The first day’s racing at the SPA Olympic classes regatta in Medemblik got off to a good start

Day one of SPA Regatta in Medemblik, Holland, saw shifty breezes and a lot of rain. Sailing was staggered throughout the day with the Europes, Mistral, Laser, 470, Star and Yngling classes all starting in the morning and the Finn, Tornado and 49er in the afternoon.

RYA team GBR sailors made a good start out on the Mistral course, Natasha Sturges, who is competing in her first European event this year after a winter spent training in Australia, finished the day with a third and a sixth place, to put her in third place overall. Team mate Bryony Shaw also made a good start to the regatta, scoring a fourteenth and an eighth place to put her in sixth place overall.

In the Men’s Mistral fleet, team GBR sailor Dom Tidey started the regatta on a good note, finishing in seventh place in the first race and then following it up with his first race win of the regatta, putting him in fourth position overall. Team mate Nick Dempsey is back on form after taking time out due to illness, scoring a fourth and a fifth place to put him in seventh position overall.

Racing was close in the 148-boat Laser fleet, the fleet has been split into three due to the size and at the end of each day’s racing the three fleets will be re-grouped, so every sailor will get a chance to sail one another. After three days of racing like this the top sailors will make up the Gold fleet and the rest the silver and bronze.

Team GBR sailors, Paul Goodison and Ed Wright made a good start to the regatta. Goodison sailed well to finish the day with a second, fifth and his first race win of the regatta, to give him a total of eight points, one point behind Swedish sailor, Karl Suneson in second, and four points off the leader. Ed Wright had an equally impressive score line, matching Goodison on overall points, scoring a third, first and a second to put him in fourth place overall.

With 56 boats on the 49er course, racing was exciting, the fleet has been split into two groups, but at the end of day one, GBR sailors Chris Draper and Olympic Silver Medallist Simon Hiscocks had placed themselves in second position overall, scoring two second places and a fifth. Team mate Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith are currently lying in fourth place overall with Alister Richardson and Peter Greenhalgh in 10th place.

“We had a good steady start to the regatta, we should have won race two, we were leading at the windward mark but I think we sailed a bit too conservatively and dropped a place to finish second. We didn’t sail a very good windward leg in the third race of the day, finishing fifth, but on the whole we are pretty pleased with our overall position.” Commented Chris Draper.

A late day was had in the Finn class after starting at 1500, they did not hit the shore until 1900. Team GBR sailor Andrew Simpson had a good first outing in his new boat, scoring a sixth and a first place, to put him in third place overall, team mate and Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie finished the day in fifth place overall, scoring a third and a fifth place.

“I had quite a good day today, although it was a bit lighter than expected and I could have benefited from having my other main sail on. It is still a big learning process for me, I have some good races and some bad, so I just need to pull them together in order to make a mark at these regatta’s, I am enjoying the challenge though and that is the main thing.” Commented Ainslie.

Racing continues through until Sunday 26 May, when the overall race winners will be presented with their trophies and prize money.


Yngling (after two races)

1, Melanie Dennison/Fiona Herbert/Caroline Aders, AUS (2,3) 5 pts

2, Ulrike Schuemann/Wibke Buelle/Winnie Lippert, GER (5,2) 7 pts

3, Monica Azon/Diane Cuadras/Julie Garcia, ESP (9,1) 10 pts

RYA team GBR

16, Lizzie Edwards/Gilly Ansell/Sue Parkin (13,16) 29 pts

17, Shirley Robertson/Sarah Ayton/Inga Leask (18,14) 32 pts

22, Nicole Johnson/Jane Norris/Jo Line (20,23) 43 pts

Star (after two races)

