Up until the final weekend of the year, all of the Scottish events had run incredibly smoothly (with the crowning jewel obviously being the well-organised and well-attended Glasgow Grouse in October). It was perhaps inevitable then that the weather gods would throw us a curveball right at the death. After the news filtered through that Loch Ore was frozen, and no amount of urination could thaw it out, it was only at the cost of about three years of Theo Hoole’s life that the event was salvaged. Over the course of 36 hours, a new club was found, boats were moved, helpers were found, and some semblance of order was restored.
Change of Scenery! © Leanne Fischler
The new venue was Royal Tay Yacht Club, and after another chalky SUSA Friday night, everybody was glad to see that there was more than enough wind in Dundee for the infamous Tay tide to be overcome. Greg, in particular, seemed keen to get on the water, and avoid further mention of his ghostly antics the night before.
Entering the event, Glasgow teams had been lying in 2nd, 5th and 6th, with the top four teams qualifying directly for BUSA finals, and the next three earning a place at playoffs in Cardiff in three weeks’ time.
Poser! © Leanne Fischler
The purple team started with a loss against Edinburgh Blue, the league leaders beating us from the start, in no small part due to the fact that the tide had swept two boats over the line, and another into the committee boat. They made amends in the next race though, with what eventually turned into a relatively routine win against Edinburgh Green, after a closely contested first beat, and followed it up with wins over both Strathclyde teams.
Glasgow (white hulls) make sure of the 1-2 against Strathclyde Blue © Leanne Fischler
In the Gold League, our teams were enjoying mixed fortunes. Pink had rediscovered their winning ways from earlier in the season, and were putting together an impressive winning streak, culminating in a victory over Edinburgh Green to seal their return to Super Gold, whereas Green had hit a rocky patch of form, and had suffered a loss against Glasgow Pink, as well as further setbacks against teams from Dundee, Strathclyde and Edinburgh, leaving them needing to win a playoff to retain their Gold status.
Passback © Leanne Fischler
Due to issues with getting boats to Dundee from Loch Ore, the bronze and silver fleets ran subsequently to the gold and super gold, leaving Green with a long and stressful overnight wait before they discovered their opponents.
In the meantime, half of the Glasgow sailors travelled back to the Central Belt for the GUSA ball, where Greg, Emily, and myself were being awarded Colours, and the rest of the club were being awarded copious amounts of free wine which Lizzie had obtained from various dubious sources. Special congratulations to Emily Smith, who made it through all three courses of the meal this time around.
Meanwhile, in Dundee, I’m reliably informed that everybody was well-behaved, nobody drank any alcohol, and certainly didn’t end up spending the night with any Edinburgh sailors.
We are classy people ©Morgane Duss
Purple’s Sunday morning started with yet another closely-fought loss to Edinburgh Blue, the defining feature being the six spins handed out to me throughout the race. It was followed up by wins over Strathclyde Blue and Edinburgh Pink, who were back in Super Gold, and recorded their first Super Gold point with a win over Strathclyde White, moving them ahead of Glasgow Green in the overall standings.
In a building breeze, Purple finished off their campaign with a bitter loss against Strathclyde white, while Green had won their playoff, putting them into a hectic series of races as Gold Fleet rushed to finish their schedule before the light abandoned us. This meant Green ended up with five races in quick succession, one of them including a memorable and spectacular capsize from Iain and Clara while they were leading.
At the end of the day, and the season, Purple finished up in second place, having lost just 6 races out of 16, and remaining one of only three teams never to have raced below super gold. Pink’s hard-earned super-gold point put them ahead of Green, but was not enough to put them in an automatic qualification spot for BUSA, as they finished sixth and seventh.
Now the focus shifts to the future, with a variety of events on the horizon. As well as the playoffs and finals, Glasgow teams will take part in two yachting events, IUSA Varsities in Ireland, the Big Lash, and, of course, SSS Champs (get your entries in quickly guys, looks like it’s going to be a big one!)
To see more pictures of the event click here!