Paul Campbell-James with his crew of Alex Cherry and Paul Burgoine have won the United States Junior grade 3 Match Racing event in Newport

The Helly Hansen team of Paul Campbell-James from Sidlesham with his crew of Alex Cherry and Paul Burgoine have won the United States Junior grade 3 Match Racing event in convincing style representing the RYA.

Conducted in the waters off Newport Harbor, California from 16-21 July, the Governor’s Cup was a true test of match-racing in all conditions.

The United States Junior Match Racing Championship is a yacht club challenge and features a team competition in a match-racing format with on the water umpiring. The event was sailed in Santana 20s, 20ft spinnaker-equipped keel sloops with a crew of three, and over 120 matches were contested.

By the end of the round robin, Campbell-James, Cherry and Burgoine had 11 wins and no losses with their nearest opposition being the Royal Prince Alfred YC with 8 wins and 3 losses, closely followed by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (7 and 4). There was a three-way tie at this stage for fourth between the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Fort Worth Boat Club and Mission Bay YC all on six wins, with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) getting the fourth slot on the tie-break. These four teams went on to sail the semi-finals with the British boys choosing the Mark Dorling’s fourth placed team for their opposition.

The British and team from the RSYS went on to contest the final. Campbell-James, Cherry and Burgoine had by now won all the matches they had sailed, many by a huge margin, but a couple needed the team to pull out all their match racing skills to out smart their opposition with the final race in the final being the most exciting. However, at the end they remained undefeated in the 15 races they had sailed and were comfortable winners.

As in the past, the Governor’s Cup served as a national qualification event with the top two US teams advancing to the worlds in New Zealand the following February. The British will have their qualifier for the worlds in the middle of August at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy where Campbell-James and his boys will have to beat the best in Britain to be able to compete at the worlds.