Over the weekend of 12th and 13th May, three Queen Mary Toppers (Harriet Ward, Patrick Croghan and Daniel Martin) were selected as part of the eight boat Topper squad to represent the South East of England. Our challenge was to battle it out in the prestigious Eric Twiname Championship at Rutland Water, competing against 70 Toppers from all corners of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We arrived at the picturesque Rutland Water as the atmosphere mounted. Over 300 people had fought hard to get to the event, and now finally to be there was an incredible feeling. Our squad coaches greeted us and gave us a race talk, highlighting the important aspects of the day, and that there would be a jury boat!! A deafening siren issued the orders to launch, and hundreds of sailors scrabbled for their boats and set to the water, with parents giving final good lucks and handing out food.
The first day brought light winds and very shifty conditions, in which Patrick Croghan did extremely well, taking two 4th places. In the afternoon, a life size table football game was played between Zones, much to the amusement of all watching, and a delicious hog roast dished out to the hungry sailors.
The next day, the trees howled to us that the wind was much windier than day one, gusting near 20 knots. Hatty continued to dominate the leaderboard, winning with 4 first places to count out of the 5 races held, showing how consistently amazing she is in all wind conditions. Shattered but ecstatic, we blasted into the shore.
After a truly action packed event, the final results were: Hatty 1st, Daniel 6th and Patrick 15th. The South East Zone was placed 1st in the Topper rankings, and narrowly lost the overall Eric Twiname Shield to the South Zone.
By Daniel Martin