Apr 09

Race Captain’s Debrief 2015/2016

Term One

This year was off to a great start as we managed to get 16 sailors joining us for pre-season training and a record-breaking 31 race-team hopefuls attending our rules talk, kindly led for us by Carol and John Haines. With so many new faces interested in team racing, we were proud to establish a third race team and select our biggest ever race squad of 22 members!

Freshers fair 15

Our freshers fair set-up

We started our race season by sending our first ever all female race team to the Leeds Halloween Howler! Strong winds on the first day left us struggling to compete against the heavier teams, however this didn’t put a dampener on our plans for the evening, and after joining up with the Loughborough boys and the Warwick teams, the York girls took solace in the fact that at least they were winning the social. Sunday brought lighter winds and saw us sail our way into an impressive third place in our flight, proving that even in such a male-dominated sport, #thisgirlcan!

  • http://wowslider.com/
  • girls team
york black 15-161 girls team2
http://wowslider.com/ by WOWSlider.com v8.7

Our next event was the Angel of the North, to which we sent two teams. For much of York Gold’s team, this was to be their first event and while gusts of 80mph put a halt to the racing, a Game of Thrones themed social helped to introduce our newbies to the other (best) part of university sailing. We may have only managed to get two races in each this weekend, but all was not lost as we were privileged to spend two nights hosted by James Cunnision (Durham Commodore and YUSWC Bae) and grace the halls of the infamous Klute.

The first term was over before we knew it and after being reunited with our Alumni at the annual Christmas meal, it was time to get our heads in the game ready for next term!

Term Two:

Term two brought with it BUSA Qualifiers and preparations began as soon as exams were over. We doubled up on our training sessions and ran theory and rules sessions to make sure we were on top of our game. The race squad also enjoyed being wined and dined by their captain as they met up for a home-cooked meal for some pre-BUSA team bonding. Qualifiers, which were held at Derwent Sailing Club, brought more windy weather, and with only 6 races sailed and racing abandoned on the second day, unfortunately we weren’t able to show off everything we’d learned during the year. However, the team were reminded that regardless of what happens on the water, the #bestshipsarefriendships.

Next up was the Sheffield Shuffle, where we saw total York domination with three York teams, one York Alumni team + social sailors all attending! After disappointment at qualifiers the week before, York were back on form and York Black managed to make it to semi-finals, York Alumni placed 2nd, and York Gold won the social prize. We were also pleased to have some of our sportivate sailors racing with us this weekend, proving that you don’t have to have raced before university to get involved! Impressive fancy dress, coupled with competitive sailing left York feeling confident about their upcoming Roses battle with Lancaster, and saw LUSC’s twitter account fall silent (for once!).

  • Ellie Hike
  • img
  • cssslider
  • team
Ellie Hike1 img2 puds vs black3 team4
http://wowslider.com/ by WOWSlider.com v8.7

After our successes at Sheffield we were so excited to send our first ever girls team to the BUSA Ladies’ championships in Oxford the next weekend, however much to our disappointment (and a bit of a running theme this year!), strong winds meant that the event was cancelled. However, this wasn’t the end of our term, as we attended the York Sport Union Colours Ball, where we were proud to have been nominated for the Most Improved Club award!

sports ball a

A rare sight: all of us out of our wetsuits and into our ball attire

Finally, we ended the term on a huge high, as the hard work of our Sustainability Officers, Katie and Blair, paid off and we were crowned the most sustainable university sailing club in the country, achieving the Gold Award in the Green Blue Sustainability Challenge. We headed down the Grafham Water to collect our award at the BUSA Team Racing Championships prize-giving and enjoyed a night of celebration at the BUSA Ball. Our home club, Beaver Sailing Club helped us immensely towards achieving this award, and we certainly would not have been able to implement so many changes without their support.

Sustainability winners 2015-16

Collecting our prize at Grafham

We were also pleased to put on a charity bake sale, raising money towards RYA Sailability and towards the fixing of our boats. Not only did we raise an impressive amount of money for charity, but we also discovered hidden baking talents within our team that we never knew existed!

Bake sail 2016

Selling cakes for charity on campus

It has been a great year for YUSWC’s race squad, and with only one term left, we hope to continue expanding and improving the racing aspect of the club. With Roses and our annual alumni event, the Beaver Bash, fast approaching, we look forward to continuing our successes under the race squad’s new captain, Alice Golton! To keep up with all everything that’s going on in the club as it happens, don’t forget to follow our twitter account (@YUSWC), and join our facebook group (search: York University Sailing and Windsurfing Club).

Feb 27

York goes to the Sheffield Re-Shuffle!


