The RYA team GBR has won six medals and the Hein de Goederen Trophy for best nation at the SPA Olympic Classes Regatta

A tense and exciting day for competitors of the 18th SPA Regatta, Medemblik, Holland, as they went out in a good 22 knots of breeze to sail the last race of the regatta. The race format meant that only one race could be sailed, starting with the bronze fleets first and finally the Gold fleets.

The first class back to the dock were the Star fleet although some were happier than others, two Stars came in with broken mast, including team GBR sailor Ian Barker, SPA would prove to be an expensive regatta for him as a new mast would set him back about ‘5,000. Fellow team GBR sailors Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell finished on a better note, adding a third place to their score line to win the regatta with ease, 15 points in front of Nicola Celon/Dodo Natucci of Italy.

“It is great to win this regatta, I really like SPA and it is good to have all of the other Olympic classes around, making it a good fun event.” Commented Percy, who went on to talk about the last six months, “This is our first regatta win in the Star, we started six months ago with a sixth, then we finished fourth, then third and finally second, so if we didn’t win this one our cycle would have been ruined. The problem now is what will happen next, I just hope we don’t yo-yo back!”

An exciting race took place in the Mistral class that saw two British sailors fighting it out for podium positions. Nick Dempsey went into the last day in first place and so just had to protect his position today and team mate Dom Tidey was in second with a race to go. The breeze suited the Mistral fleet and it was Polish sailor Miarczynski Przemyslaw that racked up his fifth race win of the regatta. Dempsey however was hot on his tail and finished in second place, he had done enough to secure the Gold medal position. Przemyslaw had sailed well enough in the breezy conditions to split the Brits, putting Dom Tidey in Bronze medal position.

“I wasn’t expecting to win this regatta, but I am obviously pretty pleased. I am pleased with how I sailed this week and in particular in the windier conditions. I was in a nice position going into the final race, so just had to sail conservatively and protect my position which I managed to do.” Commented Dempsey.

Out on the women’s Mistral course fellow British sailor Natasha Sturges was trying to protect her position and attack for first place. Allison Shreeve of Australia won the race, Sturges finished in fourth place which tied her on even points with Lee Lai Shan of China, the results were concluded on count back and as Lai Shan had won two races and Sturges had no first places, she would take the Gold and Sturges the Silver.

“I am pleased to have finished second, I finished third here last year so it is good to have improved. I have spent a lot of time training in Australia and away from the European scene so it is good to come back in and know that you are quick and capable of getting results. I have been working on a few things this week and have some more work to do before going to Kiel week next month where I can hopefully keep this standard up,” said Sturges.

The final race in the Laser class was a good one, with five times world champion and Double Olympic Medallist Robert Scheidt of Brazil battling it out for the top spot with RYA team GBR sailor Ed Wright. Wright led to the windward mark, but lost a few places on the run, he finally finished fifth with Scheidt in eighth, but it was not quite enough to take the Gold from Scheidt, finishing one point behind in the Silver medal position.

“I knew that I had to go out and race to my best ability, Robert [Scheidt] and I had similar discards so it was just a question of doing my best.” said Wright, who went on to explain his race and final result, “I rounded the top mark in first place and went down the run but my tiller extension came out. I didn’t lose too many places but it was a bit dicey as there was 25 knots of breeze behind me, I finished in fifth place and second overall. On the whole it is really nice to have sailed as well as I have, so I am really chuffed.”

The Finn class were one of the last to race in fairly breezy conditions, with five points separating first to third place, racing would be tight. Michael Fellman of Germany took line honors in the last race of the regatta followed by Karlo Kuret of Croatia and team GBR sailor Andrew Simpson in third. In the windy conditions Ainslie struggled and capsized a couple of times which resulted in a 25th place finish and with an equal number of points to Fellman fighting for third place. Fellman had one more first place than Ainslie and therefore won the Bronze medal on count back, leaving Ainslie in fourth place. Team mate Andrew Simpson finished third in the last race of the regatta to put him in sixth place overall.

