Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter

2015 RYA Spring Series kicks off in Weymouth and Portland

Written by RYA | 10 March 2015

Weymouth and Portland welcomes first domestic Olympic Classes event of the season

Weymouth and Portland served up some superb early season sailing conditions for the first regatta in the three-event RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series this weekend (7-8 March).

Some 86 sailors across seven Olympic and three Paralympic Classes took to the water for the domestic season-opening regatta, with a combination of the British Sailing Team’s Podium Potential crews and up-and-coming talents sharing the weekend’s spoils.

Competitors were greeted by a sunny south-westerly 12 knots for Saturday’s first day, with similar wind conditions on Sunday before the rain clouds descended and hampered visibility across Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour.  

But in spite of the early finish on Sunday, newly-qualified Race Officers Chris Lindsay and Shinichi Kagitomi (JPN), under the watchful eyes of Peter Saxton and Charli Hadden, oversaw a full schedule of weekend racing.  

The RS:X 8.5 windsurfing fleet had the largest entry of 17 boards, and saw Christchurch’s Dan Wilson on dominant form to claim event honours with a 20 point margin and winning six of the eight races held.  Launceston’s Saskia Sills was second overall and the top female sailor, with Cameron Coghill, from Bleasby in Nottinghamshire, completing the podium line-up in third beating Saskia’s twin sister Imogen into fourth on countback.

Tom Squires took the weekend by storm in the RS:X 9.5 fleet, winning six of his eight races over Podium Potential Squad teammate Kieran Martin, with Robert York in third.  

In the skiff fleets, James Peters and Fynn Sterritt claimed 49er victory, while Bryony Bennett-Lloyd-Ellie Aldridge took weekend honours in the Open 49erFX event.  

With seven wins from nine races, Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter took the first weekend series victory in the 470 Women’s event, with Ben Hazeldine-Rhos Hawes claiming the 470 Men’s win over Tim Riley-James Taylor.  Peter McCoy also claimed seven race wins from nine races to seal the top spot on the Finn leaderboard.  

In the Paralympic Classes, Podium squad sailor and recent Sailing World Cup Miami silver medallist Megan Pascoe made a cameo appearance on the Saturday, winning all four of her races in the 2.4mR fleet.  But it was David Hawkins who took overall event victory by the narrowest of margins, beating John Brooker on countback.

Hannah Stodel stepped from the front to the back of the boat to helm the Sonar in place of John Robertson for the weekend, with Steve Thomas and coach Simon Rosier completing the trio who took event victory by eight points over Andrew Cassell-Lucy Hodges-Tom Abery, while Alex Hovden-Carol Dugdale won the SKUD event.  

“We had a great turnout for this first Spring Series weekend, and couldn’t have asked for better conditions to kick the event off with and provide an opportunity to support new Race Officers who coped admirably with the multi-class rapid-fire starting sequences, with nine races providing a test for both race management teams and sailors alike,” said RYA Podium Potential Squad Manager Barrie Edgington.  

“It was great to see some new faces at the front of the fleets, challenging some of the more established campaigners and putting themselves in the running to qualify for grants for some of the summer internationals.  I’m looking forward to more of the same in a month’s time!”

The second regatta in the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series takes place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from 11-12 April, with the third and final event also at WPNSA from 16-17 May.

RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series (7-8 March): top three finishers
2.4mR 1. David Hawkins
2. John Brooker
3. Ben Johnson Rolfe

49erFX
1. Bryony Bennett-Lloyd-Ellie Aldridge
2. Vicky Payne-Steph Orton
3. Tilly James-Frankie Dickens

49er
1. James Peters-Fynn Sterritt
2. Jack Hawkins-Chris Thomas
3. Rory Hunter-Neil Hunter

470 Men
1. Ben Hazeldine-Rhos Hawes
2. Tim Riley-James Taylor

470 Women
1. Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter
2. Jess Lavery-Megan Brickwood
3. Jemima Lawson-Lily Summers  

Finn
1. Peter McCoy
2. Hector Simpson
3. Oison McClelland (IRL)  

RS:X 8.5
1. Dan Wilson
2. Saskia Sills
3.  Cameron Coghill

RS:X 9.5
1. Tom Squires
2. Kieran Martin
3. Robert York

Sonar
1. Hannah Stodel-Steve Thomas-Simon Rosier
2. Andrew Cassell-Lucy Hodges-Tom Abery
3. Craig Wood-Liam Cattermole-Steve Palmer

SKUD
1. Alex Hovden-Carol Dugdale
2. Sally Dugdale-Craig Nairn  

Full weekend results can be found on the event website

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