Once again, YUSWC descended on Sheffield for the annual Sheffield Shuffle held by SUSWC on the 12-14th Feb (Re-shuffled date as not to clash with fleet nationals). We attended in force, bringing three student teams (Black, Gold and White) and one Alumni team, the York Puds, who as we discovered have lost none of their talent despite their old age!

SheffShuff sleep

The worst kind of person

We set out from York on a mild Friday evening, the cars loaded with sailors and plenty of punch to keep them entertained on the journey there (thanks Becky!). We arrived with much the same punctuality as York White arrives with at the start line and settled into our halls. We then headed straight back out for an entertaining valentine’s night out at the Leadmill. Roses were in abundance, but love was not as two unscrupulous members of White locked their remaining teammates out of their accommodation (sorry guys!). Otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable night!

Four hours later we were being dragged out the door by our team captains to make our way to the Pennine sailing club. The winding journey there was anything but pleasant for our still-unsettled stomachs from the night before. This was soon resolved by a fantastic breakfast from the club caterers, which can also be said for every meal thereafter. Thanks guys!

Let the games begin!

SheffShuff Snow

Winter is coming

The York teams faced a full on day of racing. Black and Puds performed admirably, with Puds winning defeating all challengers bar one (Sheffield Spoons, another Alumni team) easily securing themselves a place in the Gold flight on Sunday. Black took a healthy number of wins and some good experience that they would make use of the next day. Gold and White struggled, with the highlight of White’s day being out on the water for an hour, waiting for an opposition boat to be replaced. At least they got to see in their first snow of the year!

If White and Gold did not have their minds on their race plan, they certainly had got their game plan together for the evening. The setting was Poptarts at the student union, which provided us with classic bangers – there ain’t no party like a S(ailing)-Club party! Our Disney dress-up was on point, as you can tell from the images below.

Another four hours of sleep and it was back to Pennine sailing club for the flight competitions. This saw York Black come top of its flight winning all their races. York Puds also did the same in the Gold flight, so both teams went through to the semi-final. Unfortunately they were pitted against one another, else we may have seen both teams make it to the finals! Puds took the race and found themselves up against Liverpool Blue. After two tight races Blue came out on top, winning 7-14 and 8-13. Well done to them, and well done to Puds and Black for getting into the top four! A fantastic result despite the horrendous conditions!

We’d like to extend our thanks to SUSWC for putting on such a well organised and enjoyable event, and we look forward to returning in November!

  • 12715716_10207707435658198_1271094103832949338_n
  • 12742107_10207707441298339_1341111147954955259_n
  • 12742270_10207707431218087_1731155074021132516_n
  • wow slider
  • 12419308_10153267943651372_7119934099947809379_o
12715716_10207707435658198_1271094103832949338_n1 12742107_10207707441298339_1341111147954955259_n2 12742270_10207707431218087_1731155074021132516_n3 12742388_10207707437978256_8383629936382419721_n4 12419308_10153267943651372_7119934099947809379_o5
bootstrap slider by WOWSlider.com v8.7

More photos of the event (including actual sailing!) can be found on the SUSWC Facebook Page

Feb 22

Waves. Party. Repeat.

On the back of Storm Henry and the start of Storm Imogen, a cohort of student windsurfers from across the country headed to Rhosneigr, Anglesey for the second round of the Student Windsurfing Associations wave series. Although I have a deep respect for nature, the forecast for the weekend was off-the-chain, with logo high waves and 40-50 mph winds, and couldn’t be missed. I was buzzing on the drive over. I decided to hit the beach on the Friday to check out the conditions, which did not disappoint. I had the perfect chance to test my new 3.7 Severne Blade sail, which gave me huge confidence to go big in the waves out the back and get some awesome hang time… followed by a decent swim back to the beach after my gear.

After some wrestling with kit to de-rig in the wind I got on the way to Bangor to meet the hosts of the event. A much needed beer was had (out of the pouring rain thankfully) and slowly more people arrived. The Bangor lot did a fantastic job hosting us and the socials were great, next time I won’t windsurf so hard so I can party a bit harder. Friday night we hit the Greek for some chilled out drinks. Not too early a night was had and before I knew it we were up, bacon sarnies in hand and out the door to the beach.

