by Lindsey Bell
Skandia Team GBR celebrate at WPNSA - Left to right: Paul Goodison, Saskia Clark, Sarah Ayton, Bryony Shaw, Nick Dempsey, Andrew Simpson - image © Geoff Moore
Skandia Team GBR’s top performers will return to action on home waters next week for the first in the annual trio of RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series events. The Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, taking place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from 16-20 September, marks the first of the RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series events for 2008.
And with qualification for key international regattas and RYA grants at stake, the Series will see a host of Britain’s Olympic Classes sailors pit their wits against the current cream of Skandia Team GBR over the course of three regattas at WPNSA over the next month.
Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (Laser) and bronze medallist Bryony Shaw (RS:X women), will feature at the first event in the Series, while 49er stars Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, men’s 470 World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis and women’s 470 pairing Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark are amongst the other top Skandia Team GBR crews gunning for Series glory.
The RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series provides quality national racing opportunities for aspiring 2012 hopefuls while continuing to offer top class racing and venues for all Olympic Classes sailors throughout the UK.
Racing in Finn, 470 men and women, 49er and RS:X 9.5 and 8.5 classes will be held across the three weekends.
'The annual National Ranking Series provides a great opportunity for regular class sailors and up-and-coming young Olympic Classes sailors to pit themselves against Britain’s best,' explained Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Manager, Barrie Edgington.
'This years’ Series has added significance, with Britain’s sailors once again proving themselves as world beaters at the Olympic Games and the fact that the Series is held at the 2012 venue is certain to be an added draw. These autumn UK events really mark the start of the new Olympic cycle.'
The second of the National Ranker events takes place on the weekend of 4-5 October while the Series draws to a close two weeks later over the 18-19 October.