Chernikeeff RYA National Match Racing Championship FinalsThe Chernikeeff RYA National Match Racing Championship Finals is upon us - after all the qualifiers, the main event will begin on the 25th October, at Victoria Docks, London, and run through to the final on the 29th October.
The field will include Europe Olympic Gold medallist, Shirley Robertson, currently top of the ISAF Women's Match Race rankings. She will be up against the UK's best match racers, including the top seed, Andy Beadsworth, ranked 11th in the Men's ISAF Match Race rankings. Beadsworth will be competing against one of his crew from the Team GBR Olympic Soling, Richard Sydenham, a former double youth world match racing champion. Only one of them can put the disappointment of their Olympic regatta behind them, with a win in this championship.
Crewing for Sydenham will be Hugh Styles and Adam May, who represented Great Britain in Sydney in the Tornado class, and both are previous winners of the National Match Racing title as crew members in 1996. A repeat performance might help dispatch their memories of Sydney too - disappointed after finishing sixth, having been in medal contention for most of the regatta. One man who should be there is Andy Green, but he will be competing at the Colourcraft Gold Cup in Bermuda.
But Beadsworth is confident that he will put in a good performance, 'We think our chances are good, and we hope to win although Richard, Shirley and Ian Williams will provide tough competition and there may be a few surprises amongst the qualifiers. We're coming in slightly cold, as with the other Olympic crews, and the gap with the world stage that has always been evident in the past is diminishing. There are plenty of crews who have been aiming to peak for this event.
'It will be a very difficult venue, bearing in mind its landlocked position and the fact that it's surrounded by the city. There are similar risks attached that were associated with Sydney, with the unpredictable conditions. It'll be difficult to predict the shifts, and it will probably be gusty.'
It's going to be a fascinating championship, and madforsailing will be there providing full coverage with reports and photos, a daily 'streamed' video update produced by The Sailing Channel and powered by VirtueTV, and live audio commentary from Richard Simmonds and the team for the final next Sunday. Don't miss it.