by Matt Carter
RYA Team Racing National Championships, held 24th to 25th March, came to an exciting finish at Bough Beech Sailing Club, near Sevenoaks, Kent. Spinnaker Auspicious were this weekend crowned National Champions.
Spinnaker Auspicious - RYA Team Racing National Championships 2012
Despite a slow start on the Saturday with sailors having to patiently wait for the wind to pick up, the weekend soon got off to a flyer with sailors enjoying glorious sunshine and a pleasant easterly breeze which allowed for competitors to enjoy a full complement of races in almost perfect sailing conditions.
The event took place on Bough Beech Reservoir and welcomed teams in the two person dinghy Fireflies. A total of 19 teams from across the country did battle for the chance to be crowned RYA Team Racing National Champions and to walk away with coveted Prince Philip Trophy.
Spinnaker Auspicious, made up of Jo Findlay, Peter Matthews, Tom Hebbert, Sam Littlejohn, Tom Mallandine and Marianthe Evangelidis, placed fourth in the gold league and went onto win the semi-final playoff against Cambridge Magenta. They then faced the victors of the gold league, Wessex Exempt, in which they went on to secure an exciting finale against ruling Champions West Kirby Hawks.
In dominant form the team racing sailors from Spinnaker Sailing Club, close to Ringwood, claimed two very clear wins ending the current World Team Racing Champions three year winning streak to be crowned 2012 RYA Team Racing National Champions.
Marianthe Evangelidis, a Spinnaker Auspicious team racing sailor, commented: 'It was a great weekend’s racing with just under 12 knots of breeze and great sunshine. The level of competition was high across the board. We raced well as a team in the initial rounds and then stepped it up when we entered the semis and the final.
The University of Bath student added: 'Winning the event just feels great, especially as we ended the West Kirby Hawks winning streak of three years. The best feeling was after the first race of the final (it was best of three) and we crossed the finish line in a 13 combination having been losing 345 round mark four. Hearing that two of the boats on the Hawks were over the line at the start of the second race in the final was just a massive adrenaline rush. We won the second race, however one of the Hawks was protesting and so the actual confirmation of winning the event did not come until about an hour after crossing the finish line.
'Although we won, we still need to improve on certain areas of our racing for future events. More communication, starting and practicing more set plays on a couple of places around the race course are the key areas for improvement,' concluded Evangelidis.
'A special thanks on behalf of all the Spinnaker Auspicious sailors for the support we receive must go to Spinnaker Sailing Club, our coach Greg Ansell and life style coach, Tiggy Ansell,' said Tom Mallindine.
For the full list of results and for further information on the RYA Team Racing please visit the event website.