It was deemed too windy for the 49ers again so they were not sent out. The class has only raced a total of six races over the duration of the regatta and has not been out sailing since Thursday. Therefore the results still stand with Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez of Spain winning the class from Luka Rodion/George Leonchuk of the Ukraine. Team GBR sailor Chris Draper, sailing with Olympic Silver Medallist Simon Hiscocks, sailed consistently to discard his worst result, an eighth, to finish in the bronze medal position. There were three other British pairing in the top ten with Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh in seventh, Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith eighth and Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes 10th.

Spa Regatta was topped off for team GBR by winning the Hein de Goederen Trophy for best nation. The cup is worked on a points system from Saturday onwards using the boats in the Gold fleet (or in those classes with one fleet only). Nations get 15 points for first place, 14 points for second and so on. The Nation with the most points receives the Hein de Goederen Trophy.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park summed up his thoughts on the regatta, “I am very proud that we won the Hein de Goederen Trophy, which I think is a testament to the strength across the classes that we seem to be developing. To single out one class as the highlight, it would have to be the Mistral class with Nick Dempsey showing true grit, determination and focus to pull back after a difficult couple of days at the beginning of the regatta. Hopefully the sailors will be able to carry on their performance during the season.”

Overall Results

Yngling (after eight races, 1 discard)

1, Monica Azon/Diane Cuadras/Julie Garcia, ESP (9,1,2,(15),4,3,6,2) 27 pts

2, Annelies Thies/Annemieke Bes/Petronella de Jong, NED (1,(9),3,9,8,1,4,5) 31 pts

3, Ulrike Schuemann/Wibke Buelle/Winnie Lippert, GER (5,2,6,8,5,(15),2,6) 34 pts

RYA team GBR

5, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Ayton/Inga Leask (18,14,(19),11,1,2,1,3) 50 pts

20, Lizzie Edwards/Gilly Ansell/Sue Parkin (13,16,14,16,(18),17,14,19) 108 pts

22, Nicole Johnson/Jane Norris/Jo Line (20,23,23,20,17,10,(DNF),20) 133 pts

Star (after seven races, 1 discard)

1, Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell, GBR (9,2,(27),1,1,1,3) 17 pts

2, Nicola Celon/Dodo Natucci, ITA (5,7,(OCS),8,2,3,7) 32 pts

3, Serge Kats/Jean Pierre Martens, NED (8,8,7,7,3,5,13) 38 pts

Other team GBR

14, Ian Barker/Ed Peel (6, (DNF),14,10,10,15,21) 76 pts

470 Men-Gold fleet

(after eleven races, 2 discards)

1, Johan Molund/Martin Anderson, SWE ((12),1,1,1,5,(OCS),1,2,4,2,5) 22 pts

2,Sven Coster/Kalle Coster, NED (1,4,4,3,12,4,1,4,(18),1,(20)) 34 pts

3, Philippe Gildas/Nicolas Le Berre, FRA (7,5,1,8,15,2,2,8,9,3,3) 39 pts

RYA team GBR

9, Graham Vials/Dan Newman (2,8,5,(13),7,3,7,7,(22),11,10) 60 pts

15, Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield (5,6,6,31,8,7,3,(OCS),2,25,(DNF)) 93 pts

470 Women (after ten races, 2 discards)

1, Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa, GRE ((12),1,(OCS),1,8,3,1,4,1,1) 20 pts

2, Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux, FRA (6,3,2,4,(26),(9),5,2,2,3) 27 pts

3, Lisa Westerhof/Margriet Matthijsse, NED (3,2,7,12,5,5,(14),1,5,2) 30 pts

RYA team GBR

18, Helena Lucas/Jenny Heeley (9,7,22,25,6,10,(DNF),(DNF),20,27) 126 pts

Laser-Gold fleet (after 11 races, 2 discards)

