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Royal Lymington Yacht Club team compete in the BUSA Wessex Winter Warmer

by Nik Froud 28 Jan 17:01 GMT
Royal Lymington Yacht Club team compete in the BUSA Wessex Winter Warmer © BUSA

The weekend of the 25/26 January saw a team representing the Royal Lymington YC travel inshore to spinnaker lake to partake in the Wessex Winter Warmer team racing event, an annual regatta organised by Wessex SC of Southampton university.

Part of the University team racing calendar, the warmer stands out as flap-ship event on the BUSA tour, attracting world class teams such as the Birdham Bandits, Wessex Exempt, Oxford and Cambridge Sailing Society, as well as a host of Yacht club and university teams. The Lymington team consisted of Andrew Wishart, Connie Stock, Remi Pfsiter, Robbie Urwin, Nik Froud and Raffi Gracie, all of whom have represented the Royal at youth and junior Level.

After a challenging event in 2018, the Lymington team embarked upon the weekend with modest expectations - the main goal was to enjoy the sailing and learn as much as possible against the high calibre opposition. After a loss in race 1, the mood in the team became more optimistic after three back-to-back wins, one of which came against Royal Thames Yacht Club, (last years finalists) and the Lymington legends leapfrogged up to joint 2nd in the leader board. Expectations were kept realistic throughout the remainder of Day 1, but the wins steadily kept rolling in against teams such as Southampton University Alumni and Cardiff University.

As the schedule progressed, it became apparent that gold fleet was a realistic possibility. Sadly, a couple of tight losses against Cambridge University and Wessex exempt kept our win ratio at 50% as we finished the day with six wins from twelve narrowly missing Gold fleet but securing us safely within Silver fleet and maintaining a chance of reaching the semi-finals. In comparison to pre event hopes, this was a brilliant return - not only had we won half our races, but every race had been exceptionally close.

Day 2 presented the team with an opportunity to reach the semi-finals as the top team in silver fleet, but two tough losses against eventual 3rd place Exeter university and Royal Thames Team 2 meant we needed to win our next three races to stand any chance - could we replicate our early day 1 form? Strong wins against Sotolent and our second of the weekend against Southampton University Alumni put us back into the fray, and despite the heroic efforts from Robbie Urwin on the final upwind we were narrowly pipped by Southampton Red in the crucial race.

Though we narrowly missed out on the semi-finals by the narrowest of margins, the team was on top of the world come the end of the event. We had been in the picture all weekend, beaten some well-respected teams and had a fantastic time whilst doing so. The race management from Wessex SC was excellent across all of the 17 races the team we sailed across the two days, so too was the standard of equipment provided by the club.

As a team, we would like to thank the Royal Lymington YC in supporting us for this event, particularly John Whyte in his considerable and impressive efforts to reinvigorate youth sailing at the club. Thanks must also go to Vicky Leen and Alan Hill for their indispensable support. It was a privilege to represent RLymYC and we can't wait to do the club proud at more events throughout the sailing season.

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