friday 23rd March is the deadline for discounted entry fees of €50/£45 (after which they increase by €10/£10) for the Leinsters and entry is restricted to members of the Irish Topper Class Association.

The event, under the guidance of PRO Richard Kissane and his team, has a schedule of six races over the two days.

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There has been a call for the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) to take a lead in the big decisions that face youth sailors on what classes to sail to after they leave the ranks of the Optimist, Topper and Feva classes. The call comes from a leading junior organiser who does not wish to be named.

Although youth sailing is buoyant in Ireland it is known there is a 'high attrition rate' among teenagers. The lack of transfer in to senior dinghy classes has been a cause of concern for many clubs around the country.

The comments follow a recently published  article on Afloat.ie promoting the RS 200 dinghy as a progression boat for juniors.

"We need a class that will keep youths engaged. The 420 and 29er are great boats but require higher levels of boathandling, are much more competitive and tend to attract the top sailors"

"While the ISA's Olympic ambitions are great to see, it will fail the sport as a whole if it does not tackle this gaping need, the organiser says.

Read the RS 200 article by Ciara Byrne and the junior organiser's comments here

Published in Youth Sailing

15 year old Matt Venables from Sutton Coal Fields Yacht Club in Birmingham proved that he is a potential Olympian with his dominant win of the very successful Sovereign Ski Topper World Championships which finished in Dun Laoghaire today writes Martin McCarthy.
The youngster led from the second race on day 1 and was comfortably in front by the time Race OOD Con Murphy finished the third race of the day.
Matt was delighted with his win: "The whole event has been amazing – I have enjoyed every minute of it. The set up here and the organization has been fantastic – the courses were superb and it was great that we got all our races in despite a lot of light airs"

topperwinners

Topper World Champions Matt Venerbles Mens  and Aura Gilmore  Ladies with Paul Barrington Commadore of the National Yacht Club and Liam Shanahan Sponsor SovereignSKI Photo: Michael Chester

National Yacht Club Commodore Paul Barrington, who doubled as Event safety officer, was impressed with the huge fleet's behaviour: "The sailors showed great rule adherence – especially as they are all under 18 – but they also really entered into the right spirit for the event." The five dolphins who joined the later races also seemed to be enjoying the fun of the occasion.
This spirit was what also struck Event Chairman Margaret Kneafsey: "There was great friendliness in the fleet despite the fierce competitiveness. They all seemed to enjoy themselves no matter where they finished"
Top of the Irish was Patrick Crosbie of RCYC who finished a brilliant third out of the 177 boat fleet. He said it was one of the most enjoyable events he has ever done. He will only have tonight to rest before heading to Wales to compete in the British 420 Nationals in North Wales where he is teaming up with his sister.
Strangford's Laura Gilmore also had a terrific championship finishing fifth overall and is now the best female Topper sailor in the world.
The 5 man Korean team added a true global flavour to the Dun Laoghire event. Their manager Mr.Lee felt they leant a great deal from the Dun Laoghaire event as they will host the 2013 Topper World's: "It was great for our boys to sail against the world's best and we were proud that one got into the silver fleet. Staying in UCD worked very well as the boys could play football in the evenings with Irish and British boys and I think they will have friends for life from that". He also remarked that the Harbour Company providing the Carlisle Pier for Camper vans added greatly to the atmosphere and spirit of the event.

Phil Harland adds: Sailors arrived for the final day of the 2011 Sovereign Ski Topper World Championship at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland to be greeted by yet another day of calm seas and no wind. Those fervently looking at the forecasts were predicting some big winds coming over around 11:00am with a front of rain, but having arrived an hour early at the club based on yesterday's forecast of wind in the morning there were a few weary faces around the dinghy park.
Launching was delayed as the wind stubbornly refused to get going, and then at 10:00am a gentle breeze rustled through. There was rumour of 20 knot winds just down the coast at Wicklow as the PRO gave the decision to launch and the sailors took to the water in eager anticipation. Once again launching was completed quickly and efficiently. As the wind started to fill in, Gold fleet went into sequence at 10:50, which ended in a general recall. Second time around though they were clean away with a big pin end bias as the wind shifted.
Silver fleet got away cleanly with three Irish boats port tacking the fleet off the biased pin end. Bronze fleet were also finally away, though a bit of a messy start in the shifting wind. As the Silver fleet rounded their windward mark a few spots of rain started falling out on the course, and the wind dropped – now averaging less than 5 knots much to the frustrations of the sailors who had been expecting it get stronger through the day! The tide was still ripping through and with little wind the Bronze fleet was moving very slowly towards the windward mark and having great difficulty getting around it.
Meanwhile, the Gold fleet, who had been sailing in the best of the breeze, were completing their first race of the day. Eventually Silver and Bronze fleets completed their course. Fleet winners for the first race of the day were: Gold – Danielle Rowe (GBR); Silver – Lewis Marr (GBR); Bronze – Oliver Martindale (GBR).
The wind increased again slightly, but the rumoured winds over Wicklow hadn't made it to Dun Laoghaire! Before the start of Race 2, a wind shift to the right left the PRO no option but to lay a new course before getting Gold fleet away cleanly for Race 2. However, yet another wind shift meant the PRO had to raise the AP for Silver and Bronze fleets. After a short delay Silver went into sequence and eventually after another general recall they got away under a black flag followed by the Bronze fleet. The wind speed out on the race course climbed to 7 knots – which was to prove the best conditions of the day, other than the odd isolated gust.
Fleet winners for the second race of the day were: Gold – Matt Venables (GBR); Silver – Samuel McKay (GBR); Bronze – Fionn O'Farrell (IRL).
The final race of the championship saw Gold fleet away followed by a general recall for Silver fleet and finally Bronze fleet. As the Bronze fleet completed their final race the rain started falling lightly again and the wind dropped off – the strong winds never came for racing, but as often happens started blowing through the boat park as the boats were being packed away! To round off the day, the fleet winners for the third race were: Gold – Robbie Robinson (GBR); Silver – Georgia Grice (GBR); Bronze – Thomas Moore (IRL).
After five days of racing in challenging and sometimes frustrating conditions consisting of mainly light and shifty winds coupled with a strong tide, Matt Venables (GBR) proved the man to catch, in the end finishing 33 points ahead of his nearest rival and taking an obligatory dive into the water on his way in to the slip. Laura Gilmore (GBR) came home 1st female.

