Two medals for Team GBR at SPA Regatta

RYA Team GBR have won two medals, one silver and one bronze, at SPA Olympic Classes Sailing Regatta in Medemblik, Holland.

Going into the final race of the regatta yesterday, Great Britain’s double Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie was in fifth place overall in the Finn class and needed a good race to get himself onto the podium.

A fourth place finish was enough to see Ainslie move up the scoreboard into silver medal position, but the 1996 Olympic Finn Champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz of Poland went two better and a second place saw him take the gold medal.

Ainslie commented: “I was good but not good enough. I had a number of decent races but I also had some issues with rule 42 and equipment on the new boat. On the whole I was sailing well and everything is working well towards Athens in a few months time.”

Athens-bound sailors Shirley Robertson, Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, who will represent Great Britain this summer in the Yngling class, won a bronze medal at the regatta. The team went into the final day in third place overall and needed to sail well in order to take home a medal.

In the tricky light conditions they managed to put in a fourth place finish which tied them on equal points with second placed Giulia Conti, Alessandra Marenzi and Angela Baroni of Italy. However the Italian team had a better score line and took the silver medal leaving the British team with the bronze.

Robertson said: “I am really glad that we had a light wind week as it flagged up a number of weaknesses. If it was windier we could have finished in the top three with ease, but in the lighter breeze we learnt some lessons about the sails and set up and we feel that we are moving forwards.

We were generally racing well and making good decisions. We had one bad day and to finish four points off the leader is very positive.”

It was a difficult final day for the Mistral fleet as the final race started in very light conditions, turning the race into more of an aerobic workout than a sailing race. The men’s event winner was already decided and Dutch sailor Joeri Van Dijk could sit out the race as he had already won with a race to spare. A race got underway but soon had to be abandoned due to the dying breeze. Team GBR Mistral sailor Nick Dempsey decided that he would save his fitness for the Europeans next week and returned to shore early, leaving him in fourth place overall.

In the women’s fleet Natasha Sturges finished on a high, scoring a third place which left her in fifth place overall after a number of sailors moved up the scoreboard once a second discard came into play. Faustine Merret of France won the class from Jessica Crisp of Australia.

There was all to play for going into the final race of the Star class with just three points separating second and fifth place. After the first race was caused to be abandoned due to lack of breeze, a second one eventually got underway in five knots of pressure. Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell, who will represent Great Britain this summer in Athens, scored a third place which moved them up one place overall to fourth overall and just one point off third. A final first place for Peter Bromby and Lee White of Bermuda gave them the gold medal from Ross Macdonald and Mike Wolfs of Canada.

Other top ten positions for Athens 2004 sailors went to Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks who finished sixth in the 49er class, just in front of younger team mates Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, and Tornado sailors Leigh McMillan and Mark Bulkeley finished ninth in the competitive catamaran fleet.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park commented: “SPA Regatta this year has given us a great opportunity to practice our light wind technique although it has proved challenging for the race committee.

A number of sailors have been trying development equipment throughout the regatta, many of which have proven positive from a development point of view, even if it doesn’t appear this way from a results point of view.”

Overall Results


1, Kristin Wagner/Anna Hoell/Veronika Lochbrunner, GER (2,1,4,5,1,10,9,(18),(11)) 32 pts

2, Giulia Conti/Alessandra Marenzi/Angela Baroni, ITA ((15),(10),5,9,3,1,6,5,7) 36 pts

3, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Ayton/Sarah Webb, GBR (1,5,12,6,(17),(22),4,4,4) 36 pts

Other GBR

20, Dominica Lindsey/Annie Lush/Penny Mountford ((21),(22),20,17,18,6,3,11,15) 90 pts


1, Peter Bromby/Lee White, BER ((16),(17),5,1,3,2,5,15,1) 32 pts

2, Ross Macdonald/Mike Wolfs, CAN (9,6,10,2,2,3,10,(12),4) 36 pts

3, Mark Neeleman/Peter van Niekerk, NED (5,9,(14),4,4,(16),3,8,5) 38 pts


4, Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell (4,2,(11),8,7,12,4,(14),3) 39 pts

