RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series 2014 gets underway at WPNSA

Written by RYA | 06 October 2014

A fantastic start to the RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series

Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign got back to winning ways this weekend (4-5 October) as the 49er duo revelled across two days of domestic Olympic Classes competition at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.  

The weekend was the first of three regattas which form the 2014 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series, and welcomed both seasoned campaigners and new faces as the sailors battled it out in sunny, breezy conditions on the Saturday, followed by much lighter winds on the Sunday.  

The British Sailing Team Podium sailors, who endured a frustrating time at the 2014 Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships last month, bounced back in style on the Olympic waters to take weekend honours by ten points. Competing against a 13-strong 49er fleet, which included international competitors from as far afield as South Africa and Canada, Fletcher and Sign counted seven race wins across the 10-race series.  

Racing together for the first time, James Peters and Fynn Sterritt clinched seven top three finishes to finish second, while Scottish pairing Rory Hunter and Neil Hunter were third.  

In the 49erFX event, Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth came out on top with an imposing nine top two finishes, six of which were race wins. Frances Peters and Katrina Best put in a strong performance in their first competitive outing together, finishing seven points behind in second. Erin Rafuse and Danielle Boyd from Canada finished third.  

Giles Scott continued his impressive form in the heavyweight Finn class. The World and European Champion and world number one sailor sealed the weekend crown with seven race wins from the nine race series, while Ben Cornish counted nine top three finishes to clinch second place over Peter McCoy in third.  

Nacra 17 sailors Lucy Macgregor and Andrew Walsh were dominant across the two days of competition as the British Sailing Team Podium sailors racked up six races wins from a possible ten to secure regatta honours in emphatic style. Ben Saxton and ex-49erFX sailor Nicola Groves enjoyed their first event together as a pairing finishing second, while Pippa Wilson and John Gimson were hot on their heels, finishing one point behind in third.  

Four race wins for Mike Wood and stand-in crew Katie Tomsett was enough to give them event honours in the 470 class. Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart rounded their weekend off three points behind in second while Jess Lavery and Anna Carpenter finished third.    

Meanwhile in the Paralympic classes, Stephen Thomas, Hannah Stodel and John Robertson were clinical in the Sonar class counting all six race wins to take the weekend victory. Alex Hovden and Carol Dugdale were triumphant in the SKUD while Jonathan Currell claimed event honours in 2.4mR class. The event also welcomed nine sailors from the RYA’s Paralympic Pathway, which is funded by Sport England, for their first taste of competitive action.  

The RSX 9.5 men and RS:X 8.5 Open events took place at Stokes Bay Sailing Club in conjunction with the 2014 UKWA National Championship Series. In the 9.5 event, Nick Dempsey finished the weekend top of the pack on countback to Tom Squires, both finishing on five points apiece from the four race series. Ali Masters was third. Daniel Wilson was first in the RS:X 8.5 Open event, with Izzy Hamilton second and first female 8.5 sailor, with Imogen Sills third.  

Barrie Edgington, British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad Manager, commented: “We had some glorious conditions for the opening event of the RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series this weekend, allowing for the Olympic and Paralympic classes to really enjoy some great racing at both WPNSA and Stokes Bay Sailing Club.”  

“It was pleasing to see the event welcome international competitors as well as some new faces to the Olympic and Paralympic circuit who were given the opportunity to race against some of the world’s best. We are now looking forward to the second instalment for what is set to be another fantastic weekend of racing at WPNSA in a few weeks’ time.”  

Click here for the full list of results from WPNSA.  

Click here for the full list of windsurfing results from Stokes Bay Sailing Club.  

The second weekend of the RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series 2014 will take place in Weymouth and Portland on the 18-19 October, while the final instalment of this exciting series will be staged at Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC) on the 1-2 November. For details on how to enter click here.  

For the latest news and information from the British Sailing Team follow us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @BritishSailing.

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