Feb 16

BUSA Qualifiers 14-15 Feb

After a rescheduling of the first event, both York black and York Gold were raring to go for the BUSA Northern Qualifiers. With 15 other teams at the event all hoping to qualify, competition was going to be tough. The weather on the Saturday was cool and crisp with only light winds forecast, unfortunately many of York Gold had bulked up in anticipation of heavy winds so were disappointed when all the calories consumed did not help. This may have lead to a couple of late starts in the first couple of races, but York Gold’s general sailing was on form.

York Black showed quality in many of Saturdays races, incorporating their combined experience and skills together meant that they were a tough team to be reckoned with. This lead to York Black finishing the day with a very comfortable win lose ratio. Although the day started slowly for York Gold, when they saw that they were facing their ‘Roses rivals’, Lancaster 1’s in the next race they got into their stride. York Gold were then able to implement the tactics they had learnt at home forcing Lancaster 1’s across the line early, and causing them to miss some marks. This lead to a great win for York Gold, boding well for Roses later on in the year.

The wind filled in throughout the day on Sunday leading to some exciting racing, York Black again showed finesse against some really tough opponents, making their mark in the tournament tables. York Gold picked up the pace against Lancaster 2 but were unfortunate on the start line which lead to 2 of York’s boats jumping the gun.

Due to York Blacks skill throughout the weekend, they sailed through to playoff’s. Unfortunately York Gold were not as lucky and didn’t manage to qualify. However after their success against Lancaster during the weekend, York Gold can set their sites on ‘Roses’ with some confidence. Busa teams

Oct 26

Halloween Howler 25th-26th Oct

The Halloween Howler is a national Team event run by Leeds sailing club, they invite Uni sailing teams from all over the UK to come compete at West riding sailing club. York arrived on the Friday and was greeted at the reception by an excellent bottle of champs, the best Leeds could offer. Our host for the weekend was the very welcoming Leeds commodore, who kindly lent York/Newcastle his house to stay in during the event.

The Friday started well with York winning their first race against Newcastle Thirds, unfortunately the conditions worsened during the day causing the sails to be changed for storm sails and the racing continued. The new weather problems started to favour some of the heavier teams, despite Tash (York Race captains) encouragements to eat more for lunch, some of the other teams had an advantage. However the day ended well with half of York’s Races won.

Despite being in a very difficult fleet on the Saturday, York were able to qualify into the silver league the following day. Unfortunately the conditions became stronger and the day’s racing had to be shorten, causing York to miss out on a couple of key races. Despite difficulties, York were still able to perform well in many of their races, finishing with a very competitive race against Swansea.

The winners of the weekend were a much deserving Warwick who failed to loose a race the entire weekend.

YUSWC extend their thanks to LUSC for hosting a great event.

Oct 19

Bottled Firefly 18th-19th October

The Bottled firefly event invites teams from the top university sailing clubs to get a weekend of professional coaching and racing. The weekend takes place at West Kirby sailing club,home to generations of legendary sailors.

The first day sailing started well with winds of up to 30 knots leading to exciting fast paced sailing on the water, giving all the teams a chance to practice their boat handling in high winds. As the day progressed the wind strength increased causing the afternoon sailing to a halt as many teams (not York’s) were finding it difficult to keep their boats the correct way up.

Unfortunately the high winds did not cease on the Sunday with gusts up to 40 knots, causing the days sailing to be cancelled. However, every cloud has a silver lining as the teams were lucky enough to receive a theory session from a chief umpire, giving us a further insight into the rules and tactics behind team racing.

The York sailing team are now looking forward to putting their boat handling and tactics to the test at the Halloween howler on the 25/10/14.
west kirby

Sep 03

Welcome Freshers!

Hello and welcome to all Freshers interested in getting involved at YUSWC. We cater for all experience levels of sailing from an absolute beginner to a seasoned racing pro. Throughout the year we will be running recreational sessions, team racing events, socials and much much more. Here are some dates for your diary….


Pre-season team training to be held from the 23rd-26th of September, email sailing@yusu.org to get involved.

We will have a stall at freshers fair on the 4th of October, you can’t miss us we will have a boat. Meet us there to become an official member. Or email sailing@yusu.org if you are suffering sea sickness from the night before.


