The finale of the sell-out RYA Marlow Ropes Women’s Match Racing Championship saw two Scottish skippers battling for the title with Alison Morrish’s team taking the crown.
The latest edition of the championship was due to have taken place at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in September 2022 but was postponed following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, who was the Patron of the RYA.
Rescheduled for 11-12 February 2023, eight teams competed for the title in British Keelboat Sailing’s fleet of Elliott 6Ms. Saturday had light winds and although this delayed the start until around 10am, it was still possible to fit in 26 races.
Sunday then had the conclusion of the round robin and Sophie Otter’s team topped the leaderboard after winning all of their matches.
For Morrish’s team, however, it had not been all plain sailing, leaving them to fight for a place in the semi-finals by winning a tight repechage for the teams in 4th to 8th.
In the semi-finals Morrish went on to beat Otter 2-0 to face Rebecca Coles in the final, making it an all-Scottish skipper final.
It was Coles’ first event as a skipper, having been a winning crew in the past, and she was ably assisted by women’s world match racing number two ranked skipper Celia Willison (NZL) on main alongside Molly Brown and Imogen Bellfield.
Morrish and her team of Rosie Povall, Jenny Smallwood and Sophie Taylor put two pre-start penalties on Coles and took 2-0 to claim the title but the races were still hard fought. In the petit final, Otter raced Juliette Kennedy, at Kennedy’s second-ever event, with Otter taking 2-0 to finish third overall.
Find the full breakdown of results here.
Morrish said: "The racing was fun and challenging, and it was great to see newer teams mixing things up and taking wins from the more experienced skippers. I made some painful mistakes in the very light conditions of the round robin and we only just made it into the knockouts, so it felt good to go on and take the semi and finals in straight wins. Full credit for that goes to my crew who smashed every luffing match and tacking battle while keeping me going the right way!"
This latest win for Ali Mo follows hot on the heels of her victory at the 2023 RYA Women’s Winter Match Racing at the same venue last weekend (4-5 February 2023).
Next up is Qualifier 3 of the RYA Winter Match Racing Series which takes place in 707s at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, 18-19 March 2023, with early bird entry available until 23.59 on 19 February 2023.
Further information and entry for all upcoming events is available at www.ryamatchracing.co.uk