The top three in each fleet were:
Gold fleet: 1st – Matt Venables (GBR); 2nd – Robbie Robinson (GBR); 3rd – Patrick Crosbie (IRL);
Silver fleet: 1st – Joe Henderson (GBR); 2nd – Samantha Foster (GBR); 3rd – Samuel McKay (GBR);
Bronze fleet: 1st – Thomas Moore (IRL); 2nd – Conrad Parkinson (GBR); 3rd – Oliver Martindale (GBR);

During the closing speeches, Bill Brassington, President of the International Topper Class Association, announced that the 2012 Topper World Championship will be held at the Sailing Club Workum, in the Netherlands, from August 19th to the 24th. For 2013 the World Championship will travel to the beautiful island of Namhae in South Korea and for 2014 back to the UK and the waters of Tremadog Bay and the Lyn peninsular, hosted by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club.

 

Published in Topper

Sailors arrived for day four of the 2011 Sovereign Ski Topper World Championship at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire to a flat sea and no wind writes Phil Harland. With increasing cloud cover there was no sea breeze forecast in the bay and so sailors prepared to wait on shore whilst the Race Committee went out on the water to check conditions.
Just before 11:00am the PRO decided to release the fleet from the shore to see what could be made of the light winds on the water. With the same efficiency as previous days all sailors were afloat within 30 minutes and making their way out of the harbour.
The Gold Fleet was the first to assemble on the start line and after an initial recall were clear away. Silver fleet were next but with light breeze and tide there was another general recall before they got away with George Haynes (GBR) port tacking the fleet.

Topper-world-Dolphins_on_Dublin_bay

As Bronze went into sequence some newcomers joined in – a school of dolphins – all very friendly, swimming between the boats and jumping out of the water and swimming up the beat with the fleets. So keen were the dolphins to join in that the Bronze fleet start had to be delayed as they dolphins played around the boats on the line. Eventually Bronze fleet got away with a clean start - with the dolphins following them up the beat!
The wind conditions were proving particularly fickle for all the fleets with 45 degree wind shifts and pressure switching from one side of the course to the other leaving sailors who were doing well one minute dropping back down the fleet the next. Hunting pressure was the order of the day.
Fleet winners for the first race of the day were: Gold – Tim Brow (IRL); Silver – Olly Guess (GBR); Bronze – Peter Queally (IRL).
At 13:15 Gold fleet went into sequence for Race 2, but it was another general recall, followed by a clean start second time around. With the wind dropping further, but the chop remaining this was making sailing upwind very difficult. Silver fleet achieved a clean start followed by Bronze fleet, who started Race 2 as soon as they completed Race 1.

With the wind dying further, the Gold and Silver fleets both finished together – and a few dolphins re-appeared to join the fleets. Fleet winners for the second race of the day were: Gold – Matt Venables (GBR); Silver – Samantha Foster (GBR); Bronze – Niamh Doran (IRL).
The PRO tried to get in a third race, but with the wind now almost non-existent decided to send the fleets ashore in the hope of some better wind tomorrow.
With the challenging conditions, results were somewhat topsy-turvy across the fleets, but overnight leaders were: Gold – Matt Venables (GBR) and now with a 22 point lead over the nearest competitor; Silver – Joe Henderson (GBR); Bronze – Thomas Moore (IRL).
The winds forecast for the last day of the event look better and so the Race Committee decided that they would try and go for three races on Friday instead of the planned two, and so have instructed the fleets that will be launching an hour earlier than scheduled.

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