Uni match racing
A total of 119 races were held in Beneteau First Class 8 keelboats in winds that varied from 5 to 25 knots. Seven countries were represented with France, Germany and Italy entering two teams from different regions. Great Britain, whose crew come from Exeter and Southampton Universities, Russia, Slovenia and Poland entered one team each. Sponsorship came from the region and also the World University Sport Association, FISU.
Between six and nine flights a day, each of four matches, were held with a double round robin. After these races the Great Britain team had only dropped one point against Germany 2 from Lake Constance. The Russian team from Ekaterinberg, helmed by Evgeny Neugodnikov, were a further point behind.
In the best-of-five race semi finals the British team overcame Germany 2 by 3 races to nil while the Russian team ended French hopes with a similar score. The finals and also races for the lower placings were held in bright sunshine in winds of F 2-3. The British team showed their match racing skills by forcing a penalty on the Russian boat in each of the pre-start manoeuvres and coolly held their position by good crew work to record a three to nil margin and secure for Great Britain the title of first World University Match Racing champions.
All involved deemed the event a great success both on the water and ashore where all arrangements worked extremely well.
Great credit is due to the event organisers for their preparation and organisation and the 2nd World University Championship is now planned for Rimini, Italy in May 2004.