Other than that Join our Fbook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/sailingandwindsurfing/

and follow us on twitter https://.twitter.com/yuswc

See you on the water, YUSWC commitee

Jun 01

Beaver Bash:13-15 June

Yes that’s right, one of the biggest events in the York sailing calendar. In case you haven’t heard of it before, the sailing club hasn’t committed itself to reducing beaver numbers in the local area, or planning a trip to some dodgy local establishment.

Instead every year the club invites back old boys (old members; sailing lingo I guess) and pits their best teams against our own. During which there will be a barbecue, of which I am assured beaver isn’t going to be on the menu, and a meal afterwards.

The more the merrier, so any interest can be shown by emailing us (sailing@yusu.org), see you on the lake!!

Black & Gold

Apr 04

York finish 9th at BUCS Match Racing Championships

For the first time ever, York entered the BUCS/BUSA Match Racing Championships in 2014, hosted at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on 28-30th April. The event was sailed in the Elliott 6m keelboat, the same class that was used for the Women’s Match Racing event at the London 2012 Olympics. The team representing York was Matt Goacher, Sam Edom and Katie Dewing, finishing 9th and missing out on a quarter final place by less than a few metres.

Matt, Sam and Katie attended the RYA Winter Match Racing Weekend 4 held at WPNSA the weekend before in order to work on their boat handling, crew dynamics and match racing skills. This turned out to be a baptism of fire as conditions were extremely windy, with an average of 27 knots on Sunday. Often getting into promising positions initially, the team struggled with boat handling around the course and this was exposed by the high quality opposition. Despite not winning any races, the team felt that they had learned a huge amount and were quite confident looking ahead.

Being new to the boats, any time spent in the Elliott 6’s was beneficial and this proved to be the case with 2 hours of training time on Thursday before the BUSA Championships started. The conditions ranged from 12-18 knots and this allowed the team to work particularly hard on their spinnaker sailing and generally solving the problems highlighted by the week before. The team registered and weighed in on Thursday night, coming in at 204kg, significantly under the 250kg limit and also collected their bibs. These were London 2012 Olympic medal position bibs with York wearing Ukraine, hopefully not an indication of their ability to defend an attacking move from an opponent.

Friday started overcast and windy as York took to the water to sail in their Group B round robin. The first race against Portsmouth featured an unconventional pre start entry due to timing confusion as Matt still seemed to be half asleep but both boats came off the line with no clear leader. At the end of the 2 lap, Windward/Leeward course, Portsmouth showed better boat speed to take the win. Half way down the last run, the forestay on York’s boat parted company with the bow and meant a return to the dock after the race for repairs, fortunately before the mast fell over. York’s next race was against Southampton, skippered by Annabel Vose who was recently selected to represent GBR at the World University Match Racing Championships. The team made the most of the starboard entry gaining a penalty on the opposition almost immediately. With better speed downwind, York then gained another penalty on Southampton for sailing above their proper course, meaning that a penalty had to be taken immediately. York sailed cleanly for the next lap to take their first win of the competition. The remaining 4 races in the group that continued over into Saturday were mostly very close but at the end of the round robin stage, York still only had one win. This was in a group that was widely regarded as being by far the tougher of the two, containing all 3 skippers going to the Student Worlds in a group of 7.

Having qualified for the 6 team repêchage stage, the team lost a close match against Bristol, skippered by Nick Wilkinson. In the next race against Solent 2, York came from behind to take the win. Separated by very little at the top mark, a good hoist and set allowed the team to take control. Sailing above their proper course but crucially not sailing into a rule breaking overlap, York led into a superb gybe and never looked back. Against Southampton 2, York came away with a slight advantage in the pre-start and protected the right. A classic match racing tacking duel ensued but unfortunately York were too greedy in putting in a leebow tack and were given a penalty, to be taken immediately. Despite this, York remained hot on the heels of Southampton, showing great speed down the final run to bring the boats almost level but a luff from Will Goldsmith ended the York comeback. The next two races against Dundee and Newcastle were similar to each other as York led all the way around the course having comprehensively won the pre-start. Excellent downwind speed came about through fantastic spinnaker work from Sam and Katie, extending the lead the whole time.

