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BUCS/BUSA Team Racing Championship at West Kirby - Day 2

by Tony Mapplebeck 6 Apr 2017 07:56 BST 4-6 April 2017

"I have never seen it this close" - Only three wins separate 4th from 24th at the end of Day 2 at the BUSA Finals

The second day of the university team racing Championship Finals, on the Marine Lake at West Kirby, was cold for anyone immobile and exposed, but provided hard, challenging sailing for competitors who will surely sleep tonight! We would not wish to tarnish the image of today's student sailors, but there were several teams heading back for an early night, knowing that tomorrow's final morning of racing, before moving into knockouts, would hold opportunities for many of the teams.

PRO and Course Manager, Adam Whittle spoke of a day of "consistent wind, F3 – 4, in which there had been 10 rounds, with race 266 and a re-sail completed. This will enable us to do a further 3 – 4 rounds in the morning, with an 09.00 start, with a view to moving to knockouts at around midday".

Whilst there had been less gusts than on Day 1, the brisk and constant breeze made for perfect racing. It also caused much use of such shelter as was afforded by the huts on the slip, indeed any other barrier that could be used, for the teams awaiting the next changeover, several displaying great ingenuity in the search for warmth – even the usually energetic Clyde sailors seemed to find the fallen pyramid preferable to standing tall!

With Cambridge and Exeter staking a claim to the top three slots overnight, what is quite remarkable is that the next 12 teams were within in one race win of each other, and all the teams from 4th down to 24th had only three race wins separating them. "I have never seen it this close", exclaimed Keith Sammons, BUSA's Technical Delegate, with RO Jemima Riley murmuring in agreement. It is genuinely 'all to play for', with some five places into the Quarters uncommitted, but in sight for many of this year's competing teams.

Meanwhile, the Championship has attracted massive interest on social media, with some notably constant following from as far as Kosovo to the United States. A dedicated team, under the super-energetic leadership of hosting Manchester's Lucy Storey, has been demand for a constant flow of news, comment, interviews and images.

There will be time to comment further at the end of the event, but the volunteers were everywhere today, keeping the event moving forward so smoothly, whether from the coldest of spots on start and finish boats, mark layers, umpires, damage (limitation) on the slipway, through to the galley and a lone person struggling to reconcile spreadsheets and email entries for the BUSA Ball (yes, the pinnacle of the student sailing social scene is yet to come, when the racing is done, although the irrepressible host was heading off to Liverpool tonight to keep the party going for those not conserving themselves for tomorrow).

A final mention is due to the growing ranks of the team supporters gathering around the Club, not least the intrepid parents of the BUSA Ladies' Captain, who do not do 'indoors'. but are not immune to the cold breeze either! At the same time, we must record our appreciation to the West Kirby SC (gentlemen's) Wednesday group for foregoing their usual, more lavish, fare to make way for the British student sailing invasion of their clubhouse.

Follow the Finals:

Live Results and other information is being posted here

Follow the event on Twitter: @BUSAsailing #BUSATRfinals and on the Championship Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/1689738461353625

The official BUSA Championship page for all Notices and documentation is at www.busa.co.uk/events/bucs-team-racing-championships-2016-17