FullSizeRender-3The wind wasn’t great Saturday morning. Whispers on the beach of people out on 5.7/5.3 sails but I rigged up my 5.0 with some hesitation about whether or not it would be enough to get going on. But more fool them, it was spot on. The wind was building and I had some great jumps and caught some nice waves throughout the morning. Puravida arrived at 11, along with some more wind that saw most of the group change down to 4.7/4.2 sails. I Jumped on my 4.2 for the first heat. Despite my confident sailing in the morning I was really nervous for the heat. I had my watch running the countdown and my heart was racing. Just carrying my kit to the beach made my arms pump up and the sail out wasn’t smooth. I fought hard on the way out, aiming not to spend the 10 minute heat just swimming. Sailing around I could only see 2 out of 3 of my competitors around so I put out a scoring wave and jump, hoping it was enough to get through the first heat of the single elimination. It wasn’t. The standard was high, which saw me out in the first round. I was gutted. The cross-onshore conditions at Rhosneigr were not my cup of tea. We’re spoilt on the Yorkshire coast with the good cross-offshore days (although rare) and so a few of us struggled on the top turn and were stacked on the bottom turn. Cue the excuses…

Watching the other guys sail soon picked me up though. Forward loops and back loops; people were pulling out all the stops. I know what I need to work towards and the judges were dishing out great advice. Everyone was learning all the time. That’s the great thing about windsurfing: you can always improve, its great personal development.12698235_10154055825102518_7212746014310816557_o-680x455

Next up was the double elimination. The format is a little more complicated but again, I didn’t get past the simple parts. This time I was up against stiff competition with just 3 of us in the heat, only one person goes through. I had some nice jumps but very poor wave rides. Not an improvement on the first heat. Still, I managed to score a wave and a jump, but I should have been on a 3.7, not a 4.2. I was too overpowered to open up on the wave and bear away for the jumps. Again, I was out. I grabbed some much needed grub and watched the others battle it out, even more angry than after the previous heat. My body was done though. I was tired. I derigged, got changed and warmed up the car. We headed for Bangor and got the drinking underway. Saturday night was great. We watched the rugby, started drinking, ate some great food and had a nice house party / quiet night in. It wasn’t long before I needed more sleep though.

After a biblical level of snoring from one of the Bangor alumni, I was up early and hungover. I slogged it to the beach at 9 am to check out the conditions and napped on the beach. It wasn’t long before I was too excited to sleep and got rigged up. 3.7 weather cross-onshore. I rigged up as the others arrived and went out for a sail. It was fun while it lasted and I even attempted a forward loop. The wind was swinging round onshore though and we lined up for the expression session. This is where the king or queen are crowned for the best wave ride and the best jump. I battled it out in the tough conditions with a few jumps and a wave or two but I crashed more than I sailed. I was a lot more relaxed for this. Somehow embracing the fact that I wasn’t going to be the best in the conditions calmed me down and made me focus on my own sailing and worry less about being on a timer. After a couple of forward loop attempts and some wobbly wave rides I ended the session absolutely shattered, but being dialled in amongst all the spray and breaking waves puts a massive grin on my face, even if it does beat me up a bit. At that point it was time to call it a day and pack up.

Congratulations to the top sailors that battled through the heats last weekend, it was awesome to see the talent that is coming through the SWA and other universities and I look forward to the series next year, my final year, and I’m gutted that I can’t make it to Cardiff. In the meantime, back to the Yorkshire coast for me, once another storm comes through.FullSizeRender-6

Photo credit: Jim @ Puravida Boardriders, Tom Pidden (Nottingham), Ben Page (SWA)

Jan 09

Autumn Update!

As we move into the new year, it’s time to take a look back at the many things that have been going on at the club over the Autumn term.

We began the term by picking up some snazzy new kit for our members to replace some rather well used kit that had seen too many winters. We also said goodbye to two old boys of the club – an Enterprise and a Laser Two . They have now moved to pastures new where they will receive some much needed TLC from their new owners. Enough about inanimate objects though! We humans have also been rather busy…

Halloween Howler

Halloween Howler

Team Racing!
This term has seen our teams participate in two events. The first of these was the Halloween Howler hosted by Leeds Uni sailing club. We dispatched our all-girls first team to conquer all, and while several of the later races were very close others were tougher. Nonetheless they performed admirably finishing 3rd in their flight (silver). And first in the drinking, naturally.

The second event was the Angel of the North up at Durham University. Two teams took part, but unfortunately the wind was not kind to the participants with most of the races being called off . Nonetheless, I’m told the party was hearty and the weekend was enjoyed by all.

Beaver Bash BBQ

Beaver Bash BBQ

Over the course of the term we ran a series of sportivate sessions, introducing the joy of sailing and windsurfing to those who had yet to experience it. For a small fee (a whole £1.50 / day) they learnt how to windsurf, yacht and dinghy sail over the course of seven weekends, as well as being treated to a trip to Scarborough. Although the weather may have been a tad rough at Scarborough (4.5m swell!) spirits remained high, and many of the participants are now members of the club. We look forward to seeing more of them next year!

