Twenty teams set for title chase at Spinnaker Sailing Club – The RYA Ladies’ Team Racing National Championship showdown will take place this weekend (14-15 March) at Spinnaker Sailing Club, the home of team racing in southern England.
Hosted jointly by Spinnaker Club and Wessex Sailing Club (Southampton Uni), the event also incorporates the Championship for the BUSA (British University Sailing Association) Ladies’ Team Racing Title. Fifteen of the 20 teams will be representing BUSA-affiliated University Sailing Clubs.
The 2015 edition sees the event return to Spinnaker Club after being hosted away for the first time in 2014. Changing the event to a touring fixture, visiting venues such as the legendary Wilson Trophy sailing waters of West Kirby Sailing Club (the 2014 host club), has had a positive effect on the competition. This year’s entry is the largest ever recorded and has teams the length and breadth of the country converging at Blashford Lake to battle for the titles. Teams stretch from Plymouth in the south west to Glasgow in the north.
Among those teams hoping to clinch the coveted RYA title is Society – the team of Oxbridge Alumni is led by three-time champion Claire Lasko.
Commenting on the upcoming competition Lasko said: “The Ladies’ Nationals is really special event; probably my favourite team racing event of the year. I really hope we can take the title.”
Standing in the way of Society will be, among others, the locals from Spinnaker Club. The team is captained by Marianthe Evangelidis, who has won the RYA Open Team Racing Championships with the formidable Spinnaker Auspicious multiple times.
Evangelidis is keen to deliver silverware to the host club. “We are hoping that our local knowledge will give us the edge this weekend, the team is really up for it and wants to do the club proud.
The 2014 event was won by Birmingham University and the defending team has entered another strong line-up into the event this year with Amy Yeoman once again leading the team. Standing in their way will be a plethora of well-drilled university teams including a team from event co-hosts, Wessex Sailing Club, sailing under the banner of Southampton University.
Wessex Ladies’ Captain, Hannah Tilley, says: “We really want to do as well as we can, the whole club is behind the event both in terms of fielding the best possible team and helping to run the event with Spinnaker.”
Along with helping to organise the on-water activities, Wessex Sailing Club will also be hosting and entertaining most of the competitors on the Saturday night, with a Black Tie Ball at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club.
The 120 female competitors will sail close to 200, short and intense, three versus three head-to-head races over the weekend. The busy schedule has meant that the Race Committee has re-issued the Notice of Race and brought has forward the briefing to 0930 on Saturday 14 March. It is hoped that racing will start as soon as possible after that briefing. The new Notice of Race (Version V4) can be downloaded from the event website at www.spinnakerclub.co.uk/2015ladiesnationals.
Sailing will be run close to the shore in colour-matched Fireflies and should be a good spectacle for all. The organisers are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Spinnaker Club, but for those unable to watch the action from the shore, the event will be easy to follow online. Live Results, schedules and a blog will be available through the event website www.spinnakerclub.co.uk/2015ladiesnationals.
The event will also be widely covered on social media with a live and interactive Twitter run by Wessex Sailing Club @WessexSC and Spinnaker TeamRacing @SpinnyTR. To join the conversation , please use the hashtag #Ladiestr15.
1. Bath; 2. Birmingham; 3. Bristol; 4. Cambridge; 5. Cardiff; 6. Durham; 7. Glasgow Pink; 8. Glasgow Sunrise; 9. London; 10. Loughborough; 11. Nottingham; 12. Oxford; 13. Plymouth Orange; 14. Plymouth Yellow; 15. Scorpion Class Association; 16. Society; 17. Society & the Ducklings; 18. Southampton; 19. Spinnaker; 20. West Kirby Highlanders.