Between the 6th-9th of April, Plymouth University sent a team to Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to compete at the annual BUCS national match racing championships, where they would be competing against some of the UK’s best university match racers. Where we had Ted Blowers helming, Ross Mackley in the middle and Nick Williams up the front on the bow. Day one was used for training for the team to find their feet in the Elliot 6M in lovely conditions, which also allowed them to familiarise themselves with the other competitors.
On the 7th of April racing commenced, where 18 universities were split into three groups of 6 to decide the top two boats between each group to gain automatic qualification into the quarter-finals. The weather was light and shifty with Plymouth in the final group of the day to compete against the rest of group C which consisted of Exeter, Cambridge, Cardiff, Birmingham and Strathclyde. The team sailed well and managed to take 4 wins from 5 only losing to Birmingham to top the group, after a nervous match against Exeter in the final to decide who would top the group between the two. Going into day two, the rest of the universities went into a repacharge to decide the remaining two spots in the quarter-final, which gave team Plymouth to have a day off and catch up various dissertation overloads! The final day arrived where Plymouth was set against Loughborough in the quarter-final with a first to 2 wins. Unfortunately, the team were unable to capitalise on the match to lose 2-0 after a couple of easy mistakes in the race. But they were set to fight for the remaining positions for 5th-8th, where the team walked away with a 7th place finish overall to claim a small proportion of BUCS points. Never the less, the team sailed very well with little time in the boat to claim a respectable finish overall against other more experienced teams to bring home 2 BUCS points to add to the total for the university!
By Ted Blowers