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Honours Shared in Oxford-Cambridge Team Racing

by Anthony Butler 21 Sep 06:38 BST 19 September 2020

Cambridge won the Open Event 8-3 and Oxford the Women's Event 4-1 at the 2020 Varsity Match held at Oxford SC, Farmoor on Saturday 19 September 2020 in Fireflys. Conditions were excellent, with sunshine and a brisk breeze that delivered hard-to-handle gusts and challenging changes of direction.

PRO Laurie Manners ran both events flawlessly, with Bruce Hebbert and Richard Thompson acting as Umpires. The open event involved two teams of three pairs, with their results being aggregated to give the final outcome (first to win 8 races). This reflected the normal 'keel boat' arrangement that there are two helms in a boat. A sprinkling of alumni turned up to support both sides and were repaid with some excellent and exciting team racing.

The morning started with 7 races being sailed in the open event, resulting in Cambridge being just one race ahead at 4-3. Then the women's event took place (first to win 4 races) and Oxford went 3 up. In the 4th race, Oxford lost ground through mishandling a gust and Cambridge took advantage of this gift to strike back. Oxford kept their cool, however, and went on to win the 5th race and so run out worthy winners 4-1.

With the women's event decided, the open event resumed. Cambridge were determined to avoid a double Oxford victory and stamped their authority on the next four races to win 8-3 overall.

A big thank-you to Oxford SC for allowing the event to run in parallel with their junior championships, to all officials, and to Tiarnan Finney and his Oxford helpers for staging such a successful day after the cancellation of the scheduled coastal keel boat event at Island SC, Cowes.

Team details and photographs are available on the O&CSS website.

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