On 10/11th February an Edinburgh team made the long trip down to Oxford to compete in the annual Top Gun event. The Top Gun is an invitation only event, consisting of the top 8 university teams. The competition this year was Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, Imperial, Oxford, Southampton and Trinity College Dublin, and we were keen to see how we would match up against them.
Saturday morning dawned bright and breezy, and the Edinburgh team surprised everyone by being first at the sailing club. Wins in their first two races against Imperial and Trinity College Dublin gave Edinburgh confidence and they followed it up with a closely fought win against Exeter, last year’s BUSA champions. Highlights included Miles and Pippa’s impressive compression in a 1,5,6 against Bristol, which allowed Hugh and Rachel to sail from 6th to 1st down the run. Unfortunately some questionable starting techniques led to losses against Southampton, Oxford and Cambridge but by the end of the day they were sitting joint 3rd, with just over 50% wins.
On Saturday evening all the teams were invited to Oxford sailing club’s annual dinner at St Hugh’s College, but mindful of their good results the Edinburgh team decided to call it a night after dinner and didn’t sample the delights of Fever. They were ready and raring to go the next morning, only to find that the start boat had sunk overnight so there was a postponement whilst it was frantically bailed out. The breeze built during the day and by lunchtime it was gusting 30 knots. However, the Edinburgh team sailed well in the heavy weather and continued to win about half their races. Unfortunately a front came through bringing wind and hail and the organisers decided to bring the boats ashore and abandon the final round robin. Edinburgh weren’t able to sail their final two races which left them in 4th overall. They stayed to watch a great final between Cambridge and Southampton, which was won by Cambridge and then set off for the long drive back.
It was a great weekend and the team were pleased with their improvement. As always the event organisation by Oxford sailing club was brilliant. Next stop is the Imperial Icicle next weekend!