League 1, Mermaids and an Angel - An exciting 3 weeks!
Over the past three weekends I have taken part in three team racing events. Even though I decided not to be on dinghy teams for Strathclyde this year, I have still managed to get in plenty of team racing!
This event is the first of three to decide which teams qualify to go to BUSA finals, however as I am not on my university team and each uni is only allowed three teams, our team cannot qualify. Therefore, we have effectively made a fourth team for this event with the view to promoting team racing to the freshers and to keep the skills sharp for those not in teams.
The original forecast was for plenty of wind, however we were met with a light and shifty breeze at Bardowie Loch. After a late start 60 races were completed. Unfortunately our team, having never trained, made many silly mistakes and so we did not place as high as we thought we could. Unfortunately there was no wind on the Sunday so racing was cancelled.
On the weekend of the 21st we were back at Bardowie for the Scottish Ladies Team Racing Championships which Strathclyde were hosting.
Our university isn't known for lots of girls but somehow we managed to scrape two teams (albeit we 'borrowed' two sailors from others unis) and we were all set! Our team name was 'Strath Mermaid' which called for some pretty funky team kit, with the most exciting piece being the mermaid leggings!With nine teams and three flights of boats there was no time to be ashore and many races were sailed as we got through two round robbins. However it was freezing waiting on the pontoon all day - it was so cold that the ice in the boats didn't even melt!
Racing-wise we sailed reasonably well in the morning, winning many of the races even though we had never sailed together before and my crew had only learnt to sail last year! However as afternoon came around many members of our team started to feel cold and tired so we started making silly mistakes. Sailing well again on the Sunday morning, we managed to qualify for the semi-finals. Bardowie Loch then resumed it's normal unpredictability with the wind dying completely during our first semi-final race. Unfortunately we were forced to retire as we couldn't get round the course. We placed 4th overall and second student team.
Angel of the North
Last weekend I joined in with the team Glasgow Old Boys and we headed down to Durham. It was a well organised event however the wind did not help as there was too much of it most of the time. Six races were sailed Saturday morning before the windy picked up too much. When the sailors came ashore everyone, even the people still in dry kit, came and helped recover the boats as it was so windy it was a struggle to hold onto them. It was great to see that kind of willingness to help and everyone coming together.
In the afternoon more racing commenced and we won one of the two we sailed. In the first race at the start there was a lot of pin bias and we couldn't make it through the line. In our second race we had a good start and managed to stay in the lead.
On the Sunday we were the first to race and that ended up being the last race of the event. We rounded the windward mark in first and at the downwind we had the combination 1,4,5 so we were winning with the 6 being far behind and us in a comfortable 1st. On the upwind the breeze was building and their 3rd capsized guaranteeing us the win. Racing was then canned for the day and a gust of 82mph was recorded! I have never seen an inland reservoir have such big waves before!
Also I just found out this week that I have been selected to represent the Scottish Student Ladies team for the BUSA Championships in Oxford in February so I am excited for that!