12th January 2019

1997 Mark Campbell-James and James Ward

  • Mark was at Queen Mary for the RYA Match Racing finals, November 2013, and we caught up with him.
  • It was bloody freezing and very windy and we thought we would be in with a chance with the weather. This was my 3rd attempt and I think having prior knowledge of how the event works really helped. The first thing is to beat the class and there were a lot of 420s, we got a good lead on the class and everything was going well. The 420 fleet with the conditions got to the front reasonably early. From this point we were looking back to see if there were any faster boats coming through. The cold was extreme and we were at the point where the trapeze adjuster was freezing up if we did not move it enough. The other thing was the club was, quite wisely, whisking people off the water when their boats capsized as it was so cold and there were boats piling up on the shore.
  • With 10 minutes to go we got overtaken by 2 Fireballs so we though it was over. But, it turned out one of them snapped their mast and the other missed the finished line... despite it being dropped right in front of them.
  • We did not know we had won until we got to the shore and it was announced over the loud speaker.


  • Unfortunately I have not been doing much dinghy sailing recently so have not done the event for a while. But I do get to come to the Club every year for the Match Racing and seeing my name on the winners board alongside the other great names who have won the event really feels good.
  • Congratulations to the club for holding such a great event and keeping it going for 41 years.   

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