Two days of sailing for topper titles
Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club played host to 75 competitors and their families for the Wright Insurance Brokers Irish Topper National Championships which ran at the club on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The club has been busy planning and preparing for this prestigious event since last September and the hard work paid off with what Club Commodore Bryony Berry said was a hugely successful event.
The two-day race event attracted Topper competitors from the UK national squad, as well as racers from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire and from numerous clubs in the North of Ireland.
A maximum nine races were held over the two days with 18 boats from Wexford taking part.
Mr Berry explained that the vast majority of the Wexford participants were competing for the first time and said that to get their first taste of competition in a national tournament was a big deal.
Three Wexford participants were in the prizes at the end of the weekend. Two sailors won awards for being the Best Local Boats. In the main fleet, Ciaran Ryan came 16th overall, while in the 4.2 fleet, Scott Murphy, a first-time competitor was fourth overall, having won the first race in his event. Finally, Gill Kavanagh, another first-time competitor came third in the under-12 competition. The other Wexford competitors raced well, enjoyed the event and were brimming with enthusiasm for the next challenge.
Wexford town also came in for high praise, Mr Berry said, as those who stayed in the town for the weekend were impressed with the town, its friendliness, and the quality of its accommodation and restaurants. 'They all raved about the town and talked about coming back again.'
Mr Berry thanked the sponsors who had supported the event including main sponsors Wright Insurances. Duggan Shopfitters designed and sculpted the trophies, Wexford Orthodontics provided t-shirts for all competitors, Wygram Nursing Home supplied food for the weekend, Kelly's Bakery provided confectionery and A Room Outside provided a number of barbecues for the post recovery barbecue on Saturday night in the club.
Mr Berry also paid tribute to three club members who took on vital roles: captain Mike Doyle as principal race officer, Ian Rossiter as safety co-ordinator and Dr Don Ryan, as event organiser. Finally, he thanked the many club members and volunteers who had given up their time to help in the organisation and running of the event.