The Inland Championships held at Burghfield this weekend was the seventh event of the season. Nine helm/crew pairings have already completed the necessary 5 events to qualify for the 2005 Belle Isle series. Looking through the results (now on the website) there appears to be a very tight battle developing for the silver and gold fleet.
Nigel Scott and Gill Young currently lead the silver fleet from Dan Smith and Nikki Attwood, however Dan got one over Nigel at the inlands this weekend and closed the gap slightly. Nigel and Dan need to keep an eye on Nick and Joanna Marlow and MJ/kirsty because whilst they haven't qualified as yet they have got some good results that will see them charge up the leaderboard later in the season.
The gold fleet is a little less settled. Emma Harris/Edd Mcardle currently lead from Chris Ellis and Kathryn Young. Emma is the current defending champion and will no doubt be looking for some more top 3 finishes to help re-claim the title. Further down the rankings Steve Cumley/Eluned Jones, Sarah Richards/Nigel Wakefield and John Lewis/Milly Parsons haven't qualified yet but already look to have the potential to pose a serious threat to Emma's crown.
There are still 7 events left this season, all at great venues. The next 2, Arun and Felistowe are on the sea so the well known open water stars are likely to move up the rankings. Watch out for the likes of Nigel Hufton/Chris Whitehouse and Mark Ampleford/Lee Nankervis at these events. The tour then moves on to West Kirby for the traditional estuary and marine lake racing. West Kirby gives a great mixture of open water and crash and burn style racing that makes the trip up north well worth while.