The past two weeks have seen great success for the University of Warwick Sailing Club, starting with the return of the Warwick Turtle, a popular team racing event held down at Draycote Water.
The club hosted 21 teams in Leamington with the weekend consisting of a blend of racing and socialising.
The morning of Saturday 25 January came, and with the wind looking reasonable, the multiple teams gathered eagerly at Draycote Water for the first day of sailing. Edinburgh 1 vs. Edinburgh 2 was the first race out on the water.
The morning went on very successfully with all teams, including less experienced units, displaying some fantastic team racing manoeuvres. However, blustery winds developed and racing was cancelled for the day at 3pm.
This did, however, lead to a show of inter-university camaraderie: teams pulled together in the hail to secure everyone’s boats.
Despite the forecasted threat of heavy winds, the club found sailable conditions down at Draycote on Sunday.
The first race was the unsailed Race 41 of the previous day between Oxford 2nds and Bristol 2nds; the eventual finalists were Oxford 1sts and Southampton. Southampton took overall victory, winning Warwick’s 71-inch ride-on turtle as a prize.
The following weekend, Warwick Sailing came together again, this time to send our first and second teams to Grafham water for the BUSA Midlands Qualifiers – which culminate in the BUCS Team Racing Finals at Strathclyde during the Easter break.
Warwick left Leamington bright and early on Saturday morning. Conditions were calm and sunny, so optimism was high for a good day of sailing.
The first team started strongly with four victories from their first four races, putting them in a strong qualifying position overall heading into the afternoon. Meanwhile, the seconds displayed some fantastic sailing, learnt some valuable lessons and ended up very wet but satisfied with their performance.
Unfortunately the wind got up with white horses on the water which meant that sailing was cancelled by 1.30pm on Saturday. This meant that instead of staying in Cambridge as was the original plan, the teams came back to Leamington, tired and wet, and ready for a good night’s sleep in their own beds before another early start on Sunday.
Sunday saw the firsts continue their success from the previous day, winning seven out of their ten races by midday. Meanwhile the seconds built on their experiences of Saturday, winning two morning races against the Loughborough seconds and thirds.
Towards the end of the day there were five teams in strong contention for the four automatic qualifying places for the finals, including the Warwick firsts. The stress levels were rising within the team, but fortunately Warwick won two more races to qualify automatically for the finals.
The club would like to thank all the umpires and staff at Draycote Water, and everyone who was involved in either event for such a well-run and enjoyable couple of weekends.