SIX teams assembled at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to fight it out for the RYA/Eric Twiname trophy at the Harken UK Youth Match Racing Championships.

Defending champion Matt Whitfield started to assert his dominance laying down win after win to retain his crown but the rest of the racing was very tight.

Teams gathered on the Friday afternoon for some open training to refresh their Elliott 6.5m sailing skills before heading to Portland House for the first briefing and a discussion on the quirks of match racing rules.

With the draw for boats completed on Saturday morning the teams headed out in to Portland Harbour in a gentle easterly breeze with a threat of the sun making an appearance at some point.

Racing got underway with some tight battles from the very beginning.

In one early match between Octavia Owen and Ted Blowers the lead changed on every leg and three times on the final run with Blowers taking the win in the last 50 metres.

By the end of the day and after 10 races each, Whitfield was leading the pack undefeated.

Joe Burns was in second place having lost both matches to Whitfield and one against Alaric Bates, and Bates finished the round-robin in third having lost one more match.

Blowers had done enough to secure the remaining semi-final spot.

While the places in the final were being decided there was also a tough battle going on for fifth and sixth. Owen took the first race, leading from start to finish but Patrick Croghan was not going to give up without a fight.

In their second race, Croghan led off the line but was under pressure the entire time as Owen forced tack after tack up the beat and while not enough to squeeze past she would be tight on his transom come the windward mark.

With a slightly better hoist, Owen managed to gybe inside and had almost pulled ahead when a stealthy luff from Croghan resulted in a penalty to Owen.

Forced wide of the leeward mark, Owen took her penalty and then engaged in another tacking duel on the second beat.

After more tacks than could be counted, the boats then rounded the windward mark with just feet between them. A quicker hoist again from Owen saw her going over the top this time, getting far enough ahead that she could gybe in to the finish line and secure fifth place.

Sunday promised to be a better day on the water with slightly more wind than Saturday and so the teams eagerly headed afloat, ready for the action.

Semi-final one was a head-to-head between Whitfield and Blowers with Whitfield continuing his undefeated streak.

Semi-final two saw Bates lining up with Burns with the latter coming out on top winning his place in the final 2-0.

In the final, Whitfield kept his impeccable scoreline beating Burns 3-0 but the umpires were kept busy in the battle for third place.

Five closely fought races between Blowers and Bates saw the latter take the final place on the podium 3-2.