Over the recent summer, Cambridge sailors travelled to the American Great Lakes to compete in two 2019 USA match racing events. Students Jamie Webb and Alex Smallwood, with recent alumni James Pinder and George Hopes, sailed in the Chicago Grade 2 event and the Detroit Cup. Alex and Jamie report:
Three Cambridge boats took part in the RS200 inlands, which conveniently took place on 6-7 October 2019 at Grafham Water SC. The fleet competed 5 races over the two days because of weather. At lunchtime on Sunday the arrival of Hurricane Lorenzo led to gusts of 29 knots and the cancellation of the 6th race.
Cambridge sailors achieved considerable success on the 2019 match racing circuit, which has become a major add-on to the CUCrC sailing calendar. In the summer sailors travelled far and wide to compete. In addition, match racing has been re-established at the annual Varsity Match. As well as a complete success at the Varsity Match, some 15 current Cambridge sailors and recent graduates went to 5 events over the summer, collecting a bunch of podiums along the way.
A Cambridge University team of 10 sailors competed in the West Lancs 24 hour race at West Lancashire YC, Southport on 14-15 September 2019. They improved on their 2018 result by finishing 21st overall and 2nd Firefly. They also picked up the trophy for Top University (out of 9 universities entered), finishing 2 minutes ahead of Bangor University. The team suffered 3 capsizes overnight and a 5-minute penalty taken by mistake, allowing Bangor to be much closer than would have otherwise been the case.
An all-Cambridge team competed at the Darwin Escapes 2019 J70 Worlds held in September on the waters of Torbay in Devon. Skipper Fiona Hampshire reports:
Cambridge narrowly lost to rivals Oxford to come 2nd in the 2019 Ladies Team Racing Nationals, held at Spinnaker SC on 23-24 March 2019.
Cambridge Blue were victorious in the Cam Cup 2019 team racing held at Grafham on 23/24 February 2019. So a Cambridge student team appears again on the winners list after an interval of 20 years. A Cambridge student team won the first event in 1999.
Cambridge Blue retained their title for the 4th successive year at the Top Gun 2019 event held at Farmoor 9/10 February 2019, defeating Exeter 2-1 in the final. Strong winds prevented sailing on the Saturday, but tight and effective Oxford organisation enabled every one of the eight teams entered to sail 14 races in the often very brisk conditions on Sunday.
Cambridge Blue and Black were successful at the BUSA Qualifiers 2019, held at Grafham Water 2/3 February 2019. They go through to the BUSA Finals 2019, to be held on 9-11 April at Spinnaker SC. Cambridge Purple get a second chance to qualify in the Playoffs at Derwent Reservoir on 2-3 March.
Cambridge was represented by a team of four at the recent SWA event Up The Brum organised by Birmingham at Chasewater 26/27 January 2019. No medals were run, but the team had a great weekend. A full report of the event is on the SWA website.