Beaver Kiss
We had our inaugural windsurfing event at beaver this term. After a very breezy start to the day, great for some, the wind eased off and the sun joined us for a great day on the water. Off the water we enjoyed bbqs and in the evening were treated to joining in a firework display courtesy of Beaver Sailing Club. The event was a great success and will be followed by an event in Spring term, promising to be even bigger and better!

Christmas Dinner
Our annual christmas dinner was hosted at Lendal Cellars where faces were stuffed and lips were licked with good food and wine. We were joined by a large number of members and alumni alike. Hilarity ensued during the dessert course, as true to form we abandoned cutlery and some beautiful photos demonstrate the enjoyment of the puddings! After dinner we had some legendary speeches and games, finally carrying off the party to Kuda to dance the night away! Huge congratulations to Alex and Harriet for organising such an amazing event!

Suited and Booted

Christmas Dinner

Sep 07

YUSWC Trip to Greece 2015

For those of you who might be thinking about joining us this coming year, here is a taster of what we got up to on our trip to Greece this summer. A trip that will be repeated (although to another equally as awesome location) in the summer of 2016! Join up to the club as a member to be a part of it!


Aug 13

Welcome Back!

Welcome to YUSWC! Congratulations to all those who are going to be joining us at the University of York in October and who might be interested in joining us sailing and windsurfing! We run beginner and recreational sessions throughout the year as well as training for our team racing squads.

If you have prior sailing experience and think that you would like to be a part of one our team racing teams then we will be running pre-season training before term begins which we would love incoming freshers to attend – just email sailing@yusu.org if you’re interested!

If racing isn’t your thing then please feel free to email us at sailing@yusu.org or windsurfing@yusu.org and we will be happy to sign you up to our mailing list and send you a bit of info about what the beginners and recreational side of the club get up to. We offer all kit, so all you need is yourself and enthusiasm for something we hope you end up enjoying as much as we do!

YUSWC is a great club to be a part of open to everyone of all abilities, from those who wish to take part in dinghy sailing, yachting or windsurfing- we have lots to offer! Additionally we run fun socials weekly where we have the chance to spend time with each other out of our attractive looking wetsuits!! There are also events (competitive and non-competitive) throughout the year, and trips abroad!

We look forward to meeting you all! X

Jun 22

Beaver Bash 2015

Beaver Bash 2015 came off as a resounding success. The first day unfortunately provided very little wind, but our social secs came fully prepared with a day of interesting tasks for us to perform to decide who wins the coveted ‘Fresher of the year’ trophy.
Beaver Bash day 1 collection

That evening we had a pleasant meal together at La Piazza, where our pudding traditions were upheld, see proof here . Thankfully the next day provided plenty of wind for team racing and we were able to run a complete set of races. Competition was tight but an eventual win came from the Yorkshire Puds. Unfortunately the weekend had to be ended with some sad goodbyes but spirits were high as people look forward to next years Beaver Bash.
Beaver bash 2015 group collection

Apr 27

Roses 2015

Congrats to both the teams who competed in Roses 2015 this weekend! York Blacks achieved a convincing win over Lancaster firsts, and while York Gold were defeated by Lancaster seconds, all the races were close and down to the line. Next big event for the racing team will be the Beaver Bash after exams!

  • Roses 2015
  • bootstrap carousel
  • Whole gang
Roses 20151 Roses 20152 Whole gang3
slider bootstrap by WOWSlider.com v7.9

Mar 15

The Big Lash, 14th-15th March

Both York black and York Gold made their way down to West Kirby on the 14th-15th March 2015 for the biggest sailing event with the word big in it, ‘The Big Lash’. The event was a joint venture by both Manchester and Liverpool university sailing club. Manchester organised the racing at the famous team racing club, West Kirby, while Liverpool focussed on the equally important social aspect of the visit.
More than twenty other teams from universities, sailing clubs and sailing schools competed over the two day tournament. The winds on the Saturday were unfortunately light but the organisational skills of West Kirby meant that all the planned races went ahead, finishing just in time for the rugby.
York black sailed well during the Saturday, making it into the bronze fleet for the next day. York Gold put up a good fight throughout the day, incorporating the tactics learnt in training into good use against Sheffield Hallam, getting them a win and allowing them entry into the blue fleet the next day.
The wind on Sunday picked up, meaning fast paced races throughout the day. This suited York blacks sailing style whom impressively won every single race in their entire fleet, therefore finishing first in the bronze fleet. York Gold also picked up the pace improving on both their starts and their tactics. This lead to a deserved win against Bangor University to finish the day on a high.
The York sailing teams would like to thank both Manchester and Liverpool University sailing club for organising a great event and all the West Kirby staff and officials who helped keep the weekend running smoothly.

Feb 19

Beaver Training session

Follow the link below to a video of one of our training session.

Older posts «