by Matt Carter
The second instalment of the 2013 RYA Autumn Olympic Classes National Ranking Series felt the full force of the storm this weekend as Britain’s Olympic classes sailors battled against gale force winds at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (26-27 October).
The British Sailing Team’s Andrew Mills competing in the Finn class.
Racing got underway on Saturday across the six Olympic classes in a strong 20-25 knots of breeze with gusts of up to 30 knots across Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour. All classes managed to complete two races apart from the RS:X who only managed the one.
All racing on Sunday was cancelled by Race Officials on safety grounds due to the extreme weather conditions across the South Coast with gusts of up to 60 knots battering the 2012 Olympic sailing venue.
In the heavyweight Finn class Giles Scott revelled in the blustery conditions clinching two races wins to take his second back to back National Ranker win. British Sailing Team Podium Potential sailor Peter McCoy finished second ahead of Podium squad sailor Andrew Mills in third.
2013 49er European Champions Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign also continued their momentum form the opening event of the Series taking both race wins in the 11-strong 49er fleet. Second place went to Nic Asher and Fynn Sterritt who held off strong competition from James Peters and Ed Fitzgerald who finished their weekend in third.
Frances Peters and Nicola Groves also saw an unblemished scorecard in the 49erFX event picking up two bullets in front of Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth, while Nick Dempsey made the most of the single race in the RS:X event to take weekend honours ahead of Tom Squires in second and Sam Sills in third.
2013 470 Junior European silver medallist Mike Wood who competed with stand in crew Hugh Brayshaw topped the billing in the 470 event with a first and second while Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre were hot on their heels in second. Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter finished third.
In the Nacra 17 class, Pippa Wilson and John Gimson who finished second in the opening event of the Series, managed to go one better this time around to clinch their first National Ranker win together. The pair, who were granted redress from the jury after a crash with fellow teammates Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond in race two, finished one point ahead of Lucy Macgregor and Elliot Willis in second. Maddy Anderson and Andy Sinclair were third.
Barrie Edgington, British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad Manager, commented: 'It was great to get some racing in on the opening day of the regatta, especially with such a strong wind forecast for the weekend and racing being blown off on the Sunday.
'Although the Race Teams were faced with some very challenging conditions, we witnessed once again some great action out on the race course in this second instalment of the RYA Autumn National Ranking Series.
'With qualification for key international regattas and RYA grants at stake across the Olympic and Paralympic classes, the stage is now set for an exciting finale to the Series at WPNSA next month.'
Full Results here
The third and final event of the Series will be held on the 16-17 November. To avoid the increased late entry fee, entries must be made by the 11 November. The event is compulsory for all British Sailing Team Podium and Podium Potential Squad members.
Please check the Olympic Classes Handbook here for information about individual class programmes and which events count towards the Series for each Olympic and Paralympic Class.
Enter online for final event of the 2013 RYA Autumn National Ranking Series here.
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