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Michaelmas Term 2017

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The Dinghy side has had an exciting term with trials and lots of training and events! We are really excited to see our squad shaping up with three competitive mixed teams and two strong ladies teams looking forward to BUSA and Ladies Nationals respectively!

The Magnum was a great success with our fixtures secretary, Lauren, doing an amazing job making sure everything ran smoothly. We also attended two events, The Welsh Dragon and the Bristol Brew. We really enjoyed hosting Doshisha University as part of the triannual OUYC-DUYC exchange.

All in all it has been a very successful term on the dinghy side and we are excited for the next calendar year.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

Welsh Dragon

The Welsh Dragon saw the first time the Oxford teams ventured beyond our comfort zone of Farmoor to face off against teams from over 20 other universities. It was an especially exciting weekend for the 5 fresher sailors that joined the squad this year. After an early start, we were set for an exciting two days racing!

The first day saw Cardiff bay battered by some very heavy winds, which proved quite tricky for our relatively small and new squad to cope with. Oxford Blue had a mixed bag of results winning 50% of their races. A particular highlight was a successful race against the Southampton Alumni team which saw Oxford turn a losing combination up the beat into a 1,2 into the finish. The newer Oxford White team raced some very competitive races against some of the best teams in the country.

Going in to the second day Oxford had secured itself places in the Silver and Platinum fleet. The second day was unfortunately struck by far lighter conditions. It was only at midday that the wind had picked up enough to get some races going again.  Oxford Blue did well to win its only race of the day. Oxford White put in a strong performance, despite multiple boat breakages, in the trying conditions.

Our thanks go to Cardiff University and all the volunteers for helping to make the event such a success.

Bristol Brew

Much like the Welsh Dragon, the Bristol Brew demanded an early start for our team of 6. The event was the first time that the Oxford Black helms were able to sail together in a competitive environment and if the event is anything to go by, they’re in for a very successful year!

We arrived at Chew valley lake to find a notable absence of any wind. The ensuing wait was well received with our squad taking them time to catch up on some sleep and prime themselves for the afternoon’s races. The afternoon allowed only two races, one of which we won, losing the last to the team that would eventually go on to the final.

After an enjoyable social the night before, Oxford Black hit the water in full force to win 5 of their 6 races. A particular highlight included Leon Lopez Brennan compressing a losing 1,4,6 into the best possible combination of 1,2,3. The expressions of amazement on the faces of the opposing team were very much matched by the members of our own team. Oxford Black finished the day in 3rd according to the number of race wins, but unfortunately didn’t quite clinch it into the semi-finals. We finished 5th overall owing to our points, but very happy with the performance of this newly formed team.

We would like thank Bristol and its volunteers for a well-run event.

The Oxford Magnum 2017

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Once again, Oxford University Yacht Club hosted the Magnum Regatta over the weekend 11th/12th November. The reputation of the event going before it we were oversubscribed with entries with 21 high-quality teams attending. This included our fleet racing friends from Doshisha University Yacht Club who adapted to the new boats and different style of racing remarkably quickly! It was also really nice to see lots of Oxford alumni competing.

The event was won however by a Bough Beech team who proved their dominance convincingly, not losing a single race over the weekend! They were closely followed by a Thames Exiles team and the Oxford and Cambridge Sailing Society in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Cambridge Blue were top university, finishing 4th overall.

 

The wind on saturday was very light which delayed racing at times. However the start boat persevered and we managed to get a reasonable number of races in before the close of play.

As always, the social was great fun, fitting 128 people in one restaurant is a challenge but nothing we couldn’t handle! On Sunday a cold northerly wind led to some exciting racing, with a decision being taken to change to cut downs. The conditions meant we were able to get lots of races in which more than made up for the lighter winds the day before, and spirits were high when racing finished.

 

Light winds on saturday

Congratulations to Bough Beech for their fantastic performance!

