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17 October 2005, 10:33 am
DRAPER And HISCOCKS Clinch Gold Series
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RYA National Ranker And 49er Gold Series 2005
Weymouth, Great Britain

49er World silver medallists and European Champions Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS put up a dominant display at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this weekend to clinch first place in both the RYA 49er Gold Series and the RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series.
In their first competitive events since the ISAF Grade W 49er World Championship in Moscow, Russia just over six weeks ago, the Weymouth locals tightened their grip on the €2,500 Gold Series, building on their 15 point lead from the opening weekend on 8-9 October, to finally finish 21 points ahead of fellow RYA Team GBR performance squad members Stevie MORRISON and Ben RHODES in second place after 14 races.

Denmark's Jonas WARRER and Martin KIRKETERP were third behind MORRISON and RHODES with 76 points, while GBR's David EVANS and Rick PEACOCK scooped the Gold Series' €200 prize for the highest ranked under 20 year old team.

The six-race 2005 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking event for the 49ers also saw DRAPER and HISCOCKS and MORRISON and RHODES occupying the top two steps of the podium, with French duo Alexandre MONTEAU and Pamieu GUILLOU taking third place.

Having only resumed training this month, the European Champions were pleased with their performance on home ground. 'The standard of the fleet was pretty good, with quite a few boats in the top ten and the top ranked boats from abroad as well, so there was some good steady racing,' said HISCOCKS.

'We're pretty happy and it was good fun - one of the most successful Gold Series' we've had for a few years.'

In the Tornado class, RYA Team GBR's performance squad took a clean sweep, with Rob WILSON and Mark BULKELEY taking first place overall on seven points thanks to three race wins and three second places across the six races. World silver medallists Leigh MCMILLAN and Will HOWDEN were in second with nine points, with Andrew WALSH and Ed BARNEY in third.

Chris BRITTLE, Ed WRIGHT and Matt HOWARD took the expected 1,2,3 in the Finn, with BRITTLE winning four of the six races, while Martin PASCOE topped the 2.4m Paralympic class table with three race wins, ahead of George BARKER in second and Megan PASCOE in third.

The men's 470 event went to the wire, with Luke PATIENCE and Chris GRUBE coming through a three-way battle for first place in the final race of the day. The delighted Team GBR development squad sailors overcame Jon GIMSON and Stuart BITHELL and Neil MARSDEN and Ian DOBSEN to clinch the win - their first RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking victory.

'It was all down to the last race,' explained PATIENCE. 'All three of us could have won, so there was quite a lot of pressure heading into the last race, and we were obviously trying to count the points to see just how much we needed to win by.'

RYA Team GBR's Pippa WILSON and Sheena CRAIG were the highest placed women's boat.

The penultimate edition of the 2005 RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series will head inland to Rutland from 29-30 October, before finishing in Warsash from 12-13 November.

Lindsey Bell (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS dominated in the 49er on their home waters:© MENAHEM KAHANA/Getty Images
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