Young talents shine at RYA Spring Series event

Grafham Water Sailing Club played host to the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series’ second event this weekend (18-19 March), with Bryony Shaw and Richard Hamilton topping the RS:X fleet in the first domestic test of the new Olympic windsurf board.

Winner of the recent Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, Shaw mastered average wind speeds of between 11 and 16 knots over the weekend to score five bullets and dominate the six race series at the Cambridgeshire club, while RYA youth squad windsurfer Richard Hamilton finished a steady second in the RS:X fleet with nine points.

Luke Patience and Chris Grube topped the 470 leaderboard to extend their strong start to the season. After a shaky first race, the Scots-Welsh duo edged out John Gimson-Stuart Bithell in the weekend’s sixth and final race to add this victory to their best ever Grade 1 regatta result at Miami in January.

Lucy Macgregor – the newly unveiled bowman for Shirley Robertson’s Beijing campaign – was the highest placed female helmsman in the 470 fleet, sailing with David Steel to finish in fifth place.

Skandia Team GBR transitional squad sailors Dave Evans and Rick Peacock came out on top in the 49er event, beating Paul Campbell-James and Mark Asquith by a three-point margin, while Hugh Styles and Tom Peel won by eight points over nearest rivals John Ready-Ryan Crawford in the Tornado fleet, with Brian Wilson-Sam Jones completing the three-boat Tornado line-up.

With 24 boats competing, the Finn class saw the biggest turnout of the weekend, with Roundhill SC’s Chris Brittle coming out on top with eight points and three race wins. Skandia Team GBR’s Ed Wright and Mark Andrews finished in second and third places, with 10 and 19 points respectively.

The third and final event in the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series will take place at Hayling Island Sailing Club from 6-7 May.