Europe – Gold fleet

1, Siren Sundby, NOR (1,1,1,1,1,1,3,1,3,2,5,(5),(DNF)) 20 pts

2, Blandine Rouille, FRA (5,3,2,(8),2,3,2,1,5,(13),3,7,5) 38 pts

3, Petra Niemann, GER (2,2,5,3,2,2,(19),5,7,7,7,2,(9)) 44 pts GBR

22, Laura Baldwin (6,8,4,24,16,8,21,(DNF),17,10,12,11,(27)) 137 pts

Mistral Men

1, Joeri Van Dijk, NED (1,(15),4,2,1,3,1,1,(DNF)) 13 pts

2, Julien Bontemps, FRA (4,1,2,10,3,4,(16),8,(OCS)) 32 pts

3, Max Oberemko, UKR (6,(10),3,4,10,8,6,(DSQ),2) 39 pts


4, Nick Dempsey (10,3,9,7,(12),5,5,3,(DNF)) 42 pts

22, Leo McCallin (25,26,16,23,16,15,(28),18,(DNF)) 138 pts

Mistral Women

1, Faustine Merret, FRA (2,(OCS),1,(OCS),5,1,3,1,2) 15 pts

2, Jessica Crisp, AUS (5,6,(6),2,3,3,1,2,(9)) 22 pts

3, Amelie Lux, GER (3,(14),4,1,2,5,4,3,(12)) 22 pts


5, Natasha Sturges (10,1,(OCS),3,8,4,2,(9),3) 30 pts

49er – Gold fleet

1, Jonas Warrer/Peter Kruger Ander, DEN (3,5,13,1,7,2,1,18,(25),7,4,2) 45 pts

2, Iker Martinez/Xavier Fernandez, ESP (6,14,2,1,4,3,5,3,4,1,(25),15,2) 45 pts

3, Michael Hestbek/Dennis Dengsoe, DEN (2,2,4,(OCS),3,2,16,2,8,8,13,6,16) 66 pts


6, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks (4,6,2,2,6,10,2,(DSQ),10,15,15,4,9) 69 pts

7, Stevie Morrison/Ben Rhodes (3,5,3,6,3,13,(21),12,12,2,3,10,(22)) 71 pts


1, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, POL (1,7,4,2,(20),(15),2,2,2) 20 pts

2, Ben Ainslie, GBR (14,(OCS),1,1,1,1,(DNF),1,4) 23 pts

3, Sebastien Godefroid, BEL (3,5,6,4,8,(14),6,8,18) 40 pts

Other GBR

8, Andrew Simpson (9,17,2,15,6,(32),(24),9,11) 69 pts

18, Matt Howard (22,13,10,(DNF),26,4,12,38,28) 115 pts

Laser – Gold fleet

1, Zbogar Vasilij, SLO ((2),1,3,1,1,1,1,1,1,3,2,(DNF)) 14 pts

2, Karl Suneson, SWE ((OCS),9,2,1,3,1,1,1,6,(OCS),1,7) 32 pts

3, Gareth Blanckenberg, RSA (6,(OCS),8,2,1,2,5,7,10,1,(20),5) 47 pts


13, Keir Clarke (10,4,1,20,2,30,(34),(31),7,2,4,29) 109 pts


1, Roman Hagara/Hans Peter Steinacher, AUT (2,2,3,9,1,6,(OCS),1,15,2,1,(OCS)) 42 pts

2, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron, FRA (5,(10),9,3,(16),5,1,2,2,4,8,8) 47 pts

3, Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola, ARG (1,6,14,6,4,1,8,(20),6,6,(16),1) 53 pts


9, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley (3,12,17,8,6,4,(OCS),10,16,9,5,(OCS)) 90 pts

21, Jonnie Hutchcroft/Marcus Lynch ((DNF),18,21,16,22,22,17,(23),23,23,21,7) 190 pts

25, Andrew Walsh/Edward Barney (17,24,23,22,24,25,18,(27),26,13,26,(OCS)) 218 pts

27, Chris Field/Mark Field ((DNF),(DNF),DNF,17,27,27,19,25,27,26,24,DNF) 250 pts

28, John Ready/Dan Taylor (25,26,25,26,(DNF),(DNF),OCS,28,28,25,27,DNF) 268 pts

470 Men

1, Paul Foerster/Kevin Burnham, USA (6,1,(11),1,1,1,1,8,1,11,5,4,(DNC)) 40 pts

2, Sven Coster/Kalle Coster, NED (7,3,1,(10),6,10,7,5,7,(16),2,7,8) 63 pts

3, Gabrio Zandona/Andrea Trani, ITA (4,2,5,7,3,15,(17),1,15,7,12,2,(OCS)) 73 pts


26, Guy Tipton/Chris Tattersall (25,16,(OCS),(DNS),22,16,27,28,19,25,OCS,12,18) 241 pts

470 Women

1, Lisa Westerhof/Margriet Matthijsse, NED (1,2,(OCS),1,1,2,3,1,2,5,1,1,(DNC)) 20 pts

2, Sylvia Vogl/Caroline Flatscher, AUT (3,4,(OCS),3,3,1,(6),6,3,1,3,5,3) 35 pts

3, Vlada Ilienko/Natalya Gaponovich, RUS (2,6,1,2,5,4,7,(DNF),(DNF),2,2,3,4) 38 pts

No GBR competing