The 2017 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series got underway this weekend (4-5 February) as 58 boats took to the waters of Weymouth and Portland. British Sailing Team’s Podium Potential crews and up-and-coming Podium Potential Pathway talents shared the weekend’s titles across eight Olympic Classes and one Paralympic Class.
Despite the poor forecast in the run up to the event, the sailors were greeted with blue skies, sunshine and light winds on Saturday as racing got underway in Portland Harbour. The Finn fleet was first off, starting in six knots with breeze building slightly throughout the day. Cameron Tweedle took the first bullet, continuing his form to take a second race win to see him finish the day in pole position.
Sunday brought with it a Northerly 18-21 knot breeze challenging some of the fleets with the top spots changing. In the Finn class, Hector Simpson notched-up three race wins to top the Finn leaderboard ahead of Tweedle.
The largest fleet was the RS:X 8.5 Women’s Fleet and saw Noelle Finch dominate the 11-board fleet, not finishing out of the top three and finishing 12 points clear of her nearest rival. Weymouth’s Lily Young took second place ahead of Christchurch’s Emma Wilson. In the RS:X 8.5 Men’s Fleet, Youth sailor Josh Carey took event honours while Dan Wilson consistent top results saw him top the RS:X 9.5 fleet ahead of Andy Brown and Matt Barton.
In the skiff fleets, Chris Taylor-Sam Batten and Morgan Peach-Rhos Hawes battled it out at the top of 49er fleet. Overnight leaders Peach-Hawes were eventually pipped to the post by Taylor-Batten, with just one point separating the crews. After finishing second in the 2016 Autumn National Ranking series, Megan Brickwood-Ellie Aldridge took weekend honours in the Open 49erFX event.
With six bullets from nine races, Sarah Norbury-Katie Dabson took the first weekend series victory in the 470 Women’s event, with Martin Wrigley-James Taylor, also with six race wins, claiming the 470 Men’s event.
In the Nacra 17, Sam Barker-Jess DArcy took the event win ahead of Paul Wakelin-Joshua O’Brien. Will Street claimed the top spot in the 2.4mR ahead of Carol Dugdale and Nev Millard.
The RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series will conclude on May 20-21 at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
For full results, see RYA Racing Events.