We would like to thank Keith and Jo for their exceptional effort, as well as the umpires, Lauren Davis, and all the volunteers who helped run the event so smoothly.

Thoughts are already turning to our next event, the Top Gun!

Racing underway on Sunday and Doshisha University

 

Photo credits: Nigel Vick

The Sheldon Trophy 2017

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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.

Cambridge win battle for Top Gun trophy 2017

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Cambridge University (L-R: George Hopes, Hugo Sloper, Jamie Webb, Tim Gratton, James Pinder, Cat Wallace)

The Top Gun Invitational Trophy 2017 ran over the 4th and 5th of March and saw the top 8 university teams fight for the title and prizes kindly provided by Moet Hennessy.

Saturday produced ultimate team racing conditions with 86 races completed leaving team on 15 or 16 races each by the end of the day. Our thanks to the West Berkshire Brewery for providing an excellent selection of delicious beers which the competitors were able to enjoy at the close of racing.

On Sunday racing started promptly on storm sails in order to make the most of aggressive winds. Unfortunately after little more than an hour the conditions became unsailable and racing was postponed. Conditions refused to improve so the call was made to abandon any further racing and the results were decided from stage 1. The standings were clear with no ties needing to be broken – thanks to Keith Sammons at KSail for his help with the scheduling and scoring.

OUYC would like to thank all the teams for travelling the distance to attend the event, our umpire team for their invaluable service, and our event sponsors Moet Hennessy and West Berkshire Brewery.

 

Ladies Nationals 2017

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For the first time, due to a strong squad of girls, Oxford managed to enter two teams for the Ladies’ RYA BUSA National Team Racing Championships. The event was hosted at Spinnaker Sailing Club with Ed Morris as PRO. The forecast was for strong winds and, combined with the characteristic gusts and shifts of Spinnaker Sailing Club, the conditions were tough all weekend.

Despite this, the OUYC girls held their own with Oxford Blue and White finishing Saturday and Stage 1 of the round robin with a high percentage of race wins. Sunday’s conditions proved even more tough. The day started off with strong gusts but this did not phase the team who finished the round robin in admirable positions: Oxford Blue made it to the Gold League and Oxford White to the Silver. Oxford Blue finished League Stage with 100% race wins, including winning against the very strong Cambridge team, who had narrowly beat Oxford the previous day.

The afternoon saw Oxford Blue competing in the semi-finals. The wind had picked up and although some team-racing could still be seen, the race soon became a game of staying upright around the course – Bristol were defeated 2-0 due to some unfortunate capsizes. Sailing through to the final, Oxford were pitted against an alumni team from Scotland – RNCYC. The first race was admirably won with a 1, 2. A tough start for Oxford saw the second race lost and one boat unable to finish. The third race was won by the opposing team in a 1,2. Despite this defeat, meaning RNCYC were crowned overall, national champions, Oxford could still claim 1st place among the University teams and took home the BUSA trophy. Cambridge took second place, meaning we can anticipate an exciting Varsity match this summer.

Well done to all our girls, thank you to Spinnaker Sailing Club for hosting us, and thank you too all the umpire team. We look forward to attending the event again next year.

Oxford Blue:

Ali Bibby-Meli Besse (Captain)

Jenny Cropley- Anne-Laure Villa

Lucy Mellers- Rowena Conway

Oxford White:

Penny Wieser- Kitty Hatchley

Kathryn Cole- Clare Kendall-Bohoslawec

Gabby Lynch- Lauren Davis

(Dark) Blues at Bough Beech

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On the 19th November, OUYC took two teams to Bough Beach Sailing Club in Kent for an exigent one-day event. Attracting a number of top club- and graduate-level teams, the competition was high, but Oxford 1 and 2 gave it their all and put in some strong performances (with only a smattering of 4,5,6’s).

Conditions were light, with racing having to be postponed at times. But the smooth running of the event meant that a large number of races were fitted in despite this, with teams taking it in turns to umpire and run the start/finish boats.

