Holt RYA National Ranking series

Sasha Oswald reports from Hayling Island Sailing Club on part 2 of the series

Monday May 12th 2003, Author: Sasha Oswald, Location: United Kingdom
Round two of the 2003 Holt RYA National Ranking Series took place at Hayling Island Sailing Club over the weekend of the 10/11 May. Close racing was enjoyed and the schedule of six races was completed.

In the 470 class RYA Team GBR sailors Graham Vials/Bevis Field dominated the class in the varied conditions. Saturday provided a good breeze and the addition of a new boat along with many hours spent practicing on the water, saw Vials, and relatively new crew Field, ending the day with two first places and a third.

On the second day of the event, the wind dropped off, making it a little tricky for the race officers, but none the less a further three races were completed. Vials/Field wrapped up the event with an additional two first places which meant that they had won with a race to spare and therefore came in before the last race.

Vials commented, "We have been training really hard and have a new boat so we are really pleased to be going well and are happy with our boat speed. It is particularly pleasing to win with a race to spare."

Mark Plummer and Oliver Hawkley from the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy sailed well all weekend to score nothing worse than a forth and take second place with Helena Lucas and Jenny Heeley from Downs Sailing Club finishing in third place overall and first women.

The 49er fleet attracted 28 boats that travelled as far away as Ireland to complete at the event. World silver medallists Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks dominated the first day scoring straight first places to take the overnight lead.

On the second day it was still Draper/Hiscocks who had the edge on the fleet, managing to stay out of trouble whilst black flags were awarded to premature starters, they continued their string of firsts, discarding a second place to win the weekend by 10 points.

Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes from Exe Sailing Club put in a good performance to take second overall with Alister Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh finishing in third place.

With eight boats the Tornado fleet enjoyed some close racing and all weekend there was a battle going on at the top between Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley and Rob Wilson and Matt Eeles. After day one McMillan and Bulkeley were leading the fleet with three first places, with Wilson and Eeles finishing runner up to them in each race.

The results were a similar picture on day two and scoring a first and a third place won McMillan and Bulkeley the weekend with a race to spare. Wilson/Eeles finished second overall, two points in front of James Smith and Marcus Lynch from West Kirby SC.

Twelve boats competed in the Europe class over the weekend, and it was one sailor that dictated the scores. Laura Baldwin from Spinnaker Sailing Club scored three first places on the first day, which was followed up with a second place and further two first places to win the weekend. Baldwin finished the event with a six-point lead over Andrea Brewster, competing from her home club, with Team GBR sailor Kirsty Bonar from Rutland Water Sailing Club finishing third overall.

A good fleet of Finns turned out for round two of the series and with 21 boats racing was close. After day one little separated Olympic and world champion Ben Ainslie from team mate Andrew Simpson, with Ainslie just one point in front.

With two first place finishes on day two, Ainslie got the better of his team mate and had won the event with a race to spare. Simpson discarded a tenth place to finish second overall with Charlie Cumbley, who sailed a good last day, scoring a first in the final race to finish third.

As well as prizes for the top three boats in each class, event sponsors Holt awarded a goody bag to the first non-lottery funded sailors in each class. These went to Guy Tipton and Tom Trueman in the 470 class, Andy Rice and Nick Murphy in the 49er, James Smith and Andrew Walsh in the Tornado, Laura Baldwin in the Europe and Ed Greig in the Finn class.

RYA Olympic Development Squad Manager Barrie Edgington commented, "the second round of the Holt RYA National Ranking Series saw a good turnout with 78 boats entered and it was great to have this event at Hayling's new facility. Many sailors were trying to qualify for the ISAF World Sailing Championships in September and we now just have to await confirmation from ISAF at the end of the month to determine the number of places that will be given to Great Britain for the event."

Many of the sailors will now travel abroad to compete at SPA Olympic classes regatta from the 21-25 May before going on to compete at their individual class Europeans.

The last three rounds of the Holt RYA National Ranking Series take place on the 18/19 October at Weymouth, 1/2 November at Rutland and 15/16 November at Warsash.

Results

470
1, Graham Vials/Bevis Field, RYA (1,3,1,1,1,(10)) 7 pts
2, Mark Plummer/Oliver Hawkley, WPSA (2,1,3,2,(4),4) 12 pts
3, Helena Lucas/Jenny Heeley, Downs SC (4,5,4,(6),3,3) 19 pts

49er
1, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, WPSA (1,1,1,(2),1,1) 5 pts
2, Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes, Exe SC ((9),2,4,4,3,2) 15 pts
3, Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh (2,4,5,(29),2,3) 16 pts

Tornado
1, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley, Yarmouth (1,1,1,1,3,(9)) 7 pts
2, Rob Wilson/Matt Eeles, RYA (2,2,2,(3),2,1) 9 pts
3, James Smith/Marcus Lynch, West Kirby SC ((3),3,3,2,1,2) 11 pts

Europe
1, Laura Baldwin, Spinnaker SC (1,1,1,(2),1,1) 5 pts
2, Andrea Brewster, HISC (3,2,2,1,3,(4)) 11 pts
3, Kirsty Bonar, Rutland Water SC ((4),4,3,3,2,2) 14 pts

Finn
1, Ben Ainslie, HISC (2,1,1,1,1,(3)) 6 pts
2, Andrew Simpson, RYA (1,2,2,3,(10),2) 10 pts
3, Charlie Cumbley, TCYC ((5),5,3,2,3,1) 14 pts

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