South Staffs Burgee
South Staffordshire Sailing Club
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26 Toppers for South Staffs Open

South Staffs were delighted to have 26 boats for this year's Midlands Topper Travellers event including five from the host Club. The most striking feature of this year’s event was its total unpredictability! With a light and very variable wind direction the early positions in each race were no indication of the final result.

In the first race Gemma McDonnell took an early lead which looked unassailable. However, one of the many calm spells caught her out with Scarlet Desorgher making the gain to finish first with Gus McKenzie close behind.

After lunch the wind swung to the west but just before the start it swung back to the north and so a similar course to the first race was sailed. After a disqualification in the first race Krishan Bhogal was determined to get back onto the leader board. He sailed an excellent race having to make several places to win from Nick Welbourn who finished second. This pair were well in front of David Peaty who was himself well infront of the rest of the fleet.

The final race did see a course change to cope with the by now more consistent north westerly wind. However, there were still massive shifts on the first beat which did lead to some interesting place changes. David Peaty came out best, well ahead of Krishan and Nick, only to lead them the wrong way round the third mark. The following boats did not make that mistake and these two quickly corrected their error to be in pursuit of the new leaders. David soon realised he had gone wrong and retired whilst a mighty fight went on by Krishan and Nick to pull back and again fight for the lead. At the finish Nick pulled ahead of Krishan with Gus in 3rd which also gave the overall results in that order.

There was a great mix of boys and girls all of whom seemed to have a great days racing. It was great to see all the sailors completing all three races in what were sometimes very frustrating conditions!! Of particular note was the persistence of both Finlay Morgan and George Brown from South Staffs, who should be congratulated for being competitive with the rest of the fleet even though they only started sailing recently. The ever improving Samuel Bailey took the honours as the top South Staffs boat in 7th with Anthony Hatfield and Tom Temple also sailing well. All in all a fantasitc event, well done to all competitors.


  • 1st Nick Welbourn – Hykeham SC
  • 2nd Krishan Bhogal – Manor Park SC
  • 3rd Gus McKenzie – Yorkshire Dales SC
  • 4th Scarlet Desorgher -- Notts County SC
  • 7th & 1st South Staffs – Samuel Bailey


Tony Hotchkiss - 16th May 2016

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