Hugh Styles and Graham Vials win the RYA Weymouth National Ranking Regatta this weekend

This weekend saw Team Styles and Vials back into winning ways at the RYA Weymouth National Ranking Regatta. Hugh Styles and Graham Vials have been based in Weymouth training since the early part of December. Team Styles and Vials scored two first places and a second place on Saturday and Sunday 26-27 February to win the first National Ranker of the year.

Hugh Styles commented at the end of the regatta: “We have been training hard here in Weymouth with the UK Tornado Squad and all the hard work is paying dividens. The racing was really good and close and we are very pleased to have clinched the regatta win. This sets us up nicely for the season, we are looking forward to the International Olympic regattas and relishing the chance to test ourselves against the worlds best at the Tornado Worlds in La Rochelle in the summer.”

Of the three races on Saturday, the first started in 12-15 knots wind from the north-north east and very shifty offshore winds. In the first race Team Styles and Vials started well winning the port end. The first beat was close, but by the top mark the team had just squeezed in front of Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley. The run was tricky and Hugh and Graham overstood the leeward mark and lost out to Wilson and Bulkeley dropping to 2nd, and continued to the finish. With a slightly more fickle wind in the second race, Team Styles and Vials had a really good start lead out to the right which had been favoured on the first race, only for the others to get a fortuitous lift in from the left.

Styles and Vials rounded 4th but sailed an outstanding downwind to regain the lead which they held solidly till the finish. The last race was an even better performance for the team dominating the start yet again they sailed the perfect race and were never headed clinching the victory with a good solid margin. These results gave Styles and Vials an over night lead with 2, 1, 1 and Wilson and Bulkeley in second with a 1, 2, 2.

Sunday dawned with much more wind 22-30 knots and a wind chill of -13 degrees. The call to abandon the racing was made early with the forecast for snow and trecherous conditions for the drive home, everyone was pleased to have the chance to pack away early.