A total of 85 boats turned out for the first of the Holt RYA National Ranking Series at Queen Mary SC this weekend

The Holt RYA National Ranking Series got off to a great start over the weekend of the 29-30 March with 85 boats making the trip to Queen Mary Sailing Club.

The weather showed signs that summer was on its way and although the competitors would have appreciated a little more wind, the race committee completed all six races.

The 49er class attracted a big fleet with eighteen boats competing over the weekend. This weekend was no exception to the close racing that this fleet enjoys and there was a tussle at the top between Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks from the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy and Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith sailing for Glossop and District Sailing Club. Both boats managed two first places, but with two second places and a third place counting, Draper and Hiscocks won the event by a point from Brotherton and Asquith. Rich Edwards and Tom Edwards from Datchet Water Sailing Club finished in third place and won a Holt goody bag for finishing as the highest placed non-lottery funded sailors.

Draper commented, “We are really pleased to have won the event as the conditions were quite tricky and the wind was fairly fluky. It is an important year for us and we have been spending a good deal of time away training, so it is always good to come to an event like this and be successful.”

The Mistral fleet also had a great turnout with 30 windsurfers competing – one of the best fleets that had been seen at this event for a number of years. RYA Team GBR sailor Nick Dempsey from Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy sailed a perfect series counting four first places in his score line to win the series by four points from team mate Dom Tidey also sailing from the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy. Local boy Alexander Baronjan finished in third place and bagged himself a handful of Holt goodies for his efforts.

Dempsey commented, “I have spent a lot of time over the winter months training and concentrating on my light airs technique, so I am really pleased to have come here this weekend and see that the hard work has paid off.”

Numbers were down slightly in the 470 class as many of the RYA Team GBR sailors are away training, nevertheless the standard was high and the fleet enjoyed close racing. After six races Neil Marsden and Graham Nelson from Blackpool Sailing Club won the class on count-back from RYA Development Squad sailors Nic Asher and Elliot Willis from Waveney and Oulton Broad. John Pink and John Gimson from Hillhead Sailing Club finished in third place.

Fifteen boats made up the Finn class and although the RYA Team GBR lottery funded sailors were away training, the calibre of the fleet was very high. David Mellor from Warsash Sailing Club headed the fleet after the final race, winning by two points from Ed Greig of Hayling Island Sailing Club. Tim Carver sailing for St Mawes Sailing Club finished in third place.

The Europe fleet also had a good turnout of fifteen boats. Laura Baldwin from Spinnaker Sailing Club sailed the best series counting two first places, to win the event and a Holt goody bag, by three points from Andrea Brewster of Frensham Pond Sailing Club.

“I am delighted to have won the event. The sailing has been fairly taxing due to the shifty conditions but I managed two first place finishes so am really pleased with that,” remarked Baldwin.

RYA Olympic Development Squad Manager Barrie Edgington commented, “Considering the clash with some classes and international duties there was a really encouraging turnout. The host club did a great job and had to work with difficult conditions but still managed to get in a full series.” He concluded, “With one qualifier left to go for places to the ISAF World Sailing Championships 2003 we had some interesting results which should spice things up for the last qualifying event at Hayling Island in May.”

The next event takes place at Hayling Island Sailing Club over the weekend of the 10-11 May and is open to the following classes; Europe, 470, Finn, Tornado, 49er and Yngling. The event is open to anybody that owns an Olympic class boat and entries take place on the day at 10 00 with the first race starting at midday. The Holt RYA National Ranking list is used to distribute grants to non-lottery funded sailors and allocate entry places at International regattas. Event sponsors Holt donate a goody bag for the first non-lottery funded sailors in each class and sponsor the Saturday night social.



1, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, Weymouth & Portland SA, (2,1,1,2,3,(9)) 9pts

2, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith, Glossop & District SC, (3,(4),3,1,1,2) 10pts

3, Rich Edwards/Tom Edwards, Datchet Water, (1,2,(10),2,5,10) 20 pts


1, Nick Dempsey, Weymouth and Portland SC, ((DSQ),1,1,1,3,1) 7 pts

2, Dom Tidey, Weymouth and Portland SC, (1,4,2,3,1,(RTD)) 11 pts

3, Alexander Baronjan, Queen Mary SC, (3,2,3,6,2,(RTD)) 16 pts


1, Neil Marsden/Graham Nelson, Blackpool SC, (2,(4),2,4,1,1) 10 pts

2, Nic Asher/Elliot Willis, Waveney & Oulton Broad, (1,2,4,1,2,(6)) 10 pts

3, John Pink/John Gimson, Hillhead SC, ((5),3,1,3,5,3) 15 pts


1, Laura Baldwin, Spinnaker SC, (1,4,(11),2,4,1) 12 pts

2, Andrea Brewster, Frensham Pond SC, (4,1,6,1,3,6) 15 pts

3, Nicky Muller, Queen Mary SC, ((10),6,2,5,1,2) 16 pts


1, Dave Mellor, Warsash SC, (2,1,6,5,(7),1) 15 pts

2, Ed Greig, Hayling Island SC, (1,(12),5,3,1,7) 17 pts

3, Tim Carver, St Mawes SC, (4,10,3,1,2,(11)) 20 pts