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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Noble Marine West Country Boat Repairs RS200 National Championship - Runners and Riders

by Tommy Darling 11 Aug 15:10 BST 15-19 August 2021
James Peters and Maddy Anderson © Rudder Stock Photos

Introducing the runners and riders for the Noble Marine West Country Boat Repairs RS200 National Championships 2021! This year's event, at Exe SC, will cap off a trilogy of epic sporting events held this summer.

No disrespect to our fantastic footballing heroes and incredible Olympic team but the 200 Nationals is the one we've all been waiting for. To help you understand our runners and riders, I have likened them to a team that competed in the Euros. Enjoy!

James Peters and Maddy Anderson - France

Of course, you cannot look past James and Maddy. Just like World Champions France, they are going into this event as clear favourites after their dominant win in Torquay two years ago. Lightning quick downwind, a slow start means nothing when these two are on the counter attack.

Hamish Walker and Emma Hivey - Germany

Hamish and Emma are consistent and experienced. Multiple Wilson Trophy winner, Hamish does not relent in head-to-heads, so you best not make a mistake. Top five finishes at the last four Nationals, they don't miss when the pressure is on.

James Hammett and Jess Hammett - Switzerland

The Hammetts are a sibling duo that have everyone talking after an emphatic win at the Hayling Island Rooster National Tour event. Counting just 5 points in as many races, they shocked everyone by beating James and Maddy akin to Switzerland's high drama last-16 victory over France.

Rob Henderson and Mat Currell - Ukraine

A returning legend in a new role? Like Andriy Shevchenko, who came back to manage Ukraine after years as their star player, 2018 National Champion crew Rob Henderson is returning but this time at the back of the boat. He is going to expect perfection from new crew Mat Currell!

Arran Holman and Toby Lewis - Portugal

A great team that includes a real superstar. Toby Lewis is the Cristiano Ronaldo of British dinghy racing. Toby has 8 Endeavour trophies to his name and is a national champion in just about every class worth winning, including the RS200's. Starting next to this hiking machine is definitely worth avoiding.

Martin Wrigley and Will Ward - Czech Republic

British 470 sailor, Martin Wrigley, loves to keep his bow the right side of the tide. Like Patrik Schick and his 50-yard screamer against the Scots, Martin produces a little bit of magic when the world is watching; winning all three televised races at this year's 470 Europeans. However, I will be deducting style points if he elects to sit to leeward downwind. Teaming up with quiz master Will Ward, first at the most recent Rooster National Tour event, they will definitely be on everyone's radar.

Will Taylor and Fiona Mulcahy - Belgium

Belgium led the FIFA world rankings going into the Euros and our class chairman Will Taylor leads our Rooster national tour rankings. This man has RS200 tattooed across his chest and ice in his veins. Sailing every minute they can, will time on the water be key to their success?

Ian Martin and Chris Catt - Italy

Just like Italy, the younger members of our fleet might not remember these two at their dominant peak. 2013 was the last time this pair BOTH featured in the 200 Nationals. Finishing as 2nd and 3rd helms that year and Ian winning in 2014, this boat is brimming with experience and 200 knowledge. After a 2nd place at the last national tour event, they're going to Exe meaning business.

Robbie King and Bethan Matthew - England

England fielded a fantastic squad this year that had youth at its core. The 200 fleet shares that youth culture with over a third of the fleet falling into our youth category. Robbie King and Bethan Matthew are a top team racing pair that are quick, clever and my pick for Youth National Champions. Finishing 11th at the previous championships, they will be looking to break the top 10 this time around. Robbie may give the impression that he's cool and calculated, but; he has no idea how he's getting to Exe, where they are staying or what he's wearing for fancy dress... it's really Bethan that is the brains of the organisation.

Freya Black and Chris Thomas - The Lionesses

My pick for top ladie's helm is Freya Black. As a British Sailing Team 470 helm, she brings a wealth of racing experience. This will be her first 200 nationals but teaming up with fellow British Sailing team- mate, Chris Thomas, they should have tallied more sailing hours this year than anyone else. She will face tough competition from top match racing helm, Sophie Otter sailing with Carys Randeria.

That may conclude my pick for the runners and riders but with so many talented sailors heading to Exe next week, we really could see anyone leading the pack!

See the event website here...

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