Unfortunately only the top 2 from the repêchage progressed through to the quarter finals which meant that York narrowly missed out, placing 3rd. In much lighter winds in the finals, Phillip Bendon from Solent defended his crown from last year, beating Jason Saints from Exeter and Connor Miller from Loughborough who took the bronze.

Matt, Sam and Katie finished the championship in 9th. Being ranked 9th in the country is a fantastic achievement for York Sailing and will hopefully act as a springboard for the club to compete more frequently in match racing in the future. In particular, it was very encouraging to have very close races with and even beating some of those teams selected to represent Great Britain at the FISU Match Racing World Championships later this year. Finishing the event as the top Northern team was also an additional bonus!

Mar 20

2014 Elections and AGM

On Wednesday March the 12th we had our annual general meeting and elections. This has resulted in many changes in positions and new members to committee.

We have also decide on a slight change to the job roles to two of the positions in the committee.

The two First Year Rep. roles have now been changed to specific sections of the club. So now the two roles are Windsurfing First Year Rep. and Sailing First Year Rep.

Due to work circumstances the Windsurfing positions voting has been postponed so their roles will be filled by last year position holders until we can arrange another time to hold elections for those roles.

The positions held are now:

Commodore: George Fuest

Vice Commodore: James Gillie

Treasurer: Will Drysdale

Windsurfing Captain: Dan Pingstone – role be to voted on later

Race Captain: Tasha de la Fuente

Windsurfing Kit: Currently fulfilled by Ordinary member – role to be voted on later

Windsurfing Beginners and Recreational: Dan Ellis – role to be voted on later

Sailing Beginners and Recreational: Harry Gallivan

Bosun: Hannah Whiteside

Web and Communications Officer: Ben Morris

Sponsorship Officer: Ellie Tubman

Alumni Officer: Dan Pingstone – role to be voted on later

Merchandise Officer: Ellie Tubman

Social Secs: Alex Hodges and Rory Pond

Ordinary Member: Rebekka Thomas

Windsurfing First Year Rep.: Kit Lockey

Sailing First Year Rep.:  Hannah Whiteside


Mar 10

Playoff disappointment for York Black

Over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd March, York Black competed in the BUSA Playoffs, hosted in Birmingham at Bartley SC. Due to the recent bad weather, the BUSA Northern Qualifiers were twice cancelled without a single boat taking to the water. This meant that only 1st teams progressed and 3 teams were drawn to attend playoffs while the remaining Northern teams competed in a smaller qualifier in order to have the chance to compete at the BUCS/BUSA Team Racing Finals.

The reservoir offered a picturesque scene on Saturday morning but mirror like conditions meant the racing got off to a slow start. Kicking off the weekend against Swansea Green, York showed good communication in spotting a big right shift on the last beat to begin with a win. After a long delay while the wind went round in circles, the team nailed the start against Nottingham White. Matt and Becky held up the starboard end gaining a penalty on one boat while Sam / Annie and Tash / George come off the heavily biased port end with all important speed and never looked back to take the win. Against Southampton Blue, Sam / Annie and Tash / George once again proved to be speedy securing the winning 1,2 combination. Poor starting versus Exeter Blue and Cambridge Pink cost York their perfect scoreline but the team picked themselves up for a big clash against Northern rivals, Durham Purple. York held a slight advantage all the way around the course until the final stages of the last leg, as Durham got themselves back in the match before a tight umpire call went against York and resulted in a loss. As the wind returned to a mere zephyr, Saturday finished with York Black sitting in 7th place on 50% wins. The leader board certainly did not represent the form book coming into the event.


Sunday morning started with chasing down the blowaway Fosters tent which in true Australian style confirmed that it was “breeze on”. Taking to the water against Bangor Blue with cutdowns on, York got the morning off to a winning start with a simple 1, 2, 4. From that point forward, the team found itself in a losing rut which proved difficult to get out of, especially as the competition neared its end. York Black were often winning these races but a combination of mistakes, penalties, heavily biased beats and extremely close finishes meant that the losses started to stack up. Regardless of this, York Black didn’t let their heads drop and tried to the very end, evidenced by the 1, 2, 3 finish against Edinburgh White in the final race. Everyone in the team enjoyed the planing conditions in the big breeze and were pleased to finish on a high.