The event was undoubtedly a great success; there was plenty of textbook team racing from all involved and certainly the odd master class in pushing the boundaries of rule 42.

Our thanks to John Platts-Mills and Phil Derry for organising and to Andy Cornah of Sevenoaks School for hosting the event.

Birdham Bandits cruise to Magnum victory

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Birdham Bandits (c-wise from top left: George Yeoman, Tim Saxton, Sam Littlejohn, Rosie Sibthorp, Sophie Ormsby, Holly Scott)

The Oxford University Yacht Club’s Oxford Magnum 2016 ran over the weekend of 12th-13th November and was once again very oversubscribed with a large number of entries from strong university and club sides. The stage was set for an excellent weekend of top notch team racing across four flights.

Saturday 12th saw racing kick off in light but steady breeze which gradually died to nothing by 13:00. Seamless race management by Jo Lucas alongside a very able team of OUYC volunteers allowed us to get through 44 races of the HLS round in the 3 hours of light breeze that we had producing the following standings at the end of day 1:

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-11-35-51

Day 2 saw the format break straight to round 2 which was gold (1-6), silver (7-14), and bronze (15-20) leagues. Sunday really gave us the best conditions that Farmoor has to offer with cloudless blue sky and a steady 8-10 knots of breeze. Despite a serious collision requiring the use of a reserve boat and also snapping another boat’s rudder stock, racing continued practically unimpeded with the leagues being completed in excellent time.

At the end of the leagues the semi finals were drawn. Royal Thames led the way in the gold league so were matched against Society who hadn’t dropped a race and so came out top in the silver league. Semi final 2 matched 2nd and 3rd from gold who were Wessex Exempt and Birdham Bandits respectively.

Birdham sailed through their best-of-3 semi in relative comfort finishing 2-0 against Wessex and taking the first place in the final. Their eventual rivals Society had a harder time of it, losing their first match against Thames who held a textbook 1,4,5 to the finish. However Society fought back and took the next two races 1,3,5 and 1,2,6.

The final saw some top notch team racing from both sides with some closely contested starts. However, the reigning UKTRA champions proved too strong and sailed to a convincing 3-0 lead.

1st – Birdham Bandits – George Yeoman, Tim Saxton, Sam Littlejohn, Sophie Ormsby, Holly Scott, Rosie Sibthorp

2nd – Society – Pete Gray, John Platts-Mills, Owain Matthews, Lib Manser, Ben Rahemtulla, George Clarke

Overall league results:

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-11-39-44

OUYC’s thanks go out to:

Our umpire team: Greg Eaton (chief), Bruce Hebbert, Chris Lindsay, Nick Rusbridge, Nigel Vick, Steve Watson, Ed Fryer, Paul Robson.

Race management: Jo Lucas, Keith Sammons

Finish boat: Amanda Hebbert

Event sponsors: Moët Hennessy (https://www.lvmh.com/)

Sustainability

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This year OUYC is once again working towards The Green Blue’s ‘University Sailing Sustainability Challenge’ and are hoping to surpass the bronze award we achieved last year.

The Green Blue is an environmental programme developed by the British Marine Foundation and the Royal Yachting association. By working towards an environmentally sustainable boating community they hope to help all those who are regularly out on the water to save money, avoid red tape and safeguard our waterways and habitats for the future. (Have a look at their website http://thegreenblue.org.uk for more information!)

At OUYC we are so excited to be part of this challenge again and are excited to embark on a new year of sailing with the environmental impact of our sport at the forefront of our minds. It’s so important that we look after the waterways that sustain our sport and tsustainabilityhat we remain aware of the damage we could be doing to the environment we rely on. This year we are hoping to combat issues such as pollution, waste and invasive species in order to make our club as sustainable as possible.

 

OUYC at UKTRA last year with our reusable water bottles