On Saturday, York’s sailing teams once again went into battle against Lancaster in a best-of-5 race series. As reigning champions after a tense match in 2012, York were keen to finish one of their best season’s ever with another Roses victory. Representing the White Rose was Matt Goacher, Jo Bradley, Sam Edom, Annie Brough, Natasha De La Fuente and George Fuest. What ensued was a thrilling contest in changing conditions and resulted in York claiming the Deramore Arms Regatta Trophy once again.
In the first race of the day, Lancaster came off the start line well and made the most of their advantage up the first leg of the course. At the first mark, Lancaster had a strong 1, 3, 6 combination which they held all the way to the finish. In the second race, York produced the perfect response by controlling the pre-start battle. A tactical call to sail more aggressively in the pre-start period by winning the pairs paid off and became a feature in the following races, a source of increased frustration for Lancaster. In this race, a Lancaster boat crossed the start line early and had to return to start correctly. This gave York a classic 2, 3, 4 winning combination which they worked hard to keep until the finish as Matt and Jo forced the Lancaster captain to finish 1st and therefore unable to bring his team back into the race.
It was clear at this stage that the teams were evenly matched with the score poised at 1-1. In the 3rd race, Lancaster struck back to take the win as once again starting proved to be crucial. With the breeze up and down, the short course close to the water’s edge proved to be popular with the spectators but meant that every conversion opportunity needed to be taken in order to come from behind. Lancaster needed just won more win to take the trophy back across the Pennines but York were more determined than ever and dug deep to throw everything at the final races. Sam and Annie combined perfectly with Matt and Jo to lay a mark trap at the top mark of race 4 to convert to 1st and 2nd. From here, they sailed away from the opposition to take the race and force a decider. During the boat changeover, the breeze filled in big time, to York’s delight. Having competed in extraordinarily windy national finals just a few weeks earlier, the York team had supreme confidence in the conditions. After a close start, the drama unfolded down the run. A Lancaster boat was flanked by Sam and Annie on one side and Matt and Jo on the other and lost control in a gust. However, Lancaster were still winning, after an awesome save in a near capsize from Sam and Annie due to taking avoiding action left them down the pack. On the final leg of the course, Matt and Jo tacked to lock a cover on Lancaster’s captain and in the process sailed into the lead, controlling 2 of the red rose sailors. Excellent decision making and fantastic boat speed from Tash and George saw them sail to the favoured side of the course to take the crucial 3rd place and secure a memorable 3-2 Roses win for the first team.
The drama was not over as after a BBQ lunch, the second teams took to the water. Sailing for York was Charlie Williams, Harry Gallivan, Georgie McCreadie, Becki Curtis, Will Drysdale and Will Edwards. In the first race, the team had great speed around the course but couldn’t quite finish it off as Lancaster grabbed the win on the finish line. In the second race, York’s speed this time saw them through to the finish, securing an important win to level the match. Just moments before the third race start, the breeze built sharply once more causing havoc in the whole race! In the early stages, 2 Lancaster boats as well as Charlie and Harry capsized but the two Wills performed an almost carbon copy of Georgie and Becki’s capsize just moments before at mark 3. This left a sole Lancaster boat still standing to take the win and a big step towards overall victory. In race 4, a Lancaster capsize in the pre-start took them out of the race but it mattered little as York sailed well to finish in a commanding 1, 2 combination. Almost as if someone had scripted it, the second team competition joined the first team in going to a decider for the 2 year running. In this race, York showed all of their experience from sailing on the university circuit this year. Intelligent team racing moves on legs two and three from Charlie and Harry meant that York took the lead. Will and Will once again looked at home in the lead of the race, just ahead of Charlie and Harry, while Georgie and Becki ensured that Lancaster stayed in 5th and 6th. Another intense final race and another 3-2 comeback victory for York!
An incredible day on the water capped an unbelievable season for the York Sailing Team. With the majority of sailors still at uni next year, the squad is always looking onwards and upwards, setting sights on even bigger aims. The 4 points from sailing was part of a massive win for York at Roses 2013 in the University’s 50th anniversary and the nature of the sailing competition was fitting for such an occasion. Well done to Lancaster for sailing well and fighting hard, undoubtedly next year will see a similarly close competition. Our thanks go to Castleford Sea Cadets for the use of their boat, without which the event would not have been so successful. The squad are now look forward to taking on the old boys in a couple of weeks!