Castle Cove Cadets at the 2016 Topper Nationals at East Lothian Yacht Club, North Berwick
It was a week of stark contrasts for the Castle Cove Cadets at the 2016 Topper Nationals at North Berwick.
The first two days sailing was abandoned due to high winds which also took away half the marquee erected for the event. The forecast for day three looked more promising for the 5.3 sailors, but after waiting six hours offshore near the imposing Bass Rock with no wind the fleet returned. Despite the lack of racing they had been able to amuse themselves rafting up, swimming and spotting seals and puffins. It was a different story for the 4.2 fleet which stuck inshore and managed to get 4 races in - much to the irritation of the 5.3 sailors. On day four both fleets completed the minimum 4 qualifying races, however this was after an initial recall and return to the beach followed by another launch and an exhausting further six hours on the water in good sailing conditions. The 5.3 fleet returned at dusk in spectacular fashion as the 178 boats surfed and ploughed their way onto the beach.
Day 5 was extremely challenging with wind speeds consistently above 25 knots and gusting above 30. The Gold and Silver fleets sailed two races before high winds again stopped play. On the final day all sailors were ready to launch, but racing was abandoned by 11am again due to high winds. This meant there were insufficient races sailed to crown a National Champion for 2016, however Castle Cove sailors achieved a very commendable set of results. Gold Fleet: Will Adler 20th, Ben McElroy 52nd, Ollie Fellows 60th, Silver Fleet: Ben Richardson 45th. The 4.2 sailors stuck together achieving a very consistent 32nd for Ben Adler, 33rd for Tia Adler and 34th for George Fellows.
The poor sailing conditions did create opportunities; visits to the Edinburgh Fringe, rib boat trips round Bass Rock, sand castle building, shell collecting and climbing the imposing ‘Law’ behind North Berwick.
East Lothian Yacht Club were amazing hosts who looked after sailors and their families so well. North Berwick might not be on everyone’s radar as a holiday location, but we found fantastic beaches, wildlife, eateries and golf (apparently!) As far as contrasts go we cannot conclude this report without mentioning the event sponsors, Scottish Water, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and North Berwick Gin….. truly something for everyone!
Picture 1 Left to Right
Ben Richardson, Ben Adler, Ollie Fellows, George Fellows, Will Adler, and Tia Adler. Ben McElroy AWOL!
Picture 2 Fleet retuning to North Berwick on day 5