by Matt Carter
The domestic Olympic Classes racing season got underway this weekend (8-9 March) with the first RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series event at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
Megan Pascoe-2.4mR - RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series 2014
The weekend provided impressive racing from some fresh faces across the eight Olympic and three Paralympic classes, as well as strong performances from the British Sailing Team’s Podium and Podium Potential sailors.
Racing in glorious sunshine but with some challenging wind shifts across the two days of racing, it was Tom Phipps and Zennor Pascoe who stole the show with a clean sweep of race wins in the Nacra 17 class.
With a number of the British Sailing Team’s Nacra 17 teams training overseas, the duo made light work of the mixed multihull fleet clinching an imposing seven race wins ahead of Alicia Clifford and Tom Bruton to take the weekend victory.
In the 49er event, the Weymouth duo of Alex Tobutt and Stuart Appleby came out on top with three race wins form the eight races completed to secure the weekend victory ahead of Jack Hawkins and Christopher Thomas in second. The British Sailing Team’s Podium Potential sailors Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten finished third, despite winning four out of the eight races completed.
Tom Squires-RSX 9.5 - RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series 2014
Three race wins for Ali Masters was enough for him to seal event honours in the RS:X 9.5 windsurfing class. Tom Squires rounded his weekend off two points behind in second while Joe Bennett finished third.
In the smaller RS:X 8.5 fleet, Robert York produced a first class performance across the six race series to finish eight points clear of second place Daniel Wilson. Imogen Sills put in a solid performance finishing the event first female and third overall, while in the heavyweight Finn class James Hadden rounded off the weekend in first, three points ahead of Ben Cornish, with Peter McCoy in third.
In the 470 class Mike Wood and Dave Kohler took event honours while Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter overcame the challenge of Jess Lavery and Megan Brickwood to clinch the weekend victory by a single point.
In the Paralympic classes, six boats made the start line in the 2.4mR class with British Sailing Team Podium sailor Megan Pascoe claiming the weekend victory ahead of Will Street in second. Alex Hovden and Nicola Hopkins claimed victory in the SKUD event while Craig Wood, Steven Palmer and Liam Cattamole took event honours in the Sonar class.
Barrie Edgington, British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad Manager, commented: 'A cracking weekend of warm weather kicked off the first of three Olympic classes Spring Series weekends. Whilst racing was not straight forward with big shifts keeping competitors and Race Management on their toes, a good number of short sharp races kept the racing open and it was great to see a few new faces making the most of it at the front of the fleet.'
Amy Seabright - RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series 2014
The second installment of the Spring Series will also take place on the Olympic and Paralympic waters in Weymouth and Portland from 12-13 April with the Series finale being hosted by Hayling Island Sailing Club on the 3-4 May.
Entries are being accepted online at RYA Racing Events website with early bird prices available if you enter online by Monday 7th April. For the Hayling Island Sailing Club event, entries will be taken at registration.
Event website: click here