Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Halloween Howler starts the year- Cambridge sets the pace

by Tony Mapplebeck (BUSA Editor) on 3 Nov 2012
Halloween Howler (Leeds University) Chris Beck
Thirteen British University teams converged on Leeds and West Riding Sailing Club for the first of the season’s student team racing events that will run through to next March. In addition to the strong turnout from northern universities - Lancaster, Newcastle (two teams), Sheffield (two), as well as Leeds Freshers and Leeds Old Boys - teams travelled from as far as the University of West of England (UWE) at Bristol, Cambridge (two) and Nottingham (three).

USCs have had a busy few weeks of the new academic year, recruiting new sailors at Freshers’ Week, ensuring a fun start with a good emphasis on the social side, but getting sailing underway at their nearest sailing club – often a Wednesday afternoon activity with both a steep learning curve for new sailors and the beginning of team race training and team selection for the more experienced.

The effectiveness of this early work was in evidence at West Riding last weekend. Several USCs were commenting on the strong numbers of fresher sailors this year – Nottingham had three teams competing at the Howler, and we are pretty sure that we heard some seasoned team racers commenting positively that Nottingham 1 seemed to have several freshers!


Typically, USCs saw this event as the start a serious season of competition aimed at qualifying for the BUCS/BUSA National Championship next April. With area Qualifiers, together with a further chance to qualify a team through national Playoffs, in February/March, every opportunity will be taken to gain competition experience. And the criteria for a ‘good’ event will include the number of races that can be squeezed in by the Race Committee and the standard of competition.

The other important criteria for a successful weekend will be the social programme laid on by the host USC. Indeed, particularly at this early stage of the year, this may be the primary consideration for some! – it’s all about bonding! The Facebook write-ups after the Howler tell tales of many escapades, in the spirit of Halloween, and most sailors seemed to have the stamina to arrive ready and focussed for action on the water, even if some did look at the lunch laid on by the professional caterers with some caution! It was summed up by Newcastle USCs Media Officer, Chris Woods: 'we made what surely must be Newcastle sailing history by being the first team at the club........cheers for a great weekend, hope you all had as much fun as I think I did!'


This event was wholly run by the University Sailing Club, which is sponsored by AmeriCamp.com and First40Charter.com. A team of fifteen volunteers was led by Commodore, Ali Sims, who acted as OOD. The racing itself was managed by members of the Committee, together with two experienced Umpires. Wakefield Sea Cadets drove additional RIBs they supplied so as to ensure smooth changeovers on the water. Sunny weather and a fair breeze on Saturday set the tone for the event. By the end of sailing on the first day, 45 races of the Round Robin had been sailed. The Cambridge, and two of the Nottingham, teams were heading the leader board on average scores. A further 33 races of the Round Robin were completed on Sunday, before Semi Finals and Finals. Cambridge Pink beat Nottingham 1 in the first of the semis, and Cambridge Blue, the Leeds Old Boys. In the all-Cambridge Final, the Blue team had the edge.

Secretary of UWE SC, Jilly Darling summed up the event: 'Overall it was a really good weekend. The racing was well run and Ali Sims and the rest of Leeds were working so hard to make sure everything ran smoothly! UWE had a great weekend, very competitive and extremely well run racing, as well as the socials to give it that 'uni' feel. Special mention has to go to Ali Sims for putting everything he had into the event.'

Cambridge Captain, Josh Flack explained 'we went to the Howler having done little training so far, but knowing that we have a talented squad. So, we really just wanted to see where we stand, and start to work on the basics of spotting your combination and pulling the conversions. To have both teams do that well was a very encouraging start to the season! We had a little bit of trepidation with the slow start on Saturday morning, but after that we had a great event and whacked through the races. It’s not often that you get close to 20 races in a weekend. So a massive thanks to Ali and all the Leeds gang for that!'.

A great start to the 2012-13 UK university team racing season.



Wildwind 2016 660x82Protector - 660 x 82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Quantum Sails the Official Sailmaker for Melges24 Canadian Nationals
Quantum Sails has committed to supporting Canadian Melges24 Class Association’s Melges24 Canadian National Championship Quantum Sails has committed to supporting the Canadian Melges24 Class Association’s 2017 Melges24 Canadian National Championship event hosted at the National Yacht Club in Toronto, Canada September 21-24. As the exclusive Official Sailmaker sponsor of the 2017 Melges24 Canadian National Championship, Quantum Sails will be doing daily post-racing debriefs by Quantum Sails pro, Scott Nixon.
Posted today at 6:25 am
Big breeze test for Extreme Sailing Series fleet in Qingdao finale
After three days of light winds in Qingdao a new weather front has arrived, bringing with it breeze of up to 20 knots t After three days of light winds in Qingdao a new weather front has arrived, bringing with it breeze of up to 20 knots to guarantee a thrilling final-day showdown to Act 2.
Posted today at 5:48 am
2017 Resin Regatta action-shots by Erik Simonson
Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2017 Resin Regatta. Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2017 Resin Regatta.
Posted today at 5:05 am
Antigua Sailing Week - Old traditions new ways
Winning skippers on Day 1 of Antigua Sailing Week included Sir Richard Matthews taking part in 18yr old Jules Mitchell Winning skippers on the first day of Antigua Sailing Week included Sir Richard Matthews taking part in his 37th Antigua Sailing Week and 18 year old Jules Mitchell who has never skippered at the regatta before.
Posted today at 2:54 am
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted today at 2:45 am
RC44 Sotogrande Cup - Chris Bake grabs victory from jaws of defeat
After two severe days, Sotogrande and the Andalucian coastline laid on perfect conditions for final day of competition After two severe days, Sotogrande and the Andalucian coastline laid on perfect conditions for the final day of competition at the RC44 Sotogrande Cup. Mountainous seas gave way to a short chop, torrential rain gave way to brilliant sunshine and a stiff but shifty 20 knot, westerly offshore wind, to provide the tacticians with some welcome head scratching.
Posted today at 1:52 am
A Few Rays - Go Faster!
How the right sunscreen can make the boat go faster How the right sunscreen can make the boat go faster A good sunscreen is a very necessary part of the sailor’s equipment. When the sunscreen works really well and the sailor using it can do a multi-day regatta without burning or distraction, then that is a piece of equipment worth having.
Posted on 30 Apr
World Cup Series Hyères – Kontides steals gold again
On the second day of live Medal Racing, it was the turn of the One and Two Person Dinghies to have their day. A colder, overcast day with a steady 8-12 knot breeze did nothing to dampen the spirits of the final few lucky World Cup Series medallists.
Posted on 30 Apr
FAST40+ Spring Regatta – Hitchhiker declared winner
Hosted by the RSYC, the wind gods blew too hard on the second day resulting in racing abandoned for the last day Stewart Whitehead’s Carkeek 40+ Rebellion tide on points with Hitchhiker but was second on count back.Tony Dickin's Jubilee was in impressive form, scoring three podium finishes to end the regatta just one point off the lead in third.
Posted on 30 Apr
Team Oman Air score big breeze win at Extreme Sailing Series
A resounding victory in the final race of the penultimate day kept Team Oman Air's dreams of second podium finish alive Phil Robertson's men proved uncatchable as they romped home to glory in the seventh and last outing of the day as Qingdao delivered a 20-knot breeze blasting through the city's stadium racecourse.
Posted on 30 Apr