New youth champ
17-year-old Lees and his team of Josh Irons, Sam Garforth, Sam Clements and Roddy Lacey wrapped up the Youth National Match Racing title at Queen Mary SC over the bank holiday weekend after seeing off the challenge of six other teams.
Although no final rounds were contested, two complete rounds of round robins were finished and with 12 wins in total Lees and his crew were crowed 2009 champions.
Nick Wilkinson, who sailing under skipper Sam Goodchild won the National title in 2008 and represented RYA Team GBR at the 2009 Governors’ Cup at the prestigious Balboa Yacht Club in California, finished second with 10 points this time at the helm himself.
Governors’ Cup teammate Rory Spriggs once again sailed alongside Wilkinson while the rest of the team was made up of Tom Altman, Sam Delo and Jonty Cook.
The Youth Championships form one round of the RYA National Match Racing Series, with the Series Grand Final taking place at Queen Mary in October.
This coming weekend it’s the turn of the girls as the duel RYA Women's Match Racing National Qualification Series and Women's National Match Racing Championship takes place in the new Elliott 6m Olympic Classes match racing boats at Portland Marina.
In total seven qualifying rounds will be contested between April and September before the top British crews from each event are invited to do battle at the Series Grand Final.
2009 RYA Youth National Match Racing Championships:
1. Mark Lees, Josh Irons, Sam Garforth, Sam Clements and Roddy Lacey
2. Nick Wilkinson, Rory Spriggs,Tom Altman, Sam Delo and Jonty Cook
3. James French, Tom Harrison, Edward Corridge, Robert Southwell, Hannah Shields
4. William Goldsmith, Max Darke, Tristan Smith, Alex McCulloch, Hannah Goldsmith
5. Alex Mothersele, Sam Jenkins, Chris Taylor, Tim Gratton, Hugo Jones-Warner, Will Lowes
6. Will Lau, Ben Telcar, Alex Laar, Tom Maxwell, Jonathan Lau
7. Amy Foreman, Ben Blake, Stephanie McAulay, Alex Curtis, Andrew Clarke
2009 RYA National Match Racing Championships Series event dates:
RYA Women’s National Match Racing Championship – Portland Marina – 5 - 6 September
Qualifier 4 – QMSC - 26/27 September
RYA National Match Racing Championship Finals – QMSC – 9 – 11 October (invitation only)