Sailors from all over the world converged on the Royal Cork Yacht Club for a full week of championship racing at the Topper Worlds 2023, held July 24-28.
The hard work and dedication of the Royal Cork Topper Worlds committee resulted in a week that will not be forgotten any time soon. The 260 competitors over two courses on Curlane Bank and Cuskinny experienced challenging racing as the weather continued to disrupt the event. Race teams led by IRO Con Murphy watched over two days of qualifying followed by three days of championship racing.
On the final day, Alex Jones was crowned the 2023 Topper 5.3 World Champion after a testing day on the water in Cork Harbor. The forecast was for a southwest breeze, building to a lively 22 knots by mid-afternoon, launching the Toppers early with an 1100 hours start.
The overnight leader wearing the yellow leader’s Rooster vest was Jones, (GBR 114) of Parkstone Sailing Club with a healthy 8-point lead over his nearest rival, China’s Ruoque Su. Jones opened the scoring with a third, behind both Su and Rory Clow, but suffered a blip in form on the eighth race, resulting in a 9th place and his worst result of the Finals series. He recovered his composure to claim third in the final race, enough to win the World Championships by an impressive 10-point margin and tellingly with every one of his nine races within the top 10—a great feat of consistency not bested by any of the 198 competitors.
The 4.2 title was taken by Rory Whyte from Waterford Harbour and Royal Cork Yacht Club, with Che Liu (CHN), Beijing Sailing Centre, and Andrew O’Neill of Royal Cork YC, in Silver and Bronze position respectively.
A fantastic week was had both on and off the water which saw parents and children from as far afield as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Belgium, Spain, Malta, Switzerland, UK and a healthy contingent from Ireland, all taking advantage of all that the Royal Cork has to offer.
A massive thank you to all 120 volunteers that gave up their time to make this such a memorable event from registration to prizegiving none of this would be possible without such a dedicated group of people.