1, Paul-Ambroise Sevestre/Vincent Berengier, FRA (2,6) 8 pts

2, Iain Percy/Steve Mitchell, GBR (9,2) 11 pts

3, Nicola Celon/Dodo Natucci, ITA (5,7) 12 pts

Other team GBR

22, Ian Barker/Ed Peel (6, DNF) 42 pts

470 Men (after three races)

1, Eugen Braslavets/Igor Matvienko, UKR (1,1,4) 6 pts

2, Sven Coster/Kalle Coster, NED (1,4,4) 9 pts

3, Philippe Gildas/Nicolas Le Berre, FRA (7,5,1) 13 pts

RYA team GBR

6, Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield (5,6,6) 17 pts

21, Graham Vials/Dan Newman (2,DNF,5) 44 pts (seeking redress for DNF)

470 Women (after three races)

1, Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux, FRA (6,3,2) 11 pts

2, Lisa Westerhof/Margriet Matthijsse, NED (3,2,7) 12 pts

3, Stefanie Rothweiler/Monica Leu, GER (1,4,14) 19 pts

RYA team GBR

9, Helena Lucas/Jeny Heeley (9,6,22) 37 pts

Laser (after three races)

1, Arapov Mate, CRO (1,2,1) 4 pts

2, Karl Suneson, SWE (3,1,3) 7 pts

3, Paul Goodison, GBR (2,5,1) 8 pts

Other GBR

4, Ed Wright (3,1,4) 8 pts

17, James Date (11,13,6) 30 pts

20, Jim Taylor (15,15,3) 32 pts

27, Peter Walker (20,9,14) 43 pts

29, Mark Howard (21,4,19) 44 pts

Europe (after three races)

1, Sari Multala, FIN (2,1,1) 4 pts

2, Sarah Macky, NZL (1,1,3) 5 pts

3, Min Dizillie, BEL (1,2,3) 6 pts

RYA team GBR

19, Kirsty Bonar (7,13,6) 26 pts

37, Debbie Winstanley (OCS,3,6) 42 pts

Mistral Men (after two races)

1, Tom Ashley, NZL (1,2) 3 pts

2, Matchoro Tal, ISR (2,2) 4 pts

3, Kevin Mevissen, NED (1,4) 5 pts

RYA team GBR

4, Dom Tidey (7,1) 8 pts

7, Nick Dempsey (4,5) 9 pts

Mistral Women (after two races)

1, Lee Lai Shan, HKG (1,4) 5 pts

2, Chan Wai kei, HKG (5,2) 7 pts

3, Natasha Sturges, GBR (3,6) 9 pts

Other team GBR

6, Bryony Shaw (14,8) 22 pts

Tornado (after three races)

1, Hans Wallen/Peter Mickos, SWE (8,4,4) 16 pts

2, Olivier Backes/Laurent Voiron, FRA (11,6,1) 18 pts

3, Mitch Booth/ Herbert Dercksen, NED (1,12,14) 27 pts


4, Hugh Styles/Adam May (5,19,3) 27 pts

11, Leigh McMillan/Mark Bulkeley (6,16,16) 38 pts

14, Rob Wilson/Will Howden (13,14,18) 45 pts

17, Steven Lovegrove/Martin Sellars (16,15,17) 48 pts

21, Matthew Eeles/Marcus Lynch (28,24,7) 59 pts

31, James Smith/Tom Saunt (25,35,32) 92 pts

49er (after three races)

1, Santiago Vazquez Lopez/Javier De La Plaza, ESP (1,6,1) 9 pts

2, Chris Draper/Simon Hiscocks, GBR (2,2,5) 9 pts

3, Iker Martinez/Xabier Fernandez, ESP (3,4,2) 9 pts

Other team GBR

4, Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith (2,4,7) 13 pts

10, Alister Richardson/Peter Greenhalgh (4,14,5) 23 pts

Finn (after two races)

1, Emilios Papathanasio, GRE (1,1) 2 pts

2, Luca Devoti, ITA (2,3) 5 pts

3, Andrew Simpson, GBR (6,1) 7 pts

Other team GBR

5, Ben Ainslie (3,5) 8 pts