After disappointing conditions on Tuesday, the RYA National Championships and Trials got back on track today (Wednesday) with every class completing at least three races at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).
With fifteen knots in the morning, the Beachmaster and his crew of volunteers got over 250 boats and boards on the water promptly. Racing kicked off on three courses with the 29ers and Hobie 16's attracting a crowd of spectators who watched from the balconies at WPNSA.
Richard Hamilton from Barrow-upon-Humber continued to consolidate his lead in the RS:X fleet with three more first place finishes today. In the girl's fleet, West Kirby's Beth Williamson has a 12 point lead over her nearest female competitor.
RS:X sailor, Kim Jiskoot of Tunbridge Wells struggled with the cold conditions that Wednesday had to offer. 'I got a third, sixth and seventh today. I don't think I had the settings on my sail quite right. I really enjoy sailing and racing here; in the harbour the water is often flat - just how I like it.'
Sailors jostled for position in the Hobie 16 fleet, but after three races, brothers Andrew and Richard Glover from Weymouth, came out on top. However they will have to sail fast to keep Cornwall's Tom Phipps and Sam Newton out of pole position. Phipps and Newton were on top form today racking up three bullets.
'Today has definitely been the highlight of the event for us;' Tom explained. 'Monday was a really tough day. The shifty conditions made my brain ache from concentrating so hard so it was nice to have some bigger breeze today and focus on getting the boat to move fast. Hopefully we can keep improving tomorrow.'
The 29er fleet managed to get five races on the score sheet. Dylan Fletcher from Draycote and Rob Partridge from Waverham continue lead the fleet with a 12 point advantage. Anglesey's Huw Humphries and Max Todd finish the day in second with the third place boat manned by Henry Maxfield or Farnham and Dicken Maclean of Sutton hot on their heels. Sarah Martin and Nicola Groves, from Buckinghamshire and Surrey respectively, remain in the lead in the girl's fleet.
It was a game of snakes and ladders for the 420's, as sailors shifted up and down the leader's board. Lymington's Sophie Weguelin and Leigh-on-Sea's Katrina Hughes took control and charged to the top of the fleet after consistently finishing in the top three. Richard Mason from Lymington and Daniel Schieber from Englefield moved from fourth to second following three bullets, while Poole's Stephen Tiernan and North Guildford's Jamie Crapnell dropped to third.
Plymouth sailors James and Dan Ellis jumped from eleventh into fourth after a string of good results. 'We had a good day today and started to pull our way up through the fleet;' Dan commented. 'The competition on the start line is incredible so we're pleased with how we've done so far.'
Today's three races in the Radial fleet were of highest importance as on Thursday the Radials will be split into gold and silver fleets. Helensburgh's Anna Dobson continues to lead the girl's fleet with Guernsey's Clare Chapple and Welsh competitor, Sarah Williams nipping at her heels.
David Jessop from Bedfordshire stays in pole position in the boy's fleet just ahead of Eifion Mon of Wales and Iain McKeeman of Kempsford.
Mudeford's Max Holloway sets the pace in the Laser fleet with a 10 point lead over second place boat Dyfrig Mon of Wales. Evan Scott from Cambridgeshire moves up the board from fourth to third.
Racing continues through to Friday 14 April.
Further results and event information: http://www.ryaevents.org.uk/youthnationals