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Moody Decking Schools Match Racing Championship: Barty leads Cokethorpe to national schools MR title

by Will Carson 8 Dec 2019 08:49 PST
Moody Decking Schools Match Racing Championship 2019 © British Sailing Team

Youngsters from Oxfordshire's Cokethorpe School were crowned schools match racing champions after a commanding performance on the waters of Weymouth and Portland.

Led by skipper Barty Gray, the Cokethorpe School team took the top spot at the Moody Decking Schools Match Racing Championship with an unbeaten scoreline.

Gray, with team mates Joe Cantwell and Henry Kirton, won all six of their matches as nine teams from all over the country battled it out for the national title in the fleet of Elliot 6m yachts used for the London 2012 Olympics.

Second place went to Will Pank, Far Vernon and Flo Nicholls from Royal Hospital School in Suffolk while third went to Charlie Ball, Will Rowland and Adam Din of Lancashire Youth Sailing.

The opening day of the regatta was called off due to high winds, and several clinics were held on land instead.

When racing got under way on Sunday it was in a fresh 14-18-knot breeze, with the young sailors demonstrating their skills and applying the knowledge gained from Saturday's sessions.

Twenty-seven races were held in total, with Cokethorpe emerging as champions.

Keith Sammons, the principal race officer, said the regatta had been a real celebration of match racing.

"The weather stopped play on Saturday but we were lucky to get out on the water on Sunday in some great breeze," Sammons said.

"There was a real mix of abilities on the water but it was a fantastic showcase for match racing.

"The pre-starts were among the most contested I've ever seen in schools match racing - the teams were engaged the entire time.

"The gybing battle that ensued between Lancashire Youth Sailing and Derbyshire Youth Sailing was nothing other than epic.

"It was a great weekend, and fantastic to see youngsters enjoying and engaging with match racing."

For full results see matchracingresults.com/2019/rya-schools-match-racing-championship

To find out more about RYA match racing, see rya.org.uk/racing/keelboat-racing/match-racing

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