Nine teams battled it out for the RYA Schools Match Racing Championship over a weekend of mixed conditions at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.
Two days of racing in Elliot 6m keelboats (11-12 November 2023) saw competitors met with light winds on the Saturday morning, allowing time for the teams to figure out their boat handling.
The wind continued to drop and swing round but the patience of both the Race Committee and the competitors paid off as the breeze gradually filled in, with several flights completed.
At the close of day one, Ryde Black were topping the leaderboard with no losses.
Sunday morning then had more breeze than forecast so reefed mains were on the cards but still using spinnakers to keep the racing exciting.
There were some remarkably close matches throughout the day, with several penalties and luffing battles, dolphins in the pre-starts and lots of spinning at the finish line.
After completing the round robin it was straight into the finals and petit finals for the top four teams: Ryde Red v Ryde Black in the final after Ryde Red won the round robin, whilst RGS Guildford duelled with Harrington School, who had finished third in the round robin.
The final went 2-0 to Ryde Red and in the petit final, Harrington just clinched third overall after winning 2-1.
Ryde Red – skipper Fred Salter with Sam Osborne, Annabelle Knoup and Killian Boag – claimed the 2023 RYA Schools Match Racing Championship title and the NSSA trophy.
Fred said: “It was a light and tricky weekend, with the weather changing all the time. The work of my crew was excellent and kept everything running smoothly. A great weekend with a close win against the other Ryde team in the final.”
Ryde Black skipper Ruby Sunderland and her team of Kai Miller, Zebb Fellows and Noah Evans, won the Spanish Trophy (donated by Nigel Vick) awarded to the second placed team. Ruby was also the inaugural winner of the First Female Skipper trophy.
Visit the kSail events portal for the full results from RYA Schools Match Racing 2023.
Find out more about RYA Match Racing and all upcoming events, including the start of the RYA Winter Match Racing Series in January 2024, at www.ryamatchracing.co.uk.