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Robbie King wins Harken Youth Match Racing Championships 2019

by British Sailing Team 4 Sep 14:23 BST 25 August - 1 September 2019
Harken Youth Match Racing Championships 2019 © Hugh Tomkins

Seven teams gather in Portland for the annual Harken Youth Match Racing Championships last weekend - with Robbie King taking the crown.

With strong breeze on the Saturday and sunshine and a more pleasant 10-14 knots on the Sunday a double round robin which would pit each team against each other twice was scheduled.

A strong and increasing breeze greeted the sailors on Saturday morning and so they went afloat with reefs in the mainsails but spinnakers were still to be used. The first flight saw early victories for Octavia Owen over Alex Whitfield, younger brother of last year's champion Matt, George Haynes over Patrick Croghan and Sophie Otter over eventual winner Robbie King.

Principle Race officer Tom Rusbridge pushed through he schedule quickly top ensure the teams got as much racing as possible on day one and at the conclusion of the first round robin the results were very tight.

Robbie King held a half point lead over Ted Blowers who had been penalised for modifying their boat and a three way tie for third place with Haynes, Otter and Croghan. Rusbridge continued pushing on and had completed 12 flights by the end of the day.

The crews gathered for a debrief at WPNSA where they shared learning points from the day with the assistance of the umpire team. After a long day on the water in challenging conditions the teams headed home.

Sunday was perfect match racing conditions, sunshine and 10-14 knots of breeze. The reefs were shaken out and the crews could concentrate more on match racing with boat handling proving to be much easier.

The second round robin was completed quickly and the stage was set for the semi-finals. First placed King would line up against fourth placed Owen while second placed Blowers would take on third placed Haynes. King and Blowers continued their dominance and won their semi-finals 2-0 securing their head to head in the final.

The final was an intense battle with penalties on the water and races run all the way to the finish line but King was able to maintain his composure throughout and claimed two races with narrow wins to secure the crown of 2019 Harken Youth Match Racing champion.

With a quick pack up and prize giving ashore the teams were away in good time to make their long journeys home.

Thanks to sponsors Harken, Marlow Ropes and Moody Decking and Services for their continued support.

This weekend will see the Marlow Ropes Women's Match Racing Championship, follow the RYA Match Racing Facebook group for updates.

Follow the British Sailing Team at britishsailingteam.com

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