This weekend Soph & I with an Itchenor team travelled to West Kirby for the British Open Team Racing Championships.
There were 32 teams that made the trip to the marine lake for the 3 day event which the forecast showed would be a bit of a foam up.
On Friday the start was delayed in order to let the wind subside, however later on in the afternoon some sharp work by the race committee allowed each team to get in 3 races. Our first race was against the local favorites, West Kirby Wild Cats, which was a very competitive first match. After a messy down wind we managed to convert through to a 2,3,4 and won the race. However the next couple didn't go to plan where we were OCS against Yale and then gave away a soft one against Royal Thames.
On Saturday the wind was still up but with Sundays forecast looking even worse the race committee sent out the competitors where we all enjoyed a big day, with gusts of 30 knots which made for some exciting spectating.
Pre Start at the Wilson Trophy
The racing was very tight all over the leader board. London 2012 Silver Medalists in the 470 Luke Patience and Stu Bithell were sailing for Weymouth and never made it in to the top half, whilst holders Wessex Exempt also had a torrid time and didn't make the quarter finals.
We had a good start to Saturday and found a rich vein of winning form all morning and pulled ourselves into the top 4. However, we stumbled a bit here with a big loss to the all-star "Paddington Bears" and followed this up with a very close loss to the eventual winners Royal Forth Hoosiers which was lost on the finish line with a slight miscommunication allowing the opposition to sneak through to 2,3 on the line. We then beat the American from Rhode Island Pistols with a big 1, 2 in one of the days more breezy races, but then were unlucky to lose our last race of the day to past winners New Forest Pirates on the final beat in an incredibly close race.
This left us in the correct place for the quarter finals, however Sundays forecast came through meaning no racing was held and Hoosiers were deservedly crowned this years Wilson Trophy Champions.
For a long weekend like this up north it is always good to know that we can rely on our kit to keep us warm, but for team racing which is so explosive & short you need to make sure you don't restrict yourself in any way and our Rooster kit allows us this good balance of warm and flexibility. The Pro Aquafleece over the top of a Thermaflex Top was perfect for Soph with her Race Skin underneath her high fits, whilst I used the Neoprene short under my high fits and the full finger NeoPro gloves kept our hands warm. Soph was also trying out some new Rooster Pro Laced Boots which provided her with ample grip for diving around a firefly, whilst keeping her feet warm with the help of the Wet Socks. On thing I never go sailing with out is my Rooster Hold All which has a separate compartment for wet clothes which is ideal for separating your dry and wet kit, especially for a long event where you will need dry kit the next day.