RYA National Match Racing Grand Final
Published on November 13th, 2014
Defending RYA National Match Racing Champion Mark Campbell-James will be bidding for the top spot on the all-time winners list over the next three days when the RYA National Match Racing Grand Final gets underway at Queen Mary Sailing Club (November 14 – 16).
The ten teams all earned their berths at the Grand Final through a number of qualifying rounds, their positions in the ISAF Match Racing World Rankings and through performances at other UK events.
Campbell-James, who has clinched the coveted title five times (2013, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2004), currently sits joint first on the all-time winners list alongside two-time Olympian and America’s Cup sailor Andy Beadsworth, with a win at this year’s event elevating him to the top of the table in impressive fashion.
“There are some great names on the RYA National Match Racing trophy so to be on there more than anyone else would be very special,” he said. “However, we are very unprepared! I haven’t been sailing much recently, but I have a great crew who are all sailing full time so hopefully they will point me in the right direction. I’ve done this event probably about 15 times so that experience should help me.”
Standing in the way of Campbell-James and his National Match Racing supremacy is none other than the quadruple World Champion Ian Williams. The last time the two met in 2012 Williams clinched his fourth National Match Racing title ahead of Campbell-James in an event which was overshadowed by frustrating sailing conditions.
And with the Lymington based sailor in fine form with his GAC Pindar Team as they attempt a record fifth world match racing title at the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Campbell-James admits he is once again expecting another tough battle at Queen Mary Sailing Club.
“My aim is to defend my title, but it will be tough as we have multiple World Champion Ian Williams coming and also I haven’t match raced since last year’s final. So my expectations are probably a bit lower than my aim, but I’d like to make it as tough as possible for Ian at least.”
Campbell-James continued: “There is a good mix of competitors at this year event. Obviously Ian [Williams] will be very hard to beat, but then there are some other experienced teams like Mark Lees and Ali Hall who are always tough, and then there are some newer teams, who have been doing well in the youth and University events, who I’m sure will be well practiced too.”
Racing, in J80s, gets underway on Friday morning (November 14) with a 15-flight round-robin which will be followed by knockout quarter-final and semi-final rounds before the Champion is decided in the final round on Sunday.
2014 RYA National Match Racing Grand Final entry list:
Ian Williams – Gerry Mitchell, Simon Shaw, James French.
Mark Lees – Matt Haslam, James Hemmingway, Scott Flanigan.
Tom Mallindine – Rupert Anderson, Steve Aiken, Liam Gardner.
Ali Hall – Sam Carter, Simon Skinner, Ashley Rudd.
Nick Wilkinson – Cam Douglas, Fergus Barnham, Hermione Stanley, Frederick Brown.
Connor Miller – Mike Matthews, Andy Tarbotan, Bruno van Dyke.
Annabel Vose – Suzy Russell, Amy Prime, Hannah Peters, Will Semken.
Tom Harrison – Jamie Diamond, Bradley Mclaughlin, Kate Devereux, Maddy Anderson.
Mark Campbell-James – Graham Sunderland, Jonathan Taylor, Andy Clark.
Nick Thompson – Nic Asher, Richard Mason, Charlotte Lawrence, Lizzy Chellew.
Report by Event Media