2016 winners crowned at RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series

Written by RYA | 08 November 2016

Champions crowned at final weekend of domestic Olympic Classes racing

The final weekend of racing at the 2016 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series wasn’t for the faint hearted, with windy and wintery conditions greeting competitors at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (5-6 November).

Both event honours and positions in the overall 2016 series standings were at stake across the seven fleets racing in Portland Harbour, with the 49er/49erFX Inland Championships held concurrently at Grafham also culminating the annual RYA domestic series for the skiff classes.

Some 67 boats were in action at WPNSA in conditions that whilst chilly from the north were bathed in bright sunshine with near perfect 10-18kts of wind, providing a great opportunity for new and rising talents in the Olympic Classes to test out their racing skills against seasoned campaigners and British Sailing Team squad members.

Open World Champion Megan Pascoe racked up the near-perfect scoreline to claim both the weekend and the 2016 series victories in the 2.4mR event. Pascoe won eight races of the nine-race series to seal her weekend win at WPNSA, which, added to her victories at the October event and the 2.4mR Inlands in August, sees her crowned 2016 series champion ahead of Carol Dugdale.

Ben Hazeldine-Ryan Orr also claimed the weekend and overall series double in the 470 Men’s fleet, while Josh Carey took series victory in the RS:X 8.5 fleet after a second place at the regatta behind weekend winner Andy Brown.   Izzy Hamilton was the top female RS:X 8.5 sailor at this weekend’s final event, third overall, but missed the previous event due to a Tokyo training trip so Lily Young was crowned this year’s overall series female 8.5 Champion.

Tom Squires earned bragging rights in the RS:X 9.5 event, dropping just one race win from eight races, while a second place for Joe Bennett saw him take the 2016 series win.

Henry Wetherell got the better of his British Sailing Team squadmates Hector Simpson and Peter McCoy in the Finn event this weekend, but the series win went to Markus Bettum. Georgia Booth-Esme Jones took the series crown in the 470 Women’s fleet, with Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre scoring the event win this weekend ahead of Podium squad teammates Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter.

Nacra 17 pairing John Gimson-Anna Burnet scooped both event and series honours, while Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell and Oli Aldridge-Jamie Jobson saw respective victories at the 49er and 49erFX Inlands at Grafham this weekend. 

With a second place at the Inlands, Jack Hawkins-Chris Thomas took the overall series win, which also encompassed the 49er National Championships, while Tilly James-Steph Orton were the series’ 49erFX winners.

“The National Rankers are great events for everyone to attend,” explained 470 Europeans medallist Sophie Weguelin. 

“They allow anybody to come and race against the British Sailing Team. It’s a good chance to see how new people to the class are coming up through the system, and it’s a short, sharp series so it’s good fun to get out on the water and is a fantastic opportunity to race against the best boats in the UK.

“Some of the younger sailors are able to test their skills against the guys who are getting ready for the international season next year.”

“The National Ranking Series determines the best national sailors in the Olympic Classes and the importance for our developing sailors is that it provides a stepping stone from both youth to Olympic classes and from national to international events thanks to travel grants on offer,” explained RYA Podium Potential Manager Barrie Edgington.

“For young sailors with aspirations to be part of the British Sailing Team, the national series events provide the first opportunity to showcase their potential. None of these events would be possible without the support and partnership of host clubs, Class Associations and volunteer race management teams so our thanks go to those individuals and organisations.”

Results from the 5-6 November event and the overall 2016 National Ranking series are available here.


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