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!

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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!

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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!).

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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!

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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).