Day 4 of the Rooster Topper Worlds

Wednesday night and the campsite is unusually quiet for 10.00PM. The atmosphere has changed. It is the evening before the start of the 2 days of final competition. The flights have been determined and it is now up to the sailors to make the most of where they ended up at the end of the qualifiers. There is always disappointment at not making your intended flight. Gear failure, bad starts, light winds, strong winds, and so many aspects that are outside your control can at times, can sometimes make this seem like a cruel sport, but the comradery and support from other sailors brings you back year after year.

With a start scheduled for one hour earlier than the qualifiers, the sailors set out at 12.00PM  for a 1.00PM first gun. Brisk winds and an abundance of adrenaline in the 5.3 gold fleet, resulted in what could only be described a major pile-up at the pin end of the line as a significant number of the ‘port end flyer’ boats descended on what they seemed be the most biased part of the line. At least six of the top contenders suffered a ‘major disadvantage’ as hulls ended up on one top of one another,  and one Topper ended up with a ‘significant bend in the mast’ that would definitely fail any inspection and certainly stopped the sailor from competing in the first race of the day!

Following the start of the Silver Fleet, the line had to be reset due to significant bias, but eventually all three fleets were under way. With initial starting scores now allocated on the sailors finishing position in the qualifiers, any comfortable points margins between competitors were now removed, and one simple error could now have a dramatic effect. The brisk wind conditions favoured the stronger more experienced sailor and at the end of racing in the gold, it was Scott Wilkinson who finished the day in pole position, followed by Angus Kemp in second and Isabel Wallwork in third.

In the silver fleet, Leo Wilkinson took the honours with Evie McLaughlin in second and  Benjamin Jukes-Bennett in third, whilst in the bronze fleet, Rachel Wyss grabbed first overall with  Maxi Tustin in second and Hamish McDonald in third.

Meanwhile, in the 4.2 fleet, business carried on as usual with the potential world champions trying to get their name in this year roll of honour. As the day wore on, the late afternoon wind picked up along with the nasty chop that comes with it. The downwind legs were particularly difficult especially for some of the very light competitors, but these fine sailors dealt with the conditions admirably and were a credit to the Topper 4.2 class. This fleet, which had seen a relatively consistent group at the top of the leader board, saw a reallocation of places with Ben Purrier moving up to the top slot, Xinran Chen moving to second and Sean Woodard dropping to third.

Overall, the gaps between competitors are still very close and as we head into the final day of racing, everything is still up for grabs.