Holt RYA series goes into final weekend

Major celebrations planned at Warsash as Finn class history is made.

Friday November 15th 2002, Author: Sacha Oswald, Location: United Kingdom
This weekend marks the fifth and final event in the Holt RYA National Ranking Series 2002. Taking place at Warsash Sailing Club over the weekend of the 16/17 November, the event is open to the Finn, Europe, 470, 49er and Tornado classes.

The event at Warsash has become even more important for the Finn class, as the event will count as part of the qualification towards the Finn Gold Cup 2004 in Brazil.

As the Gold Cup is taking place in February 2004, due to the fact that it is an Olympic year, qualification will reflect the fact that places have to be decided early. Qualification for the event will therefore double up with this year's qualification and will comprise of the following events: Nov 2002 - Warsash; March 2003 - Queen Mary; May 2003 - Hayling Island; July 2003 - Nationals at Warsash. Qualification will be best three from four, although there is the possibility that an additional event will be included.

As well as the dinner provided by sponsors Holt on the Saturday evening, the Finn class will also be making it a double celebration, as, for the first time ever, all the world championship trophies will be in the same room. A piece of history was made this year when GBR won the Junior, Senior and Finn Masters world championships, making it the first year that the trophies have been won by a single country.

Added to this that ex Finn sailor and Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy, sailing with Stevie Mitchell, also made history and became the first British sailor to win the Star world championships and Ben Ainslie's achievements in the Finn class over the last year has seen him crowned as the ISAF Rolex world sailor of the year 2002 - it is a great cause for celebration.

Entries to the Holt RYA Ranking Series will take place on the day, with registration from 10 00 on the Saturday. The first race is scheduled to start at 12 00 and six races are scheduled over the weekend. The race series is an open event and therefore anybody who sails an Olympic Class boat can enter.

After each event a Holt RYA National Ranking list is compiled, with those who are at the top of the ranking list being the ones with the least number of points. The Ranking List is then used to distribute grants to non-lottery funded sailors to attend events in 2003 such as the Princess Sofia Regatta, Hyeres and Spa.

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