The BUCS Sailing Fleet championship is a bit different to the usual team racing CUCrC is involved with – outright speed is all that matters. Gone were thoughts of gybe-backs, “Play 1” calls and Gordon’s intense backing; now tactical awareness and boat speed were my only priorities.
A blustery Draycote Water SC was the racetrack for this year’s fleet championship, with the racing organised by Warwick University. I was among 6 RS Aeros racing in the single-handed handicap class, racing with the lasers fleet (although later split in the results). Luckily, the average windspeed of about 15 knots over both days gave me ample opportunity to stretch the legs of my RS Aero 7, leading around almost all the windward marks on the water.
I had a very successful weekend, winning the 2022 BUCS single-handicap fleet with my worst result being a single 2nd place in the last race to Southampton’s Ben Hutton-Penman. A particular highlight was winning a race on handicap from the current ILCA 6 British Sailing team member Matilda Nicholls, even after miscounting the number of laps and hurriedly turning around to hook the line. Luckily, this was the last race of the day so put me in a perfect spot to win the most important race of the day – the race to the hot showers!
A huge thanks to Draycote Water Sailing Club for facilitating such a successful weekend. It was very different to watch the 40+ Fireflies come off the line after only racing in fleets of 6 for the last 2 terms and next year I will be back to have a go in the competitive Firefly fleet. Here’s to more success in Cambridge sailing!