New Teams at RYA Spring Olympic Series in Weymouth

At the first of the 2013 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series events, held at WPNSA last weekend (9-10 March), Skandia Team GBR Development Squad sailors James Peters and Ed Fitzgerald made light work of the challenging 49er fleet as the 2012 Spring Series champions won all four races to take the weekend victory by five points from second-placed Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten. 2012 Olympic sailing silver medallist Stuart Bithell, and his new crew Chris Grube, both making the transition from the 470 to the 49er, the duo posted a consistent 4-2-3 for the three races they completed to finish third overall.

In the 470 class, 2012 470 Junior European silver medallists Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw enjoyed an equally straightforward weekend of racing completing a clean sweep of bullets to cement their position at the top of the leaderboard. Skandia Team GBR Development Squad sailors Anna Burnett and Flora Stewart finished second, two points above their 470 counterparts Joanna Freeman and Katie Tomsett in third.

In the RS:X class, 2012 RYA Volvo Youth National Champion Kieran Martin notched two race wins from the four races to finish one point ahead of his Joe Bennett who provided stiff competition in the RS:X 8.5 fleet to finish one point behind in second. In the larger RS:X 9.5 class Ai Masters finished top of the two man fleet ahead of Brian Wilson.

In the Finn class Harry Briddon rounded off the weekend in first, two points ahead of James Hadden, with Paul Childs in third.

In the Paralympic 2.4mR class Megan Pascoe picked up from where she left off at the last ISAF World Cup event in Miami with three race wins and the overall weekend victory ahead of Carol Dugdale in second and Craig Wood in third.

Four boats made the start line in the two person SKUD 18 class, with Paralympic bronze medallists Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell and John Robertson and Hannah Stodel, who are more used to sailing in the three person Sonar class, making their first competitive comeback since last summer’s Games. With only one race completed on the Sunday, the four time World champions Rickham and Birrell finished top of the pack ahead Robertson and Stodel, while Alex Hovden and Megan Harris finished third.

2013 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series – WPNSA (9-10 March):
1: Harry Briddon
2: James Hadden
3: Paul Childs
1: Mike Wood/Hugh Brayshaw
2: Anna Burnett/Flora Stewart
3: Joanna Freeman/Katie Tomsett
1: James Peters/Ed Fitzgerald
2: Henry Williams/ Sam Batten
3: Stuart Bithell/ Chris Grube
RS:X 8.5
1: Kieran Martin
2: Joe Bennett
3: Robert York
RS:X 9.5
1: Ali Masters
2: Brian Wilson
3: N/A
1: Megan Pascoe
2: Carol Dugdale
3: Craig Wood
1: Alexandra Rickham/Niki Birrell
2: John Robertson/ Hannah Stodel
3: Alex Hovden/ Megan Harris

The second event of the Spring Series will also take place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from 13-14 April, with the finale being hosted by Hayling Island Sailing Club on the 18-19 May.

Entries for the second weekend at WPNSA are being accepted online at RYA Racing Events website with early bird prices available if you enter online by Monday 8th April. For the Hayling Island SC event, entries will be taken at registration.