Scottish Student Sailing Match Racing Championship – Overall report
Light winds on the Clyde over the weekend increased the pressure on Principal Race Officer David Denholm to achieve the requisite 36 races for a full round-robin of the nine teams participating in the 2015 Ceilidh Cup/Scottish Student Sailing Match Racing Championships. Hosted by the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club (RNCYC), and sailed in their co-owned Sonars, the event contains awards both student and open trophies.
On Saturday, with glassy waters on the East Patch racing area, the crews were postponed ashore. Chief Umpire John Doerr taking the opportunity to give teams a match racing tactics talk. However, at 12.30, the brave call was made to put crews afloat and tow the six Sonar yachts to the racing area. The wind eventually filled in around 3pm, allowing 12 races before racing was adjourned around 5.30pm.
With slightly more breeze forecast for Sunday, teams were sent out directly to the race course, while keeping clear of the warships from a variety of nations navigating out of the Gare Loch as part of Exercise Joint Warrior.
With weather gods providing conditions more amenable, racing got underway in earnest. A further 24 races took place to complete the round-robin. Tieing on six wins a-piece, Dundee University Sailing Club (helmed by Helensburgh-local, Kae Clark) was ranked ahead of Ruth Allen from Edinburgh University Sailing Club, by virtue of having won the head-to-head race.
Therefore Kae Clark and her crew of Dundee University students were declared the SSS Match Racing Champion. In the open event, Nicole McPherson (RNCYC) retained the Ceilidh Cup (eight wins).
Kae Clark, Yachting Captain at Dundee University, reflects on the event: “The team as a whole went into the event a bit apprehensive as we had a mix of abilities onboard the boat, and the two boys had never match raced before. I was personally a bit nervous as I had never helmed at match racing, but my nerves were soon put to rest as we got to the race course and managed to win our first four races.
The toughest competition was the Strathclyde first team who have trained all summer (they are off to France for the Student Yachting World Cup next week), and we hadn’t trained at all. But, with great team work across the whole boat, we managed to prove ourselves wrong and come out the other side of the event as the top university team. A tough weekend with regards to the wind, but the race management was excellent and the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club once again put on a great weekend, both on and off the water. Dundee will be returning to the event next year hoping to retain their title”.