Boyd wins second round of 2024 RYA Match Racing Series

Robby Boyd's team in action at qualifier 2 of the RYA Match Racing Series in 707 keelboats at Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

The second qualifier of the RYA Match Racing Series 2024 was claimed by Robby Boyd and his team at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on the east coast.

Close competition over the weekend at Burnham on Crouch (9-10 March 2024) saw five teams racing the club’s refitted fleet of 707 keelboats.

An easterly breeze on the Saturday enabled a course to be laid in front of the clubhouse and up towards the town. Building to around 18 knots and more, mainsails ended up reefed and there was plenty of action for any spectators on shore.

Two round robins saw Boyd coming out on top. Boyd won seven of his eight races, losing only to the reigning National Champion, Ted Blowers, who finished the day in second. Boyd usually races as part of Ted Blowers’ Team Absolute.

Semi finals

With not much wind on the Sunday morning, there was no time to fit in a third round robin, so the proceedings moved straight into the semis and finals.

With a lighter and more northerly wind than on the Saturday, the stage was set for the semi-finals of Nick Devereux v Blowers and Boyd v Theo Phillips.

Devereux took the first win against Blowers who was unable to bear away in an upwind cross due to a gust, with the resulting collision landing him a 0.75 penalty. The second race saw Blowers win, but he would need two more wins to overcome the point penalty.

Devereux won the third race to land a place in the final along with Boyd, whose team had beaten Theo Phillips’ team 2-0.

Two 707 keelboats match racing with spinnakers flying in front of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club clubhouse on a grey and blustery day.

Finals

In the petit final, Blowers was able to claim third overall with a win against Phillips, who had enjoyed the weekend competing in his first ever match racing event with friends from Bristol University.

Into the final, Boyd won his first race against Devereux, but lost the second. The final race then saw both teams heading into the box with spinnakers up against the adverse tide, and approaching the startline, Devereux landed a penalty from a luff by Boyd.

With a red flag signalling an instant penalty, this put Devereux behind and unable to overtake, and although it was a closely fought match, Boyd with his team of Ben Childerley, Andrew Pimm and Maddie Kirk was able to take the win and overall victory.

Teamwork

Winning skipper Robby Boyd said: “It was great to sail at the RCYC again and on the River Crouch, I think it offers great conditions for match racing and the tidal element really adds to the racing and tests everyone.

“Helming match racing is still very new to me with this being the third event I have done as a helm, and I think it is a testament to the team I had that they got me round the track in as good as shape as we did. As always, a huge thank you to the event organisers, the RCYC and of course the umpires.”

Full results from Qualifier 2, RYA Match Racing Series 2024.

Next up in the RYA Match Racing Series 2024 is Qualifier 3 at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, 20-21 April, with early bird entry open until 23.59 on 21 March 2024.

Find out more about this and all upcoming events, including NOR and entry, at RYA Match Racing.

Winning team from the second qualifier of the RYA Match Racing Series 2024, at the prize giving: Left to Right: Ben Childerly, Maddie Kirk, Andrew Pimm, Robby Boyd

Winning team (L-R) Ben Childerley, Maddie Kirk, Andrew Pimm, Robby Boyd

Pictures: Petru Balau Sports Photography / sports.hub47.com

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