Last week, 3 Southampton team racing teams drove all the way to a very cold, snowy Glasgow to compete in the BUCS/BUSA Team Racing Championships. The sailing took place on Strathclyde Loch, a venue normally used for rowing, and we quickly worked out why; the narrow, sheltered sailing area gave us some very difficult sailing conditions with inconsistent fluky winds. With 32 teams competing, the race team had their work cut out ensuring we got lots of fair, efficient racing in.
Day 1 didn’t get off to the best start… Southampton Blue lost their first race against top team Cambridge Blue (they’ve won the event quite a few times), Southampton Red lost to Solent Black, and ½ of Southampton Green went swimming (shoutout to the Viney brothers and Crispin). However, with plenty more races ahead of us, and some birthday luck from Hatty, we were ready to take on some more teams after a break to reef the sails.
Day two brought some lighter winds and sleet. All 3 Southampton teams were in the first few starts, so we all arrived nice and early, already in our kit, ready for a 9am start. However, the incredibly light and shifty breeze meant racing was postponed, giving us time to take advantage of the free hot drinks. The day ended better than the first, with Southampton Green in 3rd with 8/10 wins, and Southampton Red in a good position to climb into the top 8 to make the quarter finals on the last day.
The final day dawned with some more rain and more light winds. Team Red were in a tricky position as they needed to sail some more races (and win them) to qualify for the quarter finals. Three more rounds of the swiss league were completed, with Southampton Green moving into the quarter finals in 5th place. Unfortunately, our other two teams didn’t make it through, with Southampton Red narrowly missing out, coming 10th but on joint wins with 7th. In the quarter finals team Green beat Cambridge Black with a 1,2 in both races, kicking off their campaign to the top in style. In the semi-finals they came up against their good friends/rivals Exeter Blue, who had qualified in 1st place; after a close fought battle with Exeter winning the first race, Green won the next two races to take them into the final and within touching distance of the trophy! Cambridge Blue were Green’s opposition in the final and a first to 3 wins battle commenced, with Cambridge taking the early lead with the first race win. However, Green were able to get in gear and win the next 3 races in row, making them BUSA Team Racing Champions 2018.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to Glasgow University Sailing Club, BUSA, and all the volunteers who helped to organise and run a great event in such difficult conditions!