The third RYA Match Racing Qualifier will begin this weekend, the 25/26 September at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy and will be the last chance for teams to qualify for the RYA National Match Racing Finals 2004.
Already qualified is last years champion and winner of the second qualifier Paul CAMPBELL-JAMES and his brother, Mark. Other sailors qualified for the finals include youth champion Nick CHERRY and Ali HALL, who represented Great Britain at the Student World Match Racing Championships earlier in 2004.
With a formidable line up in the finals from 8-10 October, the third qualifier will be hotly contested as competitors try to outwit their rivals for the remaining places in the championship and a chance to race against the countries best.
Match racers such as John BLACKBURN and his experienced crew of Richy BURLINGHAM, Crag BOWIE and Dan SANDERS, who narrowly missed out in the previous qualifier two weeks ago will return to Weymouth Bay for their second stab at reaching the finals. Other names include Gemma FARRELL and Ed MOCKRIDGE who will also be vying for the remaining places.
As an ISAF Grade 4 event the competitors have a chance to establish or improve upon their position on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. Racing in the new RYA fleet of J80's, the format will be two round robins that will determine the teams who will enter into a knock out stage.
Speaking before the event, RYA Racing Services Manager, David ATKINSON said: "The last qualifier is also the last chance for sailors to reach the finals and therefore the competition will be even more intense than usual and I am especially looking forward to watching the action."
Racing kicks off early on Saturday morning following the obligatory crew weigh-in and results will be available on the RYA website as soon as racing is finished, and the final qualifying teams are decided on Sunday afternoon.