This weekend I teamed up with two of my old sailing buddies to compete in the under 25 National Match Racing Championships. Having no real match racing experience and being unfamiliar with the Elliot 6m boats, we planned to use the event as a learning opportunity. After initially planning to train in the boats on Friday afternoon, we unfortunately weren't able to due to traffic and logistical problems. So Saturday provided a baptism of fire where we had to learn to sail the boat and match race on the job! The event began with a round robin series where all 7 teams raced eachother to qualify the top four boats for the finals. Out of our 6 matches during this, we won 4 and lost 2. Placing us 4th overall after the first day. We were very happy with this result because it meant we were able to race in the knockout finals the following day.

Day two provided light winds, because of our ranking our first match was against the overall leaders and favourites to win. After a tricky pre start because of timing issues, we were second off of the line. By smooth sailing and superior speed we overtook on the first beat. From there we proceeded to keep a tight cover over the opposition and sailed ourselves to the win. After this, the wind moderated even further and the race committee was forced to postpone...a long while later...our faces a little redder, the race committee decided it wasn't going to be possible to complete any more racing and abandoned the day.

After much deliberation from the jury as to whether to include the one semi final match, it was announced that we placed 2nd overall - a fantastic result for the first match race regatta! A bonus to doing so well was that we automatically qualified for the open nationals early next year which we're hoping to attend. The regatta has now triggered my appetite for match racing, so expect more like this in the future!

Keep checking for updates... 

AuthorTom Phipps