Hayling Island SC crowns Spring Series champions 8/5/06

The inaugural RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series drew to a close on Sunday (7 May), with Hayling Island Sailing Club crowning the winners after a tentative start to the weekend’s racing.

With winds on Saturday struggling to reach 5 knots, just one race could be completed in the Finn, 470 and Tornado classes, with the 49er sailors and RS:X windsurfers sent out but subsequently returned to shore after the already light winds dropped further.

Conditions picked up on Sunday to allow racing in all classes, with Hugh Styles and Tom Peel once again dominating the Tornado fleet. The duo from Downs won all four of their weekend’s races to complete a string of bullets across the Grafham and HISC events and hand them the overall Spring Series victory. Brian Wilson and Sam Jones from Largs finished in second this weekend, to secure second in the overall Series.

In the 49er class, Skandia Team GBR development squad sailors Dave Evans and Rick Peacock emerged as Spring Series winners after a second victory this weekend at HISC. But it wasn’t an easy ride for Welshman Evans and Worcestershire’s Peacock – they were pushed all the way by the Stokes Bay pairing Tristan Jaques and Alain Sign, who finished in second on countback to secure their first podium finish.

Paul Campbell James and Mark Asquith finished third at the HISC event, to put them second in the overall Series, while Roger Gilbert and Olivier Vidal finish the Series in third.

Ed Wright capped off a successful couple of weeks, with a win at HISC and the Spring Series victory to add to his first Grade 1 regatta victory at Hyeres a couple of weeks ago. Bournemouth-based Wright finished this weekend’s event equal on points to Southampton’s Matt Howard, but won on countback.

The Spring Series second place goes to Largs’ Mark Andrews, who adds a sixth from this weekend’s racing to his third place at Grafham, with Frensham’s Nick Craig finishing in third overall after a sixth and fourth from the two events.

HISC’s own Jonny McGovern and Tom Mapplebeck topped the podium in the 470 class from this weekend’s racing, finishing third in the overall Series behind David Edwards and Guy Tipton, and Tom Mallandine and James Clark, while Melissa Heppell and Rebecca Marriott were the top women’s team in the 470 fleet, both this weekend and in the overall Series.

Bryony Shaw topped the RS:X 8.5 fleet, scoring three bullets from the three HISC races this weekend to clinch the overall RS:X women’s Series win after an equally dominant display at Grafham in March, while Poole’s Leo McCallin heads up the men’s RS:X 9.5 rig final Series rankings.

“This first edition of the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series has been an exciting revision to the domestic Olympic Classes calendar, with the events providing an excellent opportunity to showcase some of our new talents,” said RYA Olympic Development Squad Manager Barrie Edgington.

“The domestic focus in the Olympic Classes will now turn to the autumn National Ranking Series, where I look forward to seeing these new talents competing alongside our top performers.”

The RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series will take place across three weekends in October – 7-8 October, 13-15 October (in conjunction with the Sail For Gold Regatta), and 28-29 October – all at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

The Spring Series events and autumn National Rankers are used as part of classes qualification for international championship places, and RYA grants for key Olympic regattas. Further details of the grants and places selection system can be found at in the Olympic Classes Handbook at www.skandiateamgbr.com.