Mee and Birrell dominate 470s
It was members of Skandia Team GBR Development and Transitional Squads who took event honours as the 2011 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series came to an exciting finish at Hayling Island Sailing Club over 14-15 May.
Matt Mee and Christian Birrell, Skandia Team GBR Development Squad members, made light work of the challenging fleet in the 470 class as they cruised to event victory at the end of the two-day Spring Series Regatta. The pair were unstoppable as they posted four race wins over the two days of racing too finish a remarkable seven points ahead of second place Philip Sparks/Richard Mason.
However, the 470 Spring Series crown went to Philip Sparks/Richard Mason after the combination of their first place finish at the first Spring Series event and there second at this event was enough to top the table and take the overall honours.
Sophie Weguelin/Sophie Ainsworth finished top of the 470 female fleet, fourth overall, and were crowned Spring Series Winners.
In the 49er class, Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Dave Evans/Ed Powys finished the weekend with three race victories to overhaul second place James Peters and Ed Fitzgerald who entered the event on top after a dominant display in the opening event of the Spring Series. Bleddyn Mon/George Hand followed up in third after securing two race wins out of the six highly charged races which were completed out on Hayling Bay.
The 49er Spring Series crown was awarded to James Peters/Ed Fitzgerald after two impressive performances at both Spring Series events.
Event victory in the Finn class went to the new National Champion, Allen Burrell. On the opening day, Burrell posted a 12-1-2 with his first race being discarded. He then went on to claim the weekend victory with 5-3-4 on the final day. Bob McMillian finished in second five points off top spot while James Hadden ended the Series in third and therefore was crowned Spring Series Champion due to his results at the first event back in March.
RS:X 9.5 Windsurfer Ali Masters, Skandia Team GBR Transitional Squad, finished the Series off in spectacular style with three bullets on the final day resulting in event victory and the overall Spring Series crown. Connor Bainbridge finished three points behind after posting three seconds on the closing day of the Series.
In the RS:X 8.5 class Kieran Martin wrapped up event victory as well as the overall RS:X 8.5 Spring Series title with impressive displays all throughout the Series. Claudia Carney led the way for the female fleet finishing 10th overall, three points in front of fellow Skandia Team GBR member, Izzy Hamilton.
Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Manager, Barrie Edgington, commented: “"The weekend provided testing conditions for sailors and race teams a like with a gusty and shifty breeze out in Hayling Bay. With all six classes on one course the Race Team had their work cut out but successfully got a full Series for all classes completed. With close fought battles through the fleets and tricky conditions, most fleets went to the wire.
"In addition to deciding the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series winners this weekend will also decide who gets the grants to the major summer and autumn ISAF World Cup events and class championships. Next up on the RYA Olympic Classes domestic circuit is the two weekends that form the National Ranking Series and opportunities to gain grants toward 2012 international events," Edgington concluded.
RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series – Hayling Island Sailing Club:
1. Matt Mee/Christian Birrell
2. Philip Sparks/Richard Mason
3. Ben Palmer/Konrad Weaver
1. Dave Evans/Ed Powys
2. James Peters/Ed FitzGerald
3. Bleddyn Mon/George Hand
1. Allen Burrell
2. Bob McMillian
3. James Hadden
1. Kieran Martin
2. Joe Bennett
3. Lee Mars
1. Ali Masters
2. Connor Bainbridge
3. Jamie Ingram
Overall 2011 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series Winners:
1. Philip Sparks/Richard Mason
1. Sophie Weguelin-Sophie Ainsworth
1. James Peters/Ed Fitzgerald
1. James Hadden
1. Kieran Martin
1. Ali Masters