Wood and Kohler dominate 470s
Last weekend witnessed a thrilling finale to the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series as the third and final instalment was staged at Hayling Island Sailing Club.
The first two stages of the three-weekend Series were based at the home of the 2012 Olympic sailing competition in Weymouth and Portland and welcomed sailors from the British Sailing Team as well as young aspiring talents and regular Olympic classes sailors.
With the stage set for a thrilling finish at HISC, sailors revelled in glorious sunshine and an average 8-10 knots enabling the four Olympic classes to complete the full schedule of races across the two days of competition.
In the 470 class it was last year’s Spring Series champion Mike Wood and his crew David Kohler who led the charge as the British Sailing Team duo sealed four race wins to clinch weekend honours and the overall Series crown in front of Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter.
Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten were ruthless in the 49er event picking up seven races wins from the 10 race series to scoop the 49er title as well as the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series crown. Vikki Payne and Steph Orton sealed both the weekend victory and overall title in the 49erFX event.
In the Finn class it was Thorpe Bay Yacht Club’s Allen Burrell who seized weekend victory ahead of Will Patten in second and John Heyes in third. The overall Spring Series crown was awarded to the British Sailing Team’s James Hadden after a first and second at the previous two events.
Meanwhile, sailors competing in the RS:X 8.5 and 9.5 rigs were competing at the UKWA National Championships at Christchurch, Dorset, which counted towards the Spring Series rankings.
While only 40 miles down the coast, competitors were faced with a shifty offshore breeze which the current ISAF Youth World champion Kieran Martin to seal weekend victory ahead of Tom Squires in second and Ali Masters in third. The RS:X 9.5 Spring Series crown went to Squires after a combination of a first and two seconds was enough to top the table and take overall honours.
In the smaller RS:X 8.5 event, 16-year-old Daniel Wilson finished the weekend in first but it wasn’t enough to take the overall Spring Series crown ahead of Noelle Finch who added a third to her first and fourth from the previous two events to take the overall Spring Series title.
While there was no racing in the Nacra 17 and Paralympic classes this weekend, the Spring Series titles went to Tom Phipps/Zennor Pascoe in the Nacra 17, Megan Pascoe in 2.4mR event, Craig Palmer/Steve Palmer/Liam Cattamole in the Sonar and Alex Hovden/Nicola Hopkins in the SKUD event.
Barrie Edgington, British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad Manager, commented: “Congratulations to the weekend and overall Spring Series winners. The series provided exciting short format and quick fire races and thanks must go to the Race Teams and host clubs for making it possible and successful.
“With a number of new faces joining some of the older hands this Spring, it has been a great opportunity for aspiring and class stalwarts to pit their skills against each other. As we run into a busy summer of Olympic classes championships, grants from the UK Olympic classes events will continue to support these sailors to attend these events’.”