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CoastWaterSports 2014

Oxford Top Gun team racing Invitational Trophy 2024

by George Edwards 17 Feb 21:01 GMT 10-11 February 2024

Last weekend the eight best university teams from around the UK and Ireland came to Farmoor Reservoir to battle it out for the annual Top Gun Invitational Trophy. Oxford University Yacht Club ran an incredible event with intense, high quality team racing all weekend, across two flights of Fireflys.

A fresh breeze rolled in for the Saturday morning, the 7-8 knot wind allowing for a prompt 10am start. The initially shifty conditions provided for some tricky racing, but with some incredible course management from George Coop, as well as some help from Chris Atkins' umpire team, there were minimal delays throughout the day, managing to secure a respectable 40 races.

Notable performances come from Exeter, Trinity and UCD, pulling slightly ahead of the pack into Sunday. With the racing on Saturday ended, teams headed to St. Edmund's Hall for the annual black-tie dinner. Food was enjoyed, speeches were given, and after an excellently catered meal, we descended upon Vincent's Club for the evening.

Sunday morning saw a rather more lethargic start to racing, with the wind eventually filling in around 10:30. This gave some of the teams time to recuperate after Saturday's antics, before heading into another full day of racing in 12-15 knot breeze.

Unfortunately Trinity seemed to have a harder time recovering from their night out, slowly losing their hold over the top two teams, UCD and Exeter who would ultimately qualify for the final.

After finishing the round-robin at a total of 80 races, which had allowed for 20 races for each of the 8 teams, we were onto the best of five final. Exeter made an initial 2-0 lead, but reigning champions UCD fought back in the third race to make it 2-1. After an intense set of racing, Exeter snatched the win in the fourth race to take the trophy.

After an incredible event, I cannot give enough thanks to our team of umpires, who not only were fantastic in their adjudication, but also helped massively out on the racecourse, helping adjust the course as the wind shifted.

Special thanks to all the volunteers from OUYC, and Keith at KSail for providing starting hooters and repair boxes as well as the scheduling and results system.

Huge thanks to Oxford Sailing Club, including their amazing catering team, for aiding in the running of the event, and keeping us safe from the goose.

We hope all sailors had a great time, learnt a lot, and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

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