SSS Yachting Championships

Posted by on 28 Feb 2016 in News

A weekend of light wind racing, sun tanning and banter.

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James and four of his favourite Freshers rocked up at Port Edgar Marina on Saturday morning, excited to race together for the first time and some (Rory) exited to sail a 707 for the first time.  After launching and drifting to the start line with the first race abandoned after 20 minutes because of a complete lack of wind, there was about an hour’s wait before the first race which Edinburgh won quite easily by a leg.  After that the other teams decided to get into gear a bit and Strath, with very risking starting procedures, went on to win the next six races in a row with Edinburgh getting a 2nd, some 3rds and a 4th due to some difficult starts and rusty manoeuvres due to our lack of training. However, a lot had been learnt from the first day and we were feeling quite happy in third place, roughly 4 points behind Aberdeen, with Strath in first place.  Emily went for a chilly dip in the water after sailing, much to everyone’s amusement and Hugh bailed on joining (sensible idea).

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Saturday evening was themed ‘tight and bright’ and James thought his chances were good due to his dashing rainbow coloured face.  We are really grateful to Ed for organising the evening, but also for getting absolutely steaming, not being able to find Hive and spending £50 in Pilgrim.

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Sunday saw lovely sunshine but still minimal wind.  Our main aim was to consistently finish a place or two ahead of Aberdeen in each race and then aim to take as many points from Strath as possible.  Our manoeuvres, spinnaker sailing and banter had all improved massively from Saturday and we were the fastest on the upwind legs of the race course every time.  This saw us get two second places (both ahead of Aberdeen), following up with three bullets in a row, we were looking like we could put a good amount of pressure on Strath but then inevitably the wind dropped to <1mph so the racing was finish for the day and for the weekend.  We finished in second place overall which we were very proud of considering the lack of racing experience with each other beforehand, plus many a vitamin D was absorbed from the lovely weather which we were granted with so who can complain?!

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Nottingham Snakebite

Posted by on 14 Feb 2016 in Event Reports, News

On the weekend of the 13th and 14th February two Edinburgh Sailing teams took on the arduous 7 hour drive to Nottingham to take part in the Nottingham Snakebite open event. Arriving in the small hours of Saturday morning, there was little time to sleep before the dreaded ringing of the alarm sounded far too early as usual.

Conditions on the first day of racing were ideal, with 15kt winds allowing for plenty of exciting and explosive racing. The format of the event was to be a round robin followed by a round of Gold, Silver and Bronze leagues, before ending with two semi-finals, a final and a petit final. The competition from the English universities proved fierce, and very few races were won by simply sailing faster than the opponent. Edinburgh Blue put on a strong showing, winning every race confidently with 1st and 2nd place in each. The Green team struggled at first, however later managed to get onto a winning streak. At the end of the first day Edinburgh blue sat at the top of the table, tied with Cambridge Grey on 100% wins but with lower average points at 6.9 per race. Edinburgh Green placed lower down the table after the slow start, but were confident heading into Sunday’s racing.

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Sunday brought a rarity for sailing events this year: Sailable conditions for a second day in a row. We should definitely consider going to English events more often… With the sun shining and wind slightly stronger than the Saturday it was looking to be a good day. However, due to unfortunate dental emergencies and having to rush off early at the end of sailing on Saturday, we missed the news that enough of the round robin had been completed to move straight into leagues on the Sunday. Without this information, the Blue team thought they had a fairly long amount of time before their first race of the day, whilst the Green team were supposedly on first. The Green team were hurried out of the minibus to get changed, leaving the Blue team some time to bask in the sun. However, due to the change in the race schedule, Edinburgh Blue were in the first race against Cambridge. Unfortunately we found this out a bit too late and didn’t make it into the boats, giving them a comfortable 1, 2, 3 victory. I hear they managed to give themselves spins, which leads me to wonder what would have happened had we raced them instead of napping in the minibus. Despite this initial setback, the Blue team won the rest of their races in Gold league, and Edinburgh Green continued their winning streak from the end of Saturday, not dropping a race on Sunday and placing top of the Bronze league.

