by Matt Carter
The RYA National Match Racing Series has now opened for entries with the first of seven events taking place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy between the 25-28 March in the RYA’s fleet of Olympic Elliott 6m keelboats.
Ian Williams and Team,Competing at the RYA National Match Racing Grand Final 2012
The RYA National Match Racing Series consists of seven qualifying rounds between March and November, with the RYA/BUCS/BUSA Championships being the first event of the Series, before the top British crews from each event are invited to go head-to-head at the Series Grand Final at the Queen Mary Sailing Club between 22-24 November 2013.
National Match Racing is a sailor’s first step towards elite match racing events such as the America's Cup and ISAF World Match Racing Tour and the forthcoming events in March and April are seen as pinnacle events if sailors want to reach the Series Grand Final in November.
Britain’s Ian Williams, who began his match racing career by competing in this Series and who won a record-equalling fourth ISAF World Match Racing title in Malaysia in December, competed at the 2012 Series Grand Finals for the first time in ten years where his GAC Pindar team demonstrated their match racing pedigree at QMSC to take event honours for an impressive fourth time.
The opening event of the Series is the RYA/BUCS/BUSA Championships at WPNSA. The regatta will be sailed in Olympic Elliott 6m keelboats with university crews of 3-4 sailors weighing no more than 250kgs.
The 2013 RYA National Match Racing Championship Grand Final will be contested in the RYA’s fleet of J80s with a maximum of 12 skippers accepted for each of the qualifying events. All events are open to enter, except the Series Grand Final which is invitation only.
The RYA are asking interested parties to get their entries in at least a month before each event to secure their place.
The winners from all events will be invited to compete in the RYA National Match Racing Championship Grand Finals which take place on the 22-24 November 2013 at the Queen Mary Sailing Club.
2013 RYA National Match Racing Series event dates:
RYA/BUCS/BUSA Championships: (Elliotts), 25/26/27/28 March 2013, WPNSA, Weymouth.
Winter Series Finals: (Elliotts), 21/22 April 2013, WPNSA, Weymouth.
Royal Thames Match Racing Event: (J80), 27/28 April 2013, Queen Mary Sailing Club, Staines, London.
Royal Southern YC Finals: (J80), 15/16 June 2013. RSYC, Solent.
Ceilidh Cup: (Sonars), 12/13 October 2013, RN&CYC, Scotland.
RYA Youth National Match Racing Championships: (Elliotts), 12/13 October 2013, WPNSA, Weymouth (All crew over 15 but under 22 on the 31st December 2013.)
RYA Qualifier 1, NMR Q1: (J80s), 9/10 November 2013, Queen Mary Sailing Club, Staines, London.
RYA National Match Racing Championship Grand Finals: (J80s), 22/23/24 November 2013, Queen Mary Sailing Club, Staines, London.
Entry forms for the 2013 RYA National Match Racing Series along with the NOR for each event can be found on the RYA event website, please send completed entry forms to firstname.lastname@example.org.