SSS 1 Report (14/15 November, Bardowie Loch)
It’s been a long time coming. We’ve had the summer, freshers, trials, and the Grouse, as well as fleets, yachting, booze cruise, socials, and even the odd training session squeezed in there somehow. Now we’ve finally reached the first league weekend of the year, hosted by Glasgow University Sailing Club at Bardowie Loch, and the first chance for the combined forces of SUSA to show what they are capable of.
The weekend started in typical SUSA style. Assembling at our sponsor bar, Dram, for some liquid refreshment. Some members of Strathclyde were having such a good time there that they didn’t even leave for Viper. Which was a pity, as they missed out on seeing Helen pulling the classic Edinburgh trick of literally devouring money in front of her less affluent competitors.
Sailing got under way more or less on (Glasgow) time, after rudder problems had set things behind schedule, and the first race to get under way was an all St. Andrews affair, with the pink team beating the red team in a solid 1-2-5.
The universities had been divided at random into two pools for the event, and the results of these pools would determine which teams went through to Super Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets. Pool 1 saw last year’s league winners Edinburgh Blue come up against Strathclyde Blue, the winners of SSS Champs. Pool 2 contained Glasgow Yellow, runners up in both, but top university team at the 2015 Grouse.
With the wind slowly dropping from a solid force 3-4 at the start of the day, racing was progressing at a solid rate. In pool 1, Edinburgh Blue avenged their semi-final defeat at Champs seven months ago with a 1-2-5 victory over Strathclyde Blue, while Edinburgh White and Glasgow Blue were also picking up victories.
Standard rib shenanigans.
In Pool 2, Glasgow Yellow recovered from losing Emily Robertson to a capsize to beat Glasgow Pink, and in spite of being run very close a few times, most notably by an Aberdeen White team who pulled off a textbook start at the biased pin, ended the day with a 100% record from 7 races. Edinburgh Green and Strathclyde Red were also picking up wins, but the surprise package was St. Andrews Yellow, nominally their 2nd team, and 12th placed finishers in Leagues last year, who sailed some great races, notably a win against Strathclyde Red, to end up third in the group.
Racing had to be canned early due to the breeze dying away to nothing, but Storm Abigail had promised us plenty of breeze the next morning. Boats were tied down, reefing lines set up, extra anchors found for the committee and finish boats, and we headed off to Garage.
Many ripped T-shirts, tubs of face paint, and tragically confiscated cookies later, we turned up to the loch to find it had been replaced by a slightly green-tinged mirror, with no wind in sight. In spite of the race committee holding a decision until 1430, long after the promised wind was supposed to appear, it became clear we weren’t going to get out on the water that day, so until next year, the current standings are: