On the 12th of November EUSC Yachting sent a new team all the way south to Southampton to compete in the SunSail series final which the 2016 BUCS yachting team had won entry for earlier in the year.
After arriving in the land of the ‘down south’ people very early of Saturday morning and had a quick 6 hours sleep they were ready to roll heading down to the boats to get sorted for the days racing. Along with our team of 7 EUSC sailors we were joined by 2 professional sailors to help us learn fast and race well with a new team that had not worked together before. Robbie and Pete were both very useful and taught us lots which helped our boat handling come together very quickly.
We arrived at the race area with a strong 20+ knots of wind blowing from the South East, however even in the time leading up to the 1st race the trend was that the wind was dying very rapidly. In the 1st race the tactician on board may have slightly missread the tide (in one of the most tidal venues in the world) and as a result of this the team crosses the start line about 1 boat length behind the rest of the fleet which immediately put us in a firefighting position looking for quick escapes to tack out and find a clean lane. Following a very shifty beat we managed to gain back several places to 8th. As the race progressed the wind continued to die and by the final beat we had 2 or even 3 people on the leeward rail to try and keep the heal on the boat! Despite the team sailing well we struggled to fight back to a great position due to the dying wind and a lack of boat speed.
Race 2 had a better start and were powering out to the left hand side of the course and most things were looking pretty sweet in a top 5 position then taking the long tack in to the mark we realised we were going really slow compared to other boats which was being made worse by the dying wind and increasing the speed differences between us and other boats. Half way down the 1st run someone chirped up with, I think the water tanks are still full (900kg of water)! So we had to run down and open all of the taps and empty out all of the water.
After the finish of race 2 the wind properly died and racing was abandoned leaving the team feeling a bit disheartened that we had forgotten to check the water tanks.
On the Sunday after a lovely evening in the quaint town of Hamble with everyone in bed nice and early ready for a full day of training on Sunday we headed out with the main focus for the training to be on boat handling. We had a great day in the sun and plenty of breeze working on our crew work and manoeuvres.
Overall we had a great weekend unfortunately not getting the result we came for due to a rookie error and some non-obliging wind but still learned lots and had plenty of fun ready for out next challenge.
We would also like to give a special thanks to Suzy’s mum for providing massive quantities of amazing food for us to enjoy over the weekend.