Royal Southern Academy hosts University Taster Weekend & witnesses some impressive sailing & on-water competition

Royal Southern Academy hosts University Taster Weekend & witnesses some impressive sailing & on-water competition

Monday October 31 2011 Author: PRPETA Location: United Kingdom
The Royal Southern Academy, Southampton University and Solent University Sailing Clubs teamed up for an intensive ‘Taster Weekend’ of keelboat racing on 29th-30th October, using a fleet of Laser SB3s. Twelve crews raced continuous short windward/leeward courses on Saturday. The standard of sailing was impressive with boats coming to the start line on the button, in line abreast at every start with just an occasional individual recall and not a general recall all day! This was the first time that most of the University freshers had sailed together, and the teams gelled well and the competition on the water quickly built up some rivalry between the different University crews. Once ashore at the end of day one, Guy Jackson, himself a former Solent University student and last year’s World Student Yachting Champion, conducted the debrief which also provided some useful tips for making the SB3s go faster. This advice helped prepare the teams for the following day’s match racing element of the Taster session; a totally new experience for many of the competitors. There was much fun to be had at Saturday night’s Halloween fancy dress social. ‘Guest’ appearances were made by Academy members Sam Pearson and crew, fresh from qualifying for the RYA National Match Racing Final, and the Academy Captain, Ed Dyer, just off the ferry from France where both Solent (2nd) and Southampton (4th) had been competing in this year’s World Student Championship at La Trinité (winners – France!). Fortunately, with the clocks going back an hour, the majority of the students turned up on time on Sunday to face the rain and their match race opponents. Some of the Royal Southern Academy ‘stars’ joined in to coach the new crews and once again, the Committee was impressed by the standard of boat handling. Some match races can be a bit of a standoff but the competitors engaged vigorously with each other in the pre-starts, hunting each other down like old pros. Chief Umpire Caroline Marriage was kept busy with the penalty flags and whistle and afterwards congratulated the teams on the way that they had handled the boats. Congratulations go to the winners and thanks to Martin Bedford (PRO) and his team. The prizes were presented at the Royal Southern Clubhouse by Brian Mead, Rear Commodore Sailing, and Karen Henderson-Williams, Academy Chairman. Results Fleet Racing: 1st: Bleddyn Môn, Southampton University 2nd: Matt Reid, Solent University 3rd: Sarah Hickman, Southampton University Match racing: 1st: Bleddyn Môn, Southampton University 2nd: Matt Reid, Solent University 3rd: Ed Dyer, Southampton University

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