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BUCS Yachting Championships 2017 - Day 2

by Tony Mapplebeck 13 Apr 2017 07:33 BST 9-13 April 2017

Top three re-align but hold, Edinburgh puts in a challenge, Swansea/Bangor celebrate a 2nd!

Durham (1,3, 4.5 today) pull ahead of Southampton Blue ('messy at the end'), But Strathclyde Blue retains the lead (4,1). Suzy Peters' Edinburgh Pink leapt up from 7th yesterday to 4th overnight, in spite of a BFD in the second race today, by winning the Inshore Coastal Race. Exeter White also made significant gains, moving from 12th to 6th in spite of a DNF in the Inshore Coastal, however. Perhaps a special triumph today was the 2nd place for the Swansea/Bangor team, who sail together at this event for the first time!

The Yachting Championships of the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), in conjunction with the British Universities' Sailing Association (BUSA), got underway in the Solent on Monday 10 April. 200 student sailors, in 25 teams of 8, representing universities from Aberdeen to Plymouth and Bangor to Surrey set off from Port Solent in Sunsail Fast 40s (with brand-new Ullmann main sails) first thing on let alone

For the rest of the week, until their return to Port Solent for the Closing Ceremony on Thursday afternoon, they are berthed at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, with a land base for debriefings etc. at TigerTiger. The event is being hosted by Commodore Kelsey Suggitt and Portsmouth University Sailing Club, with a specially-devised social programme, including black tie dinner on the first night and a bake-off during the Long Inshore Coastal race on Wednesday.

PRO Steve Parry reported on the day. "It was all looking good, with the wind out of Southampton Water. With the course set up, a first start for Race 3 saw most of the Fleet over the line, so the second start was with a black flag, and a good first race was achieved.

"We attempted a start for Race 4, again invoking the black flag. But, within 100m of the start, there was a huge left shift, and the race was abandoned. After a wait, when the wind settled from the South West a further race was successfully run, following a black flag start, with a 1 nm beat and two rounds.

We then set up for the Inshore Coastal Race, involving a series of zigzags, from Hill Head to a finish at Gilkicker Point. The race completed in a little over two hours".

Titus Treneman of Southampton Blue reflected on a "good event, with a good day yesterday. Today was more mixed for us, with two bad starts, although we pulled through the fleet nicely, especially in the second windward-leeward, when we managed a 4th. But the Inshore was a bit messy."

There were great celebrations on board the Swansea/Bangor boat. This team, drawing members from two university sailing clubs, who did not know each other before, nor trained or sailed together, were sailing through the event in the second half of the Fleet – as they probably anticipated. But something happened in the first race today! Annamaria Nichols, navigator and tactician, a veteran of this event and of all Swansea's sailing teams in recent years, took up the story (amply aided by her team mates, including BUSA Yachting Captain-elect and the team's Bow from Bangor, Harry Bowerman!). "In the first race, we smashed the pin end, maybe second out of the start. We tacked off, with good speed. We got to the windward mark, but had a really slow hoist, losing some places. We were 5th at the bottom mark, but made up a place on the beat. We stormed down the final run and finished 2nd!"

The Fleet returned to Gunwharf for a somewhat abbreviated video debrief, before the BUSA AGM. But the Fleet had had the benefit of four coaches on the water all day – Mason King, Nigel Buckley, Niall Myant of BKA and Jon Pegg of Ullman Sails.

Alternating each year between the Team Racing Finals and the Yachting Championships, the BUSA AGM was held in the evening. The new Committee were elected:

  • Chair: Neil Marshall (Plymouth)
  • Vice President: Emily Jane Robertson (Glasgow)
  • Men's Captain: Matt Whitfield (Southampton)
  • Ladies' Captain: Jenny Smallwood (Manchester)
  • Keelboat Officer: Harry Bowerman (Bangor)
  • Development Officer: Alice de Vitry (Kent)
  • Scottish Representative: will be elected at the forthcoming AGM of Scottish Student Sailing
  • Northern Representative: Ben Swyer (Newcastle)
  • Midlands Representative; Benjamin Lawrence (Warwick)
  • South-Central Representative: Nicole Charlie Ames (Southampton Solent)
  • Western Representative: Jonas Osborn (Bristol)
  • Media Officer: Holly Overton (Sheffield)
They join Peter Saxton (President), Sean Clarkson (Vice President), Jessica Beecher (Secretary & NGB Representative), Jack Fenwick (NGB Representative), Keith Sammons (Honorary Member), Chris Lindsay (Honorary Treasurer) and Tony Mapplebeck (Web Editor)

The Wednesday forecast is for a strengthening breeze, great for a further windward-leeward race, before the Long Inshore Race around the Solent, during which the inaugural BUSA Bake-off competition is to be held, with Sunsail RO Karen Rawson as head judge. Proceeds are to go to Cancer Research.

Results are uploaded on the BUSA website Championship page.

Follow the event on Facebook and on Twitter at @BUSAsailing.

Clubs are vying to win the first Sunsail University Club Championships and win a week's holiday from Sunsail. Join the Sunsail Student Facebook group for full details.

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