Last weekend, Glasgow and Strathclyde University Sailing Clubs hosted the RYA/BUSA Women’s Team Racing Championships 2018 at Lochore Meadows. Seventeen teams representing their universities, schools, and sailing clubs from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, descended on Glasgow for a weekend of competitive sailing, a ceilidh, and surprising amounts of sunshine.
Sunny upwind action. Photo © Leanne Fischler
Strathclyde began the socials on Friday evening with a trip to the Merchant for cheap pints before heading off for a night of dancing in Light in preparation for Saturday morning’s early start. By 10am on Saturday, three flights of fireflies were rigged, the course was set, and the teams were rearing to get on the water. The round robin started with early wins from Cambridge Blue, Big Booty Bs, and Oxford Blue. Glasgow Manchego suffered some setbacks in their first races, and Glasgow’s own ‘six crew team’ Sparkle Squad tried their luck at helming, eager to learn, and won a race against Strathclyde Sapphires with the use of the starboard rule, forcing a Strath boat to take a penalty and re-cross the finish line. The wind stayed at a consistent 10 to 15 knots all day, and the race committee managed to finish 85 races of the round robin, leaving BUSA and Oxford Blue on 10 wins each, with Cambridge Blue, RNCYC and Exeter in close pursuit on 8 wins each.
Glasgow Manchego chasing the 1. Photo © Leanne Fischler
After getting off the water, competitors took part in a discussion presented by the RYA’s Jacqui Roberts and Jack Fenwick about increasing the number of women in race official roles, followed by a general discussion about women in university team racing.
Sailors headed home to grab some tonic, quickly leap into their ceilidh gear, and get to the Glasgow University Union for what was many of the English and Welsh sailors’ first ceilidh! Following much enthusiastic dancing and explorations of the GUU, we ventured into Hive to continue the evenings revelries.
Ceilidh dancing in the GUU. Photos © Cameron McCosh
Sunday brought with it another clear and crisp Scottish morning, and the only trouble appeared to be that the loch had frozen overnight. After a short wait, the wind filled in and the loch defrosted, much to everyone’s mutual happiness. The race committee decided to take us into leagues for some closer racing, which started at about 10:30, with the wind at a steady 10 to 12 knots, and gusts building as the day went on. A Glasgow helm was denied Manchego, and Big Booty Bs were so excited to get onto the water that they sailed two of Cardiff’s races for them. Glasgow Manchego sailed through to the Bronze league finals to compete against Trinity, where they lost the two exciting races narrowly. In the Silver finals, Sevenoaks defeated Loughborough in a 1 – 2 – 4 and a 1 – 3 – 6.
Two teams battle it out at the start. Photo © Cameron McCosh
Oxford Blue, BUSA, RNCYC and Exeter made it through to the semi-finals of the Gold league. RNCYC won 2 out of 3 races against BUSA, and Oxford Blue won 2 races against Exeter to make it through to the finals. In the petit finals, BUSA won 2 out of 3 races against Exeter.
Split fleet at the start during semi finals. Photo © Cameron McCosh
RNCYC and Oxford Blue sailed 3 tense races against each other in the finals. The teams initially won a race each in winning combinations of 1 – 2 – 6, before RNCYC lost the third race narrowly in a 2 – 4 – 5, making Oxford Blue the winners of both the RYA and BUSA Championships.
1 Oxford Blue
1 Sevenoaks School
5 Big Booty Bitches
6 Oxford Crimson
1 Trinity College Dublin
2 Glasgow Manchego
3 Strath Diamonds
4 Strath Sapphires
5 Sparkle Squad
Oxford Blue, winners of the BUSA and RYA Women's Championships. © Cameron McCosh
RNCYC narrowly finishing 2nd, but winning on team kit. © Ewan Rycroft
Thank you to all the teams who came to the event, we hope that you had as much fun as we did! Finally, a huge thank you to the race committee, umpires and all the helpers for their work over the weekend in bringing together an exciting and competitive event. Looking forward to next year!