On Friday 17th November, the sailing teams Imperial Blue (1st) and White (2nd) made their way to compete at the Welsh Dragon in Cardiff. Having originally intended to be at the Birmingham event this weekend, the last-minute switch left the transport somewhat confusing with four arriving by car, seven by coach and one by train! The Welsh Dragon saw 24 teams racing in four flights of boats sandwiched by evening socials.
The coach journey took significantly longer and Aidan (social sec) led the pre-drinks en route, whilst everyone else had joined all the other university teams in the Vulcan at the first of the two socials planned for the weekend.
“Cardiff Bay Yacht Club was not too far away, and the teams had the luxury of a lie in until 8AM on Sunday morning”
Despite arriving at different times and locations, eventually everyone found each other and ended up at Retros where the cheap drinks (£3.20 for a double vodka mixer) caused us to boogie the night away. Shout out to a certain social sailor (William Ray) who ended the evening with his new best friend (the toilet) who witnessed the reappearance of the jägerbombs previously consumed.
Luckily, Cardiff Bay Yacht Club was not too far away, and the teams had the luxury of a lie in until 8am on Saturday morning before rushing to the club for a 9.15 briefing. Saturday saw breezy conditions usually absent from London’s Welsh Harp Reservoir and the teams battled their way around the huge course.
Racing ran smoothly, especially with on-the-water changeovers speeding everything up. Damages saw one flight drop to two boat team racing and IC White won a particularly tense race against Wessex White which could have gone either way, with Oliver Kidd having spins just before the finish! IC Blue won 5⁄6 races (losing only to Wessex Red) and their success meant that they were in Gold Fleet for Sunday racing, while IC White placed in Platinum.
With racing finished for the day, the teams had time off to rest before the highly anticipated 80s and babies themed BYOB at Vulcan after which they were ushered off to Juice, the Cardiff Union, to complete the night!
“Racing ran smoothly, especially with the on-the-water changeovers speeding everything up”
Sunday racing was postponed until 12pm due to the lack of wind but despite the ideal wind conditions, team performance was impaired by hungover crews on the first team. However, IC Blue (Helms: Joe Burgin, Gabriel Ing, Felix Crowther; Crews: Calvin Chan, Caroline Boule, Krystal Law) still came in at an impressive 6th out of 24th, following on from their success at the Oxford Magnum the weekend before. Congratulations also to IC White (Helms: Oliver Kidd, Cobi Allen, Aidan Bell; Crews: Matilda Matthews, Edward Brown, Michal Wojnowski) who sailed well against some very tough teams. Special mention goes to Cobi, who managed to sail to the wrong mark but misled the other team in the process.
Huge thanks to the organisers Eve Gadd & Jamie Catchpole and everyone at Cardiff University Sailing Club for running such a great event and also to the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club for having us. Shout out to our lovely host Sophie Hempsell for having us (and sorry for the vomit)!!!
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