Even with the pre-Christmas sailing season slowly winding down for exams, Glasgow still managed to put together a team of six keen sailors for the trip south to Durham. A promising forecast and enticing socials awaited us down the road.
After a brief and confusing detour through Newcastle city centre, we arrived at our host’s house. We were feeling quite sociable at this stage, and so decided to invite ourselves over to Manchester’s accommodation for some inter-team bonding. With our reluctant new best friends in tow, we headed off to Jimmy’s for a calm and responsible evening, while Emma headed off to hospital, escorted by Andy, to repair the damage Strathclyde had done to her chin.
The next morning, not even an adventure through a farm could make us late for the briefing, and we were soon out on the water for our first race against Newcastle. The first three legs were frantic, with the combination changing from a 2-4-6 to a 2-3-4 by mark 2, but a very effective double cover combined with a passback at mark 3 gave Newcastle an easily-defensible 1-2-6 which they held until the finish.
The next race went better as we found our feet, beating Strathclyde 1 with a 1-2-3 off the line.
Further comfortable wins against Durham and Lancaster followed, and a loss against Dambusters couldn’t break our momentum as we finished off with wins against Liverpool 2 and Manchester 2, giving us a very respectable 5 wins from 7, and placing us in the gold fleet for the next day.
The evening’s social was a bar crawl to the infamous Klute. Our designated fancy dress was “acrobats”, but Glasgow aren’t well-known for following instructions, so 12 metres of fabric and an entire tub of face paint later, six bats emerged from our host Meg’s house into the Durham night.
From Glasgow’s point of view, the night was an unqualified success. Songs were sung, trees were jumped through, friends were made, and mints were eaten, and we were the first people, sailors or otherwise, to make it to Klute.
On Sunday, sailing was held up by light winds and a Rule 69 protest (not guilty, mistaken identity), so we only managed to get two races in, but they were both won 1-2-3, against Liverpool 1 and Manchester 2, leaving us in third place overall, and top Scottish team.
Next event is SSS League 2 at the end of January, and this performance gives us good reason to be confident about Glasgow’s prospects there.
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