Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - All Risk

RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series - Rickham and Birrell all set

by Matt Carter on 8 Mar 2013
Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell competing in the SKUD18 class © Richard Langdon http://www.oceanimages.co.uk
The opening event of the RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series begins this weekend (9-10 March) with Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell returning back to competitive action for the first time since winning bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The SKUD duo, who have been out of action for the past six months since winning their first Paralympic medal in Weymouth and Portland last summer, will be joined by Britain’s up-and-coming Olympic Classes sailors as they test their mettle on the opening weekend of the domestic Olympic Classes racing season.

Compulsory for all Skandia Team GBR Development and Transition squad members, the first of three events welcomes racing in the Finn, Men’s and Women’s 470, 49er, RSX 9.5 men and 8.5 open, and the Paralympic 2.4mR and SKUD18 classes.

'It’s certainly been a while since Niki and I have competed,' explained the four time SKUD class World Champion Rickham.

'The last time was when we won the bronze medal at the Paralympic Games last summer so we are definitely excited to be returning to the same waters of Weymouth and Portland for our first taste of competition and to kick start our Rio 2016 campaign.'

The 31-year-old continued: 'The Spring Series is always a great event and we will be entering the weekend with no expectations and to just have a fun and enjoyable event while we re-familiarise ourselves with the boat. I know Niki and I are really looking forward to getting back out on the water and it will be a great opening event to set us up for our European regattas over the Spring and Summer months.'

In one of the largest fleets this weekend, Miami Sailing World Cup 2.4mR gold medallist Megan Pascoe will be looking to build on her momentum ahead of next month’s Princess Sofia and Hyeres World Cup Regattas, while for some of Skandia Team GBR’s younger sailors the event provides the chance to put their winters training to the test and pit their racing skills against some of the top names in their respective classes.

2012 Junior World Championship bronze medallists Anna Burnett and Flora Stewart will be among the talent in the double-handed 470 fleet while there fellow Skandia Team GBR Development Squad teammates and 2012 RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series champions James Peters and Ed Fitzgerald will be looking to retain their crown and stake an early claim in the 49er class.

Meanwhile, 2012 ISAF Youth World gold medallist Saskia Sills will be vying for success in the RS:X 8.5 class as she looks to cement herself at the top of the fleet ahead of the RYA Youth National Championships in Largs over the Easter break. Joining Sills in the hunt for victory will be the 2012 Youth World and European silver medallist Kieran Martin as he enters the event reigning Spring Series Champion.

Tim Hall, RYA Competitions Manager, commented: 'We are looking forward to the first of the RYA Spring Series events at WPNSA this weekend. Not only will this be the first event of the season for the sailors, it is also the first event for race officials who are all looking forward to getting back on the water. The weather looks like giving us a variety of conditions to really test the sailors and officials alike.'

The second event of the Spring Series will also take place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from 13-14 April, with the finale being hosted by Hayling Island Sailing Club on the 18-19 May.

Entries for the second weekend at WPNSA are being accepted online at RYA Racing Events website with early bird prices available if you enter online by Monday 8th April. For the Hayling Island SC event, entries will be taken at registration.

The Spring Series Notice of Race can also be found in the RYA Olympic Classes Handbook, which is available from the Crew Room section of theSkandia Team GBR website. This also contains information regarding the applicable class for each weekend, key class dates and the series of qualifiers for grants.
Protector - 660 x 82Hall Spars - BoomHenri Lloyd 50 Years

Related Articles

Brisbane Etchells – Chocolates over boiled lollies anytime
So the original Bert Bryant saying, ‘Gone from Chocolates to Boiled Lollies’, came out of horse racing in the 60s. So the original Bert Bryant saying, ‘Gone from Chocolates to Boiled Lollies’, came out of horse racing in the 60s. It refers to looking good, then ultimately not doing so well. Now in sailing, when you talk about those ever-so-easy-to-eat, chocolate covered, little and skinny liquorice sticks, it means wins. Yep. They’re bullets.
Posted on 19 Feb
Hong Kong Raceweek. Asia's biggest small boat regatta wraps in style
It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors. It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors.
Posted on 19 Feb
Hong Kong Raceweek. Asia's biggest small boat regatta wraps in style
It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors. It was an awesome week with very challenging conditions for some of the sailors.
Posted on 19 Feb
18ft Skiffs - Thurlow Fisher take another win as JJ's loom
Today’s Race 11 of Australian 18 Footers League’s Club Championship on Sydney Harbour took on even greater importance With the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship just six days away, today’s Race 11 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s Club Championship on Sydney Harbour took on even greater importance than usual for the 19 teams contesting the event. A 10-15 knots ESE wind allowed all teams to set their big number one rigs.
Posted on 19 Feb
Australian Etchells Championships images by Dinghy Fever Photography
Dinghy Fever Photography provided this gallery of images from 2017 Australian Etchells Championships RPAYC. Dinghy Fever Photography provided this gallery of images from 2017 Australian Etchells Championships RPAYC.
Posted on 18 Feb
Hong Kong Raceweek – plenty of breeze, and fog!
Lasers, Optimists, 29ers, windsurfers, 2.4m class, 420s, 470s, 200+ boats Lots of boats out on the water for Hong Kong’s no 1 dinghy regatta of the year, which is also a part of the Asian Sailing Federation Youth Cup. Lasers, Optimists, 29ers, windsurfers, 2.4m class, 420s, 470s, 200+ boats (who have I missed?).
Posted on 18 Feb
HK Raceweek 2017- sunshine, breeze, fog (all of them)
Race day 23 at HK Raceweek was like sailing in Melbourne. Four seasons in the same day. The forecast for the morning was for a light breeze at first and that’s precisely what it was – but a little too light to put it mildly. RO Barry Truhol said shortly before 1000hrs, 'we are sat in the middle of Stanley Bay; Round Island zero breeze, zero knots; Stanley Bay, zero breeze, zero knots; out towards Tai Tam Bay zero breeze, zero knots. (Spoiler alert: it didn't last).
Posted on 18 Feb
A great excuse for FINNtastic racing – Finn Masters Magazine
It must be close to the start of the European Finn season, with the publication of the Finn Masters Magazine this week. It must be close to the start of the European Finn season, with the publication of fourth edition the Finn Masters Magazine and Yearbook this week.
Posted on 17 Feb
2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship - Preview
The closeness of 2016 championship indicates 2017 championship will be just as tough to win as Smeg’s victory The closeness of the 2016 championship and the likely improvement in a few of last year’s rookie teams, indicates the 2017 championship will be just as tough to win as Smeg’s victory was just twelve months ago.
Posted on 17 Feb
MC38 Australian Champs - Record MC38 fleet vie for national supremacy
A record nine MC38s fling open the door to another year of dynamic one design racing with the class’ national title A record nine MC38s fling open the door to another year of dynamic one design racing with the class’ national title on Pittwater hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club February 17-19, 2017.
Posted on 16 Feb