Nick Cherry bids to defend Match Race title

Defending champion Nick Cherry will bid to win the chance to reclaim his crown for a third successive year as the final qualifier for the 2008 RYA National Match Racing Series. The final qualifier takes place at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this weekend (4 - 5 October).

Southampton-based helm Cherry recently made his debut on the prestigious World Match Racing Tour at the Troia Portugal Match Cup having claimed an impressive third place at the EUROSAF European Match Racing Championships in Moscow.

But now he and his Team Cherry crew return to the familiar home waters of WPNSA to try to book their place in the 2008 RYA National Match Racing Series Grand Final, which takes place over three days at Weymouth and Portland on 10-12 October.

The 23-year-old Cherry, a member of the Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme, clinched the Championship title by the narrowest of margins last year pipping Mark Campbell-James in a nailbiting final race decider.

Racing is scheduled to get underway at 10am tomorrow with a round-robin knockout series to be followed by semi-final and final series’.

Meanwhile, the RYA will also be represented at this year’s J80 Autumn Cup hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth this weekend, loaning two boats to sailors entered from Toe in the Water.

Toe in the Water is a non-profit making organisation which uses sailing as a vehicle to re-inspire injured servicemen and women, many of whom have been injured in active service in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who are currently being treated at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

David Atkinson, RYA Racing Services Manager, said: 'We are delighted to be able to support Toe in the Water to compete at the J80 Autumn Cup.

'Sailing is such a versatile sport that really does have the capacity for every and anyone to get involved and compete on a level playing field and it’s great that we can help open up those opportunities to the injured servicemen and women by supplying boats for this event. We wish the Toe in the Water sailors all the best in Plymouth and look forward to hearing how they get on.'
http://www.sail-world.com/49419