At the end of the weekend, York Black finished 10th, narrowly missing the qualification spots by 2 places. While the sailors are currently hurting pretty badly with the result not being what was hoped for, it is worth remembering that it has been a superb season for York Sailing. York Black winning the Sheffield Shuffle showed their calibre while York Gold proved to be a threat to anyone and it is a shame that they did not get their chance to show it at the Northern qualifiers. The race squad is now looking forward to the 50th Roses in May and competing for the first time in BUCS Match Racing later this month.

Mar 06

Windsurfers head to Pondlife

After a fantastic weekend, Dan Pingstone reflects on Nottingham’s Pondlife event.

Day 1: 28/2/14


The team met at the garage to collect supplies for the weekend ahead. Wetsuits, shoes and buoyancy aids in hand, we boarded the party bus and got going around 6pm. We arrived in Nottingham and got registered, put on our wristbands, had a few pre-pre- drinks in the pub, and made our way to the house. We discovered there were over 40 people staying in the same house, so we planned our spooning arrangements. Pre-drinks began and the night got started. There was a karaoke room in Walkabout where we all discovered that no one could sing, and after some limbo and a few more drinks we headed to Rock City and danced the night away.

Day 2: 1/3/14

With our heads banging we scoffed some bacon sandwiches and set off to the lake around 10am. There was very little wind and a lot of sun providing perfect conditions for beginners to get a hold of some basic techniques. The rest of us lay in the sun drinking (free) red bull, playing tug of war, stand-up paddle racing, and doing some slack lining. Lunch was a much-needed sausage bap and fries which everyone demolished. We met people from loads of different universities and made some great new mates. To finish the day there was a display from some pro windsurfers who were pulled behind a boat to get speed up and then did some pretty cool tricks, as well as some pretty impressive falling in. That night was fancy dress night. Each university had chosen a theme from a different period in time, and of course, York were Vikings. The night began with pre-drinks once again, then straight to Forum where we had a VIP area and free vodka. Oh, and Dan threw some really interesting shapes on the dance floor…

Day 3: 2/3/141620466_10200586064013572_1798708653_n

After a few hours of sleep we were awoken again by the smell of bacon, but mainly by Dan knocking really loudly on the door. But beneath the hangovers we were all buzzing for the second day of windsurfing, as there was a lot more wind today. There were racing competitions for all levels, freestyle competitions which were really impressive to watch, as well as free sailing which allowed everyone to go out and do their own thing. Lunch was much appreciated and gave us an opportunity to warm up, along with all the hot drinks we had throughout the day to keep us going. For some, the second part of the day was spent back out on the water, and others stayed in the warm and watched. At the end of the day everyone gathered in the lounge for the results of the day’s various competitions. Having gathered our kit, we made our way back to the minibus and said our goodbyes.

The whole experience has been such a good laugh and there was never a dull moment. We would recommend Pondlife to anyone, beginner or pro – everyone was made so welcome and we had an amazing time!

Dec 17

York Sailors pass National Team Racing Umpire exam

Over the weekend of 7/8th December, Sam, Tash and Matt joined 6 other sailors from Durham, Leeds and Newcastle at a RYA National Team Racing Umpire Seminar. This is the first step to becoming a qualified Team Racing Umpire. Attendance at the weekend meant that students could go forward to become a Regional Umpire while passing the exam at the end of the weekend allowed the progression to the National Umpire qualification.

A number of topics were covered in detail over the weekend which certainly kept everyone’s brains working at maximum near the end of term! These included breaking down and understanding the rules and definitions, umpire positioning and communication, working with competitors and other race officials as well as a specific focus on Rule 42.

umpire 1The practice exam on Saturday morning taught us the age old lesson that it is crucial to read the question! All 9 sailors took the National Team Racing Umpire exam at the end of the weekend, with 4 doing extremely well to pass. It’s extremely pleasing to say that all 3 from York managed to pass the exam. This means that Sam, Tash and Matt need to get 4 events experience and complete the performance assessment for the regional qualification and eventually 4 major events plus performance assessment to qualify as a National Umpire.

Our thanks go to Jon Napier and Alan Baser for running such an interesting, well organised and enjoyable course, to Bex Dawkes for setting the weekend up and to Leeds University for hosting. Thanks also to the BUSA Committee for subsidising the course, making umpiring a lot more accessible for current students wishing to give something back to the sport.

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