Spring sunshine and stunning scenery set the backdrop for the third and final round of the RYA Winter Match Racing Series with eight teams competing at Ullswater Yacht Club.
The mountains of the Lake District provided challenging conditions for both the sailors and race officer John Burgoine, with regular 20+ degree wind shifts, and variable wind speed differences which put an emphasis on gear changes and eyes out the boat looking for breeze.
Ali Morrish with Sarah Jarman, Tom Harrison, Emily Robertson and Sarah Sandler won the double round robin format but lost out in the final to Patrick Crogan’s team from the University of East Anglia. Crogan’s on-form team sailed well in the pre-starts and then effectively controlled both matches to claim overall victory.
For the University of East Anglia team – helm Crogan, Will Pank, Steve Carver, Sasha Tydeman and Chloe Harding – it was the perfect warm-up for the BUCS Match Racing Championship for universities, 4-6 April 2022, which will also be in RS21s at Ullswater YC.
Commenting on the Winter Match Racing 3 event at Ullswater and his team’s performance, Crogan said: “The scenery was beautiful, I’ve never been up here before, and it was a new experience sailing the RS21s as well, which was really fun. I’ve not match raced in two years, since pre-Covid, and we were using this as training for BUCS, so it was really nice to get some experience in the boat and experience of the lake, and to come away with the win was a bonus on top, so really positive.”
A one-match petit final saw two Ullswater teams battle it out, with Tom Neilson and his team of Olivia Simpson, Sam Smith and Harriot Pulman claiming the win and third overall from Ian Nicholls, Craig Robinson, Neil Robinson and Tom Barrage.
Full results from Winter Match Racing 3 at Ullswater YC can be found here.
Competitors included many sailors and crews new to match racing. Among them was Craig Robinson, of Ian Nicholls’ team from Ullswater YC, who said: “Our team had a great time. It was our first time match racing and the way the event was organised - with an extremely friendly and helpful team of umpires, coaches and ODs - made for a great introduction to it.”
Richard Moxey, RYA Keelboat Development Manager, added: “Match racing opportunities are rare in northern England, so it was excellent to have the RS21s here to sow the seed of enthusiasm for this exciting discipline of our sport. And what a stunning venue Ullswater has been for that!”
RYA Match Racing provides an accessible platform for young and aspiring keelboat sailors, and for dinghy racers wanting to transition to keelboats or try something different, with each event having coaching support and a fleet of one-design keelboats ready and waiting at each venue.
Next up is the RYA Match Racing Summer Series, which kicks off 2-3 July 2022 with racing in 707s at the Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch. Find out more about RYA Match Racing and all forthcoming events, including NOR and entry, at www.ryamatchracing.co.uk