Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES sailing with Ray DAVIES and Nick HUTTON battled against tough opposition to win the ISAF Grade 3 Match Racing competition at Riva del Garda this weekend.
With the finalists getting an invite to the Garda Trentino Grade 1 later in April several key players were attending.
With winds blowing up to 20kts on day 1 the round robin saw 5 sailors vying for the 4 semi final places. Campbell-James (GBR), Sebastien COL (FRA), Dimitri DEURELLE (FRA), Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA), and Vasco VASCOTTO (ITA) were all in contention. The next morning the wind had dropped slightly. Most of the skippers had 2 more races to sail to complete the round robin. The key battle for top slot was the match between Campbell-James and Col with Campbell-James victorious and consequently taking the round robin. Simoncelli had a bad time losing to a lower sailor and consequently lost his place in the semis.
Both semis went to 3 races with the French fairing the worst. Campbell-James chose to sail against Deurelle in the semis and eased through to the final. In the other semi it was Vascotto against Col with the Italian winning to set up a final between Britain and Italy. It was a good battle but Campbell-James won 2 straight races to take the competition.
Campbell-James said "Sailing against so many top Italians on their home turf means this victory is even sweeter. We look forward to the Grade 1 and the opportunity to test ourselves further and to sail against Vascotto again."
In the meantime Campbell-James plans to fit in another match race event in between starting his campaign to get in the Rolex Commodores Cup team with Bear of Britain.
Full results from the event are available on the event website at the address below.