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Edinburgh triumph at the Ceilidh Cup, Scottish Student Sailing Match Racing Champions

by Craig Macdonald, RNCYC 9 Oct 2018 09:06 BST 6-7 October 2018

The Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club's Ceilidh Cup, incorporating the Scottish University Sailing (SSS) Match Racing Championship 2018, was held over the weekend of 6th and 7th October. This is Scotland's only match racing event, where competitors face each other in a round robin of one-on-one races in the Club's identical Sonar yachts. It forms part of the RYA National Match Racing Series, the winner automatically qualifying for the finals to be held in Weymouth on 16 – 18 November.

The annual Ceilidh Cup/SSS Match Racing was a "tale of two days" at Rhu this year – Saturday was sunny & dry with a light(ish) breeze, followed by breezy and gusty conditions on the Sunday.

On Saturday, PRO David Denholm, from host club, Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club, had his work cut out in the morning in keeping a square windward-leeward course for the 3 flight, round-robin format as the breeze swung between W & NW.

With the wind settling and racing well underway, Miles Jones, from Edinburgh University Sailing Club. showed promise with no losses, and Ali Morrish (St Mary's Loch SC) was going well. Given the forecast for Sunday, good progress was made into the early evening to sail 24 out of 36 scheduled races, with sailing finishing at 5.30pm. Meanwhile, Aberdeen University Sailing Club had completed all 8 of their races, achieving 5 wins, and were awaiting to see how other results would pan out.

Sunday dawned cloudy with light winds, but a quick glance at the weather forecast showed that the weather system was expected imminently from the West, which quickly materialised. With the windspeeds gusting over 20 knots, Flag Romeo indicated that spinnakers were not to be flown.

The final races 12 races of the round robin were completed by noon. With a clear winner of both the student SSS Match Racing medals and the overall Ceilidh Cup, and with worsening weather conditions, the welcome decision was made to call it a day.

Later, Miles Jones and his crew of James Holmes, Jenny Dinwoodie and Hugh Bruidwod were duly crowned Ceilidh Cup and SSS Match Racing winners 2018. Meanwhile, long-term Ceilidh Cup competitor Ali Morrish got closer to the prize, in 2nd place, ranking James Chapman from Aberdeen University Sailing Club by 1 point.

Miles Jones spoke after the event: "It was great to be sailing up in Scotland, after a summer away, despite the mixed conditions. The team sailed well, despite having some tough matches; we look forward to competing at the grand final in a few weeks. Craig and his race team organised and ran a great weekend, and we look forward to sailing the event again next year".

Overall Results:

1st – Miles Jones (Edinburgh University Sailing Club) – 8 wins
2nd – Ali Morrish (St Marys Loch Sailing Club) – 6 wins
3rd – James Chapman (Aberdeen University Sailing Club) – 5 wins
4th – Hector McKemey (St Andrews University Sailing Club) – 5 wins
5th – Sophie Taylor (Strathclyde University Sailing Club) – 4 wins
6th – Craig Macdonald (Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club) – 4 wins
7th – Andy Mckeown – 3 wins
8th – Joe Penhaul Smith (University of Highlands & Island Wind and Wave Club) 1 win
9th – Anthony Douglas (Glasgow University Sailing Club) 0 wins

With thanks to Craig Macdonald, for his continuing support to the Ceilidh Cup and to student sailing, and to Neill Ross for his photographic records.

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