Battle is on at RYA National Match Racing Champs

by RYA 
Ten teams go head-to-head at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) over the next three days (10-12 October) to battle it out for the title of 2008 RYA National Match Racing Champions.

After six qualifying rounds, including the RYA National Youth and Women’s Match Racing Championships, the 10 skippers competing at this weekend’s Grand Final now have the chance to get their hands on the overall National crown.

Top ranked skipper at the Finals is two-time RYA National Match Racing champion Mark Campbell-James, 28, the world number 25, who is joined by brother Paul, Skandia Team GBR 49er helm, Andrew Yates, Andy Oliver and Graham Sutherland.

However Nick Cherry, 23, has won the event for the past two years and having recently made his debut on the prestigious World Match Racing Tour at the Troia Portugal Match Cup, he will be keen to defy the rankings and complete his hat-trick of National titles.

Ali Hall secured an impressive third place at the RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing Series Grand Final earlier this year, with only established World Tour skippers Damien Iehl (FRA) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) finishing above him in the final standings.

Meanwhile Mary Rook and Charlotte Lawrence will be looking to assert some female authority on the proceedings at WPNSA as the two women skippers in the final.

Rook sealed her place in the Grand Final 10 courtesy of her RYA Women’s National Match Racing Championship victory last month while Lawrence, who led a team to 2008 European University Women’s Match Racing Cup glory in May, booked her place in the National final courtesy of their Qualifier Three second placing.

Sam Goodchild claimed the 2008 RYA National Youth Match Racing title in emphatic style in August, the talented 18-year-old not dropping a single race over the three days of racing.

World number 79 Robbie Allam won the first qualifier back in April while Matt Greenfield’s runners-up finish at the final qualifier last weekend, where Cherry finished third, guaranteed him his Final spot.

Victory at the BUSA Match Racing Championships in April tied up Tom Makey’s National final spot and Mason Woodworth won Qualifier Two.

The racing in J80s is scheduled to get underway at 10am today (Friday) with a 15-flight round-robin, quarter-finals and semi-finals set to be contested before the overall Champion is decided on Sunday.

Teams

Nick Cherry - Connor Myant, Matty Adams, Nick Houchin

Ali Hall - Rob Grieg-Gran, Dave Newey, Gaz Owen

Robbie Allam - Adam Richards, Tom Odell, Jez Fowke

Mark Campbell-James - Paul Campbell-James, Andrew Yates, Andy Oliver, Graham Sunderland

Matt Greenfield - Niall Myant, Adam Wallace, Nick Butt

Tom Makey - Matt Pinner, Pete Wathan, James Wade, Hattie Marsden

Mary Rook - Vicky Lenz, Katie Archer, Bethan Carden, Rebecca Marriott

Sam Goodchild - Jonty Cook, Tom Altmann, Rory Spriggs, Nicholas Wilkinson

Charlotte Lawrence - Katie McKenzie, Laviana Paternoster, Jo Brigg, Phil Lawrence

Mason Woodworth - David Brown, Stewart Mears, Simon Hamilton