Final Day of Racing and Awards Ceremony at Rooster International Topper World Championships

The sun came out over Belfast Lough and Ballyholme Yacht club for the final day of racing at the Rooster International Topper World Championships. It brought with it a strong wind though that meant some choppy conditions for the sailors out on the water. After four days of relatively light wind this dramatic change really shook up the fleet and provided an exciting last day of racing.

Thanks to the cooperation of volunteers from Ballyholme Yacht Club and from the International Topper Class Association the competition has run well all week and provided a good showcase for the sport and also for Northern Ireland.

There have been a few races abandoned due to weather but that's something most of these sailors will be used to. Under the Class rules there are a certain number of races that have to be run  to qualify the event as a championships series. Fortunately this quota was able to be met so the winners today have been crowned World Champions.

Over the course of the week it was the British and Irish sailors who performed best in the  5.3 class it was very close racing at the top of the fleet with Britain's Sam Cooper, Elliott Kuzyk, Tim Hartnell and Callum Bell along with Ireland's Jack Fahy, Sophie Crosbie and Michael Carroll all battling it out for the top spot. In the end it was  Britain's Elliott Kuzyk who took the title and was crowned World Champion.  He takes the title just four years after his older brother Giles won in 2012. In second was Tim Hartnell (GBR) and in third Sam Cooper (GBR). First Lady and winner of the Intercontinental Cup was Sophie Crosbie (IRL).

Elliott Kuzyk (GBR), 5.3 Topper World Champion 2016

Meanwhile in the 4.2 class it has been the Asian sailors who really shone. Max Yuang-Ngam from Thailand has led from the start and pulled further away from the rest of the field on the points table as the week went on. Also doing well in this class was Rabbit Su from China and Max's teammate from Thailand, Paton Mervielde. China has only recently increased investment in the Class but its sailors are now rising stars in the world of Topper sailing. After the final results were calculated it was Max Yuang-Ngam who came out on top and was named World Champion. In 2nd Rabbit Su (CHN) and 3rd Paton Merveilde (CHN).  First Lady was Catherine Albone (GBR).

Max Yuang-Ngam (THA), 4.2 Topper World Champion 2016

The top prizes awarded at the prize-giving were hand forged trophies by local artist Ben Ferris. As well as the trophies for the top finishers, glass blocks and sailing gear by tittle sponsor Rooster were also given to 1st-25th in Gold Fleet, 1st-15th in  Silver Fleet, 1st-15th in Bronze Fleet and 1st-10th in the 4.2 class. 

A World Championships of this magnitude is not possible without the support of generous sponsors, who help create a fantastic event on the water along with a full range of shore-based activities.  The 2016 event is strongly supported by title sponsor Rooster Sailing Solutions, Topper International, and Ards and North Down Borough Council.  Supporting sponsors include Volvo, P & O Ferries, Art History Abroad, Proctor and Stevenson, Rothwells Supertravel, McCready Sailboats and Mackey Opticians.  With their invaluable assistance, this year’s Rooster International Topper World Championships was an amazing event. 

In all it was a fantastic World Championships, and hugely enjoyed by all 203 entrants and their families.  Many thanks to Ballyholme Yacht Club and the International Topper Class Association for organising the event.

For the fantastic official video on the event by Digby Fox, please click here.  For great photos from the Championships by Simon McIlwaine, please click here.

The ITCA looks forward to next year's competition being held in Loctudy, Brittany, France.