OUYC’s team racing squad travelled to Cowes over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of September for their annual J70 team racing match against the Royal Yacht Squadron. For the first time Cambridge were also invited to the match making the levels of competition higher than ever.
Light winds on Saturday morning made for a very pleasant ride to Cowes on the Squadron launch but didn’t serve us well once we sailed to the race area with racing postponed until well into the afternoon. A windless race saw Cambridge clinch an early victory against Oxford in their first match after over half an hour of drifting which made tactics all but impossible, let alone sailing! It was a similar story for our first match against the Squadron team.
The wind filled in late in the afternoon which allowed for some proper racing to get underway. Oxford sailed one more race before racing finished for the day, again against Cambridge. A close fought prestart saw Oxford occupy two Cambridge boats at the pin end of the line which allowed the remaining Oxford boats a fast start next to the committee boat. Places continued to shuffle all the way around the racecourse with Oxford rounding mark 4 just behind in a 2,3,6. However, some impressive boat handling from the Oxford crew saw the 6th place boat sneak to windward of the 5th place Cambridge boat and proceed to tack through them up the final beat allowing Oxford to snatch back a victory.
Saturday evening saw the Squadron host us for dinner and drinks on The Platform with incredible panoramic views out over the Solent. We would again like to reiterate our thanks to the Squadron for the invitation, to the individuals who organised the dinner, and to the Squadron staff for the excellent hospitality they provided.
Sunday saw stronger winds and constant drizzle which allowed the heavier Cambridge crew to capitalise and secure the match trophy. Oxford raced well though and took races off the Squadron team demonstrating a very promising improvement on last year’s performance. With Oxford putting the experienced Cambridge team under pressure in every race, we have clearly made great advances in our squad’s strength over the summer and look forward to returning to training in October.