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9 April 2001, 10:32 pm
Campbell-James Leads London To Win
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©Mark Pepper

British University Sailing Association Match Racing Championships

Former youth world match racing champion Mark Campbell-James underlined his number one seeding, leading London University to a dominant win.
Sening out a clear message that he is the British match racer to beat within his generation, Campbell-James took the United Airlines RYA BUSA Match Racing Championship at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy in Dorset on Sunday

Mark, 20, and his crew of Chris Martin, Chris Guy and Andrew Palmer-Felgate swept through the weekend, dropping only one match in an enthralling semi-final against Southampton University. "We led at the windward mark in the first semi final race but dropped the spinnaker in the water so he (Southampton skipper Simon Shaw) rounded inside and led for the rest of the race," explained Mark, whose hard work of leading throughout the round robin series temporally looked to have been a fruitless effort.

Shaw led off the line in race two but Campbell-James duped the Southampton crew into a tacking dual. After a tussle at the windward mark where penalties were exchanged, Campbell-James took charge of the race and went on to win. London won the decider and secured their place in the best of three final against the second Southampton University team led by John Greenland.

Greenland put up a good fight but London's lighter crew enabled Campbell - James to come through from behind in the first race and overtake Greenland for win number one while smart tactics in race two handed London University the 2001 United Airlines RYA BUSA Match Racing title by two matches to nil.

Mark was quick to attribute his win to his crew, who, despite being an untested unit, rarely faltered over the weekend. "It wasn't as easy as it looked but if we started ahead and didn't make any boat handling mistakes we were safe", reflected Mark. Looking forward to the rest of the season, Mark added, "It would be great to make the international event at the end of the season but until then we'll see if we can keep the momentum going through the BUSA Team Racing Championship next week".

Campbell James, Greenland and third placed Simon Shaw are now guaranteed a place in the British finals in September back in Weymouth where they will pit their skills against the likes of fives time champion Andy Beadsworth and the GBR Challenge afterguard.

The top teams from the finals will proceed to the United Airlines RYA Match Racing Open, an ISAF graded event that has attracted interest from a number of foreign America's Cup syndicates including OneWorld, Oracle and Prada.


1 Mark Campbell-James London University
2 John Greenland Southampton University
3 Simon Shaw Southampton University

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