BUSA team win in Limerick

John Greenland reports from the Irish Inter-Varsity Sailing Championships

Monday March 10th 2003, Author: John Greenland, Location: United Kingdom
The BUSA team consisting of John Clifton, Louisa Fewtrell, Charlie Somerset, Jules Kingsnorth, John Greenland, and Fiona Hall last week, 6-8 March, won the Irish Inter-Varsity Sailing Championships in Limerick, Southwest Ireland.

After three days of tight competition between 22 teams from all across Ireland the British team were victorious, defeating Trinity College, Dublin, 3-0 in some of the weekend's toughest sailing conditions. Cardiff University also fielded a team for the championships, unfortunately failing to qualify for the semi-finals after losing a close race in the Gold league.

Conditions deteriorated throughout the regatta with clear blue skies and moderate breeze on Thursday replaced with blustery Force 6 winds and hail storms on Friday and Saturday. Regardless of the difficult conditions the race committee pushed on to complete two round robins for all 22 teams followed by a reduced knock-out series of two best of three semi-finals and a best of five final.

The BUSA team dropped just one race throughout the regatta, though several times this was due to a last minute come back from the brink of defeat. Fortunately the event was held in three flights of Fireflies and a slightly tired set of 420s so the BUSA representatives were on an equal footing with the Irish teams.

For the semi-final BUSA was pitted against DBS, one of the favourites for the title. Fortunately the team had sailed against them in the early rounds of the regatta and so already knew their form.

While Race One saw the British boys and girls log a convincing victory over the Dublin based team, coached by Fergal O'Shea of Ireland 1, the second race was an entirely different story. The two teams blasted across the line with the wind shifting up to 50 degrees and gusting 25+ knots. Just as BUSA looked to be pulling ahead with a second and third Somerset and Kingsnorth capsized. Without first place BUSA's clean scoresheet looked fragile. Greenland and Hall further weakened the situation with an unfavourable umpire call. DBS took Race Two.

The poor performance in Race Two seemed to strengthen the BUSA entry with a 1,2,3 finish in race three and promotion to the finals against Trinity.

While Trinity pushed BUSA hard they lacked the starting discipline of the British side. All three races in the final were close, however it was a clean win for BUSA after Trinity's lead boat took a spin on the finish line in Race Three as a result of tacking too close to Greenland and Hall.

Overall:
1st BUSA
2nd Trinity College
=3rd Dublin Business School, Trinity College 2
Other British Placings: 4th in Gold League A - Cardiff University

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