RYA Match Racing National Championship Grand Final at Queen Mary SC.

The RYA National Match Racing Series is a sailors first step towards elite match racing events such as the America’s Cup and ISAF World Match Racing Tour. In 2017, the Grand Final was held on the 17th to the 19th of November at Queen Mary Reservoir in J80 fixed keel One-Design sports boat.

Octavia Owen, team leader reports:

Athena Racing girls gathered from different corners of the UK to compete in the RYA Grand finals Match Racing at the weekend. This meant leaving on Friday at 4am from Swansea, Portsmouth and west Kirby to make an 8am weigh in and briefing.

(L to R: Rhiannon Massey, Amber Riggs, Hebe Hemming, Ruby Riggs & Octavia Owen).

The morning greeted us with light airs which made it difficult to fit any races in. Instead we did some interviews for VR sport tv and team building (friends catch up). The Saturday started off with more breeze, allowing most of the round robin races to be completed, with very close races against some brilliant sailors. Sunday was an early start to fit the maximum amount of sailing in as possible, with the wind predicted to drop around the afternoon.

Competing against some of the best Match Racers, such as Ian Williams who is currently ranked 2nd in the world, allowed us to learn a great deal from such inspiring and talented sailor. Racing in such hard and challenging conditions, we are very happy to achieve a 7th overall out of the 12 teams, which was a great improvement from the previous year.