With the leagues completed, Edinburgh Blue faced off against NOGS in the semi-final, the first to two wins going through to the final. NOGS took the first race after an impressive first beat, establishing a lead which they held until the end. However, Edinburgh managed to take the second race, bringing finals hopes to the third and final race. With everything to play for, NOGS put on a strong show and managed to take the win, knocking Edinburgh Blue into the Petit final against West Kirby Youth, also decided by the first to two wins. The youth squad sailed incredibly quickly and took the first race, with one Edinburgh boat granted spins on the finish line. The second race came right down to the wire on a photo finish, with a last minute port/starboard ruling in Edinburgh’s favour giving them the win. Once again the final race would decide it all, however this time Edinburgh’s superior team racing came into fruition, netting the Blue team third place overall.

Tacking on a windy day. Check out that beautiful reef

Overall the event was a highly enjoyable success, run efficiently by Nottingham University Sailing Club with the help of Nottingham County Sailing Club, who provided hot food on both days for all participants.


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Scottish Student Sailing – League Weekend 3

Posted by on 7 Feb 2016 in Event Reports, News

Edinburgh piled into the minibus to adjourn to Loch “Awe” for the penultimate SSS weekend of the season. Saturday brought some fantastic sailing conditions with the usual level of ice in the air however….no tide! As it turns out, team racing is a lot easier on a loch where you don’t have to battle against the forces of Mother Nature to simply get around a buoy.

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Edinburgh Blue started the day with a challenging couple of races against both Glasgow and Strath A. With a valiant victory against Strath but a devastating loss to Glasgow, morale was low. However, with an inspirational speech and a tactical Haka we delved into the fray once more to claim victory until our next meeting with the infamous Glasgow. That’s pretty much what happened all day, we came second overall. Edinburgh green had a cracking first round winning every race and making it through to the playoff race against…our very own Edinburgh white! After a tension filled race, worthy of a ballad, the plucky David defeated the mighty Goliath and Edinburgh white retained their position in the prestigious ‘supergold’ avec Edinburgh blue. Edinburgh puce, as an unofficial team with too many substitutions to be legal, were capped at the silver fleet so as not to interfere with the official results. They had many a solid win and even managed to survive a smackdown without causing too much damage, a huge improvement from earlier weekends.

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Edinburgh green’s results fluctuated over the course of the afternoon, resulting in 2 losses and 2 wins including one particularly tension filled extravaganza comprising of black flags, dubious rules around marks and a 1,3,5 being turned into a woeful 1,5,6 before being rescued by the mighty Archibald to secure a win with a 2,3,5!

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We return to gaze upon the majestic views of Loch Ore on Sunday morning having tried to hide any trace of the antics of the night before….apart from Ed. He seemed proud. As did Suzy for that matter. And Emily. Ok, so a couple of people had showered. We may have tried to run from Mother Nature after last weekend, however our efforts were in vain as she had followed us as though we were rats in a maze. The surface of Loch Ore was truly a terrifying embodiment of her rage and showed us the real power of the wind. The day was blown off. We didn’t sail. We got soaked packing up the boats and went home.

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Scottish Student Sailing – League Weekend 2

Posted by on 31 Jan 2016 in Event Reports

One winter evening (driven by Trap)

Edinburgh went to Dundee,

A place North of Edinburgh, on most maps

With howling wind like most events,

The university teams had been sent

To sail races, in absolute torment.

So straightway we uncorked the wine,

And left for Liquid, to wait in line.

Although there was a most brutal fight

The VKs carried us through, until first light.

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It was a Saturday of bluster and breeze,

And all day it felt as if we would freeze.

The night before we’d had a hunch

There’d be no sailing,

So instead, we went out for lunch.

To go to Dundee and not sail!

Oh what a waste!

But here endeth not the tale,

As we went ice skating in much haste

And had a dinner, with a tomato paste base.

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That night’s social was cracking

We moved the Earth like we’d been fracking

We were teams dressed in costumes

That stole the room, but do not assume

We were anything short of gorgeous,

A glorious sight of flawless

Twisters and mouse traps

Oozing in sex appeal and peach schnapps.

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By Sunday, we successfully raced,

On the Tay estuary, and

We must admit, C-team were totally ace,

So we left with fond memories,

And then we ate some celery.

Because it rhymes.

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