The Campbell-James show
The BUSA National Match Racing Finals, which form part of the RYA National Match Racing Series 2003, attracted a high calibre of sailing talent from universities up and down the country which provided exciting racing in the RYA's fleet of Beneteau first class Eights.
The first day of the Finals saw the teams split into three groups and every team sailed every boat in their group once. Racing was close in group A, and at the end of the round robin Andy Bryson helming the Loughborough entry, London 1 and Southampton 3 were all tied on four wins. This led to a sail-off to determine the top two teams that would progress to the next round and resulted in Loughborough and London going through. Southampton 1, skippered by Campbell-James dominated group B, winning all of his races, with Oxford in second place.
In group C, Southampton 2 followed suit and matched their fellow scholars, winning all of their races, closely followed by last year's runners up Exeter. These six teams progressed through to the Final round robin, where it was Southampton 1 and Exeter securing their places in the finals.
In a best of three final, Exeter University skippered by Alex Cherry, with his crew of John Firmstone, David Carr and Edward Surrey, sailed well to win the first race and piled the pressure on Campbell-James and his team of Ben Field, Dave Newey, Hamish Walker and Dave Steed. Campbell-James fought straight back and won the second race, at one all it would be down to the final race. With experience acquired from sailing on the international match race circuit, Campbell-James' talent shone through, the crew work imitated a well-oiled machine and they took the final race and with it the championship, helped by a premature start by Exeter.
Both Southampton and Exeter secure their place in the RYA National Match Racing Finals, which takes place from the 26-28 September at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy.
This just left the sudden death play-offs for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place; with one chance, Andy Bryson of Loughborough beat John Greenland of Southampton 2 and Ali Hall of Oxford overcame the challenge from Mark Lees helming for London University, to determine the top six results.
RYA Racing Services Manager David Atkinson commented, "The weekend provided a very good competition with some closely fought battles in fairly tricky conditions. The competitors showed a high level of match racing talent and we hope that we will continue to see many of the sailors competing in the RYA National Match Racing Series."
1, Southampton University 1 - Paul Campbell-James, Ben Field, Dave Newey,
Hamish Walker, Dave Steed
2, Exeter University - Alex Cherry, John Firmstone, David Carr, Edward
3, Loughborough University - Andy Bryson, Simon Haighton, Carl Gibbon, David
4, Southampton University 2 - John Greenland, Trevor Child, Nick Wilcox,
5, Oxford University - Ali Hall, Mark Ellis, Simon Skinner, Theo Stocker
6, University of London - Mark Lees, Ian Martin, Rob Basterfield, Simon
Shaw, Helen Wagstaff
7=, Southampton University 3 - Andy Cornah, John Wilson, Matt Radmore, Orwin
7=, Bristol University - Ed Hill, Charlie Summerset, Alex MacDonald, Richard
7=, Cambridge University - Jamie Reid, George Harston, Matt Findlay, Gemma
Farrell, Rob Hoey
10=, Newcastle University - Mark Addison, Sam Sutton, Mike Sugden, Simon
10=, Plymouth University - Pete Ellis, Will Rogers, Chris Grosscurth, Nick
10=, Warwick University 2 - Edward Mockeridge, Mark Wilson Ramsey, Ben
Everado, Paul Smalley
13=, Bristol University Ladies - Fiona Hall, Helen Wightman, Helen Clarke,
Juliet Kingsworth, Amanda Lassen
13=, Bath University - Anthony Harvey, Mike Stone, Lauren Martel, Matt
13=, Brunel University - Simon Morris, Ant Tomkius, Lennart Reip, Daniel
16=, University East Anglia - Luke Harwood, Olivia Butler, Thom Smith,
Rachel Speiks, Chris Howe
16=, Warwick University 1 - Phil Kennard, Rich Williams, Ben Elvin, Rob
16=, Sheffied Hallum University - Andrew Hadfield, Rodney Puzey, Richard
Slater, Ellie Travers