Following on from our success at the Royal Yachting Association Youth Match Racing Championships back in September with a 3rd place finish we were offered a Wildcard entry to the RYA Match Racing National Championships, a three-day event held at Queen Mary Sailing Club which the top 16 UK teams are invited to. After a strong start to the event and a late-night protest, we were sat on top of our group leading into Saturday, having beaten the current Youth National Champions as well as previous National Champions!
"A tough weekend of racing in top-end conditions made teamwork and sailing the boat well super key. Despite the drop in results as the conditions built over the weekend, we are happy with how we placed given how tight the competition was. As the youngest boat present we learnt lots and are looking forwards to coming back to compete next year!"
Alaric Bates, Helm
Saturday proved to be a make or break with only one race completed and an unfortunate loss, dropping us to joint second with 3 other teams. After the tie-break, we failed to make Gold fleet, with us standing 5th in our group. A strong Sunday placed us 3rd in Silver fleet (after another tie-break for second) and just behind a previous winner of the event.
"A completely new experience for me, being in a new position on the boat meant a steep learning curve! Although the results don't show it we sailed better as a team as the weekend went on, with our last few races being our smoothest. I'm glad we managed to get this opportunity in just before the second lockdown!!"
Annabel Hitchmough, Bow
Alumni and defending champion Ted Blowers was also present at the Championships, sailing with his team "Absolute Racing" and sailed a flawless Friday. Placing him at the top of the second group over the first night and an easy qualification to Gold fleet. Unfortunately, his defence unravelled from there and he ended up placed 7th at the end of the event!
Check out the RYA Artice on this event: rya.org.uk/newsevents/news/Pages/matchracingchamps2020.aspx