This weekend 12 of Britain's best Match Racing teams will head to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for the RYA National Match Racing Final
This weekend 12 of Britain’s best Match Racing teams will head to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) for the RYA National Match Racing Final. From 7-9 October 12 teams will battle it out for the £500 prize money and for the National Match Racing Championship title.
A series of qualifying events have taken place throughout the year, with the top two teams winning a place in the final. Three Youth teams will also compete at the event, two of the teams qualifying at the RYA Youth Match Racing Championship.
Racing will take place over three days in the RYA J/80s, with each team starting off by sailing a round robin, where each skipper will race every other boat in their group once, and then ranked according to their performance. A second series will then be raced with the top six boats going through to the next series. In the final round robin the six qualified skippers from series one and two will race each other once and a winner will be determined.
Qualifying through their national ranking are Mark Campbell-James and Christian Hamilton ranked second and fourth respectively in the UK. As a joint winner of the National Match Racing Final in 2004, Campbell-James is the defending champion at this event. Most recently finishing third the 2005 Knickerbocker Cup, Campbell-James watched his match racing world ranking go up to 18th in the world.
Campbell-James and his crew will be hungry to prove they are the best and will be one of the toughest teams to beat out on the water.
The RYA Match Racing qualifying series, held over three weekends, separated the weak from the strong. Nick Cherry, Ali Hall, and Rob Grieg-Gran and their crew all made the cut and will be out on the water at the Final. Also asserting her presence on the water will be Gemma Farrell who will helm the only all female boat.
Two more teams, one led by Alex Cherry and the other still unconfirmed, qualified for the weekend’s event at the Match Racing play-offs and will be joining the competition.
A strong group of youth sailors will also set out to pit their skills against the more seasoned match racers. Ian Dobson, Richard Mason, Jon Pinner and their respective teams, all under 19, will sail in the Finals after qualifying at the Volvo RYA Youth Match Racing Championships and at Youth Cowes Week.
Finally, sailor Andrew Cornah and his team from Southampton University earned their spot in the Final at the BUSA Match Racing Championships this spring and will try out their tactics on the wider match racing circuit.
Racing gets underway tomorrow (7 October) and continues through to Sunday 9 October.