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Topper Team Racing Northampton October 6th-7th

Three teams were chosen to represent Kent at the National Schools Team Racing held at Northampton. The weather forecast was for strong winds and lashings of rain and true to form this happened. The competition consisted of 28 teams racing each other over two days.

Day 1 started with the group stages with the Kent heavy weight team of Jonathan Waite, Douglas Horner and Richard Turnhill heading off first and winning their race. Next went the girls; Katie Restall, Clare Stubbs and Lucy Heather who also won in a convincing fashion. Kent A team of Chris Catt, Jonathan White and Robert Waite had to wait until the 15th race to show that they too could win their race. For all 3 teams this was the start of things to come. With a tactical race from Kent B, it put them in the silver fleet with teams A and C in the gold fleet.

Saturday night saw the teams trying to get their weights up to compete with team C by devouring the Beefeater's supply of spare ribs.

Sunday arrived with what looked like a better day. However, this was not to be so. Wind increased and showers followed to give another challenging day on the water. Teams A and B were in strong positions. However team C looked to be out of the competition. With the second round coming to a close, last years runners up and Kent's biggest rival were knocked out by an unexpected team.

Having settled into the comforts of their dry clothes and the clubhouse team C were back in the running. Team B won their semi-final race but were just pipped at the post by Worcestershire A in the final after battling hard against the elements.

Team A had their semi-final first. After a large disagreement with the Race Officer we were made to undo our reefed sails and use full rigs. This did not seem to affect their performance as Kent A won both their races. Kent B had 5 races due to breakages caused by Jon Waite. They were the eventual victors and Kent A and C were to face each other in the final. After the 3 races Kent A were the champions.

So an excellent performance by all of the 9 members of the Kent Team. This could not have been achieved without the help and encouragement of Frank and Jenny Catt and Steve Restall.

Robert Waite