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2017 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking series finishes with a bang

by Anisha Walkerley on 7 Nov 4-5 November 2017
49er fleet during the 2017 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking series finale © Paul Wyeth / RYA

The final weekend of racing at the 2017 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series saw Weymouth and Portland put on a show with sunny and blustery conditions challenging competitors (4-5 November).

Both event honours and overall 2017 series standing were at stake across the seven Olympic classes racing in Portland Harbour, as well as the Nacra 15 National Championship running concurrently.

Some 73 boats were in action in chilly conditions, with high winds temporarily stopping play on Saturday, while on Sunday sailors were blessed with sunshine and winds of 15-25 knots. Seasoned campaigners and British Sailing team squad members were challenged by new and rising talents looking to make their mark on the Olympic Classes scene.

After taking a break from 470 sailing, Luke Patience and Chris Grube are back where they left off with a near perfect scoreline to take the weekend win. Podium Potential Pathway duo Harvey Martin and Ryan Orr added a third to the first event win to be crowned series champions.

In the Women's 470 fleet, Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter proved to be the ones to beat after winning their second ranking event and with it wrapped up the series. Teammates Jess Lavery and Flora Stewart finished the series as runners up ahead of Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre.

Following a strong summer on the international circuit, Jack Hawkins and Chris Thomas posted five bullets to take event honours. But it was 49er National Champions Gillies Munro and Daniel Harris who topped the overall series standings. In the 49er FX, British Sailing Team coach Ian Martin jumped into helm the skiff alongside Sophie Ainsworth to claim the top spot ahead of Sophie Weguelin and Stephanie Orton. Podium Potential's Megan Brickwood and Ellie Aldridge clinched the series win.

A battle unfolded in the Finn fleet, with places swapping all weekend between Hector Simpson and Ben Cornish. It was eventually Simpson who overcame him teammate and rival to narrowly snatch victory on countback. Having won September's Finn Nationals and finished as runner-up in at the first ranking event, Simpson added the National Ranking Series accolade to his name.

Podium Potential windsurfer Tom Squires relished the big breeze claiming five out of six bullets on offer in the RS:X 9.5 fleet. However, Matt Barton's consistency which saw him lead the three event series.

Young gun Emma Wilson who is busy preparing for the December's Youth World Championship in Sanya, China, topped the 11-board RS:X 8.5 Women's competition. Local windsurfer Lily Young rounded off her series with a fourth this weekend to top the series podium.

Having recently stepped up from the junior Techno board, Ethan Moody clinched weekend victory in the RS:X 8.5 Men's division, with Jake Wolgram crowded series Champion.

In the Nacra 17, Chris Rashley and Laura Marimon Giovannetti dominated the foiling fleet and added a second win to their series standings to score the overall prize. William Smith and Abigail Clarke mastered the gusty conditions to be crowned Nacra 15 National Champions. Youth World Championship representatives Benno Marstaller and Chloe Collenette finished the weekend as runners-up.

Full results from the 4-5 November and National Ranking Series standings.

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