RYA Eric Twiname Championships to go down to the wire

The pinnacle of the RYA racing calendar for the RYA Zone and Home Country Squads, the Championships which is now in its 27th year pit the nine squad teams against each other over two days for the prestige of picking up the coveted Eric Twiname Shield and being named top RYA Zone.


Engaging in the Optimist, Topper, and RS Feva XL dinghy classes and with the windsurfers racing on Bic Techno boards with 4.5m, 5.8m, 6.8m and 7.8m rigs, the 268 junior sailors aged between 8-15 took to the water in variable 10-12 knots of breeze with gusts of up to 20 knots across Rutland Water. Having completed two out of the three scheduled races in dry yet grey conditions, the showers soon arrived with competitors braving the downpour to complete the full schedule of races.


The South West Zone proved dominant in the RS Feva XL fleet today with four of their boats occupying the top five spots at the close of play. Leading the charge is Alaric Bates and Matt Walker-Morecroft with two bullets and a fourth from their efforts today. South Zone sailors Edward Norbury and Charlie Hutchings are second with a 2-1 and a DNC in their final race of the day. Continuing the dominance for the South West is Michael Dennis and Milo Gordon who enter tomorrow’s final day with a score card of six, joint on points with fellow South West squad sailors in fourth and fifth.


In the largest fleet of Championships with 87 boats Ciaran Randeria from the East Zone occupies top spot in the Topper fleet after a discard of 14 in his opening race followed by a much improved 4-3. Hot on his heels is North Zone Rebecca Tenney who sits two points behind after 7-2-10 while Imogen Kemp from 2012 winners the South Zone sits third with it all to play for in tomorrow’s super Sunday showdown.


In the Optimist fleet today, South East Zone sailor James Hammett put a disappointing 29th from his opening race behind him to then go on a add two race wins to his scorecard, finishing the day top of the leaderboard and throwing down the gauntlet to his fellow Oppy sailors. Sitting only two points behind are David Rose from Scotland and East Zone sailor Hannah Tucker who sit second and third respectively with four points apiece.


The Bic Techno windsurfers had a full-on day screaming round their course in the gusty conditions and at close of play today there is a different Zone occupying top spots across the four fleets.


In the smaller 4.5 rig, South East Zone Benjamin Temme occupies top spot with 1-3-1 to open up a two point lead over South West Zone Kate Hatcher in second. The 5.8 rig is proving a battle at the top of the fleet with only one point separating first and second. South Zone Ben Tweedle came out on top with two bullets and second after jostling with second placed Hugo Thomas from the South East who posted two seconds and a race win. Scotland’s Andrew Brown has taken charge in the 6.8 rig with 1-8-1 while in the largest rig Alexei Murphy from the East Zone has opened up a six point gap at the top with an impressive two bullets and a ninth.

Once the racing had finished, the sailors enjoyed a human table football tournament which saw the RYA Zones and Home Country teams pitted against each other and their coaches. The sailors, coaches and parents then capped the evening off with a BBQ courtesy of the Eric Twiname Trust.


Tim Hall, RYA Event Director, commented: “The race officials did a great job today getting in the three scheduled races and credit to the young sailors who battled it out in some very gusty, cold  and testing conditions on this opening day of the Championships. The day started off bright but then the predicted forecast soon prevailed with spells of showers dampening the final races of the day.


“The battle of the zones is now well underway and I’m looking forward to an exciting finale tomorrow. The forecast is set to be similar to today so sailors can expect another testing yet enjoyable day out on the water.”


The second part of the selection process for the 2013 RYA Laser 4.7 National Junior squad is also taking place alongside the Championships, with results from Rutland used in conjunction with those from further indicator events later in the season. Jamie Calder from Loch Tummel SC leads the charge with a 1-1-2 for his efforts today.


Thanks to the long-standing and on-going support of the Eric Twiname Memorial Trust, the event is very cheap to enter with almost all of the costs associated with the running of the regatta met by the RYA and the Trust.

Racing is scheduled to start at Rutland at 10.25am tomorrow (Sunday 12 May) with a maximum of three races across all classes. No warning signal will be made after 3pm.


For the full set of results from each class and for more information on the RYA Eric Twiname Championships please visit the event website at www.ryaracingevents.org.uk   

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