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Big Lash Team Racing at West Kirby Sailing Club

by Alexander Frampton 15 Mar 2018 18:50 GMT 10-11 March 2018
The 'Big Lash' Team Racing at West Kirby © Philip Aldhous

On the 10th-11th of March, the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool, co-hosted the Big Lash. The event took place at West Kirby Sailing Club, the home of UK team racing and host of the prestigious Wilson trophy. The weekend was split into a round robin series on Saturday, which determined the composition of Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets for Sunday's racing.

Saturday morning saw teams met by blazing sunshine and a perfect 13 knot breeze, with gusts of up to 30 knots to keep the sailors on their toes. The morning races, saw standout performances from both Newcastle Red and White as well as Edinburgh Import and the Manc Old Boys who all managed to maintain a 100% win record. The breezy conditions proved to be too much for some, with several sailors taking the plunge and finding their Fireflys facing the wrong way up.

Not long after lunch the wind began to pick up and the organizers were forced to change the sails to cut-downs which mitigated some of the chaos caused by the breezy conditions. By the end of the day 92 races were successfully completed, with Newcastle Red emerging as top dogs achieving 8 wins in 8 races.

After a night of fun and fancy dress, the sailors arrived at the club for a 9:30 start on Sunday morning. Teams were split into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets and had far lighter winds to contend with than on Saturday. The light conditions brought with them significant wind shifts. The course manager and umpire team did a great job of handling course changes throughout the day. 63 races were completed within the leagues before the organizers moved onto semi-finals which saw clashes between Edinburgh Import and London Purple as well as Newcastle Red and London White. The final saw a contest between Edinburgh Import and London White in which the Scots were able to take victory with a race to spare, gaining a 1-3-4 and a 1-2-6 in each race respectively.

The Big Lash was a great weekend for all those involved, sporting some great racing and legendary socials. Massive thanks is owed to West Kirby SC and the many volunteers that gave up their weekends to make the event a success. The Universities of Liverpool and Manchester did a fantastic job of organizing the competition, not to mention the umpires and race officials who ensured that all the racing was fun and fair. Its also important to thank KSail for providing the weekend's race schedules as well as Camp Leaders and Lydia who sponsored the event.

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