1, Robert Scheidt, BRA ((OCS),1,1,2,4,1,1,(10),3,2,8) 23 pts

2, Ed Wright, GBR (3,1,4,2,1,4,1,3,(9),(12),5) 24 pts

3, Karl Suneson, SWE (3,1,3,(OCS),2,3,2,6,8,3,(18)) 31 pts

Other GBR

8, Paul Goodison (2,5,1,1,(OCS),1,4,7,14,14,(29)) 49 pts

19, Jim Taylor (15,15,3,(35),9,15,4,15,26,(28),3) 105 pts

43, James Date (11,13,6,5,26,11,32,44,(47),44,(DNF)) 192 pts

Europe-Gold fleet (after 10 races, 2 discards)

1, Sari Multala, FIN ((2),1,1,1,2,(7),1,2,1,1) 10 pts

2, Min Dizillie, BEL (1,2,3,1,1,4,(6),2,2, (OCS)) 16 pts

3, Sarah Macky, NZL (1,1,3,(9),1,(5),4,1,5,5) 21 pts

RYA team GBR

14, Kirsty Bonar (7,(13),6,2,11,5,7,3,11,(OCS)) 52 pts

26, Debbie Winstanley ((OCS),3,6,7,19,12,2,8,33,(OCS)) 90 pts

Mistral Men-Gold fleet (after nine races,2 discards)

1, Nick Dempsey, GBR (4,5,(28),(15),1,1,2,2,2) 17 pts

2, Miarczynski Przemyslaw, POL ((21),9,(14),12,1,1,1,1,1) 26 pts

3, Dom Tidey, GBR ((7),1,4,(22),4,4,5,6,5) 29 pts

Mistral Women (after nine races, 2 discards)

1, Lee Lai Shan, HKG (1,4,1,8,6,(9),2,5,(8)) 27 pts

2, Natasha Sturges, GBR (3,6,2,(10),5,(11),3,4,4) 27 pts

3, Allison Shreeve, AUS ((32),1,(25),11,10,3,1,3,1) 30 pts

Other team GBR

9, Bryony Shaw ((14),8,4,12,13,17,7,7,16) 65 pts

Tornado (after nine races, 2 discards)

1, Mitch Booth/ Herbert Dercksen, NED (1,12,(14),2,1,1,2,(DNF),3) 22 pts

2, Sven Karsenbarg/Mischa Heemskerk, NED ((17),3,11,7,4,(9),1,1,1) 26 pts

3, Roman Hagara/Hans P. Steinacher, AUT (3,2,(23),12,2,3,5,4,(DNF)) 31 pts


9, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley (6,(16),16,11,8,(16),10,3,5) 59 pts

11, Hugh Styles/Adam May (5,(19),3,16,17,15,13,9,6) 67 pts

12, Rob Wilson/Will Howden (13,14,18,9,11,(19),15,6,2) 70 pts

19, Steven Lovegrove/Martin Sellars (16,15,17,(OCS),13,22,11,17,(DNF)) 111 pts

20, Matthew Eeles/Marcus Lynch ((28),24,7,18,(32),31,19,14,11) 121 pts

26, James Smith/Tom Saunt (25,(35),(32),31,30,29,24,19,14) 172 pts

49er (after six races, 1 discard)

1, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP (3,(4),2,4,1,1) 11 pts

2, Luka Rodion/George Leonchuk, UKR (1,(OCS),1,3,4,2) 11 pts

3, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR (2,2,5,(8),4,4) 17 pts

Other team GBR

7, Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh (4,(14),5,3,2,9) 23 pts

8, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith (2,4,7,5,(18),6) 24 pts

Finn-Gold fleet (after eight races, 1 discard)

1, Emilios Papathanasio, GRE (1,1,2,1,4,(13),8,7) 24 pts

2, Karlo Kuret, CRO (9,3,5,2,2,3,14,2) 26 pts 3, Michael Fellmann, GER (7,10,5,2,1,(DNF),4,1) 30 pts

Other team GBR

4, Ben Ainslie (3,5,1,3,10,5,3,(25)) 30 pts

6, Andrew Simpson (6,1,13,1,5,6,(15),3) 35 pts