The first SSS Ladies Team Racing event, held on the 21st and 22nd of November, started with typical SUSA enthusiasm in Boteco Do Brazil. After warming up to samba music and cheap cocktails, the ladies (and an impressive turnout of Glasgow and Strathclyde men) continued their evening in the classy venue that is Light, outside of which the first snow of the winter brought forebodings about the next day.
At 9am on Saturday it was clear that the weather forecasts had been correct, as about 3 knots of wind drifted languidly across Bardowie Loch. Nine teams had assembled from across Scotland, team kit game was on point (Strathclyde mermaids and princesses were teams to be reckoned with), and anticipation crackled in the cold November air.
However, the reality of the 3 knots forecast did not dampen the enthusiasm of the race officers onshore, and we headed out for a 10am start. While the wind was light, it remained steady enough to allow us to complete the first round robin, a 36 race flight sheet, and get through 7 races of the next one before it died at about 3pm.
By the lunch break, it had become clear who the main contenders of the weekend would be. Wet Mess, a compilation of ladies from Glasgow and Edinburgh University, as well as Strathclyde graduates, won every race they sailed, and seemingly could not be touched by the other teams. Glasgow’s Goldbreasted Indigo Birds were not far behind, only losing to Wet Mess, but having close races with EdinBRA DD and Glasgow’s Great Tits. After lunch, the teams took to the water in absolutely freezing weather. Wet Mess returned victorious, having won all eight races they had sailed that day. Gold Breasted Indigo Birds had also had a very successful day, winning seven out of eight races and keeping Wet Mess in their sights. Strathclyde Mermaids and EdinBRA DD were battling it out between themselves, as in one race the Mermaids won with a 1-2-4 to EdinBRA DD’s 3-5-6, and the in another lost in a 1-4-6 to EdinBRA DD’s 2-3-5. There was much at stake.
EdinBRA DD and the mermaids at a tense mark rounding.
That night would bring the usual ensemble of fantastical costumes winding up in Garage for the second weekend running (remember SSS 1?). Toys from our childhood ranging from troll dolls, furbies, ARTS AND CRAFTS, and Super Mario characters were to be found in unusual combinations.
The ladies turned up Sunday morning, tinged green and purple with facepaint and hairspray, glittering in unexpected places, to a loch that closely resembled a mirror, and a world that was too bright. By 9:30am, after many bacon rolls had been consumed, and interest taken in the number of men in the kitchen, we decided to head out in the hopes of the 3 – 5 knot wind we had had the day before appearing. We managed to complete the second flight sheet in some of the flukiest, shiftiest and generally most challenging wind Bardowie has ever bestowed on us.
Sunday produced diverse results, with Wet Mess and EdinBRA DD having the 7 wins each from the second flight sheet, while the Mermaids and Gold Breasted Indigo Birds had 5 each, and Great Tits and Glossy Black Thrushes tied on 4 wins each. The semi finals started at about 3pm, and two races were sailed, yielding wins for Wet Mess and Gold Breasted Indigo Birds, but unfortunately the finals could not be completed, as the wind that had been frustratingly shifty had truly given up the ghost by 3:30.
The final results from the weekend were as follows:
1st - Wet Mess 15 wins
2nd - EdinBRA DD 12 wins
3rd - Glasgow Gold Breasted Indigobirds 12 wins
4th - Strathclyde Mermaids 9 wins
5th - Glasgow Great Tits 9 wins
6th - Strathclyde Princesses 6 wins
7th - Glasgow Glossy Black Thrushes 5 wins
8th - EdinBRA B 2 wins
9th - Dundee Dirtbags 2 wins
Thanks go out to Scottish Student Sailing for organising the event, and to the University of Strathclyde Sailing Club for hosting it. We are very much looking forward to having all of the ladies back next year!