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Oxford Top Gun Invitational Trophy

by Tom Storey 27 Feb 05:50 PST 25-26 February 2023

This weekend (25th & 26th February) saw Oxford University Sailing Club running the annual Top Gun Invitational Trophy. The top 8 university teams from across the UK and Ireland made their way to Farmoor Reservoir for a packed weekend of high quality team racing across 2 flights of Fireflys.

Saturday saw a prompt start at 10 am allowing for 53 races to be completed across the day in a fresh, but shifty 15 knots. Notable results came from UCD who managed to finish the day having lost only one of the 13 races they competed in. Some say this was due to their rather strange strategy of repeatedly shouting compliments to each other throughout the starting sequence, others say it was their ability to communicate in Irish allowing for full secrecy between teams. A speedy pack down allowed for all competitors to have ample time to get into their black tie for the Top Gun Dinner held at St Edmund's Hall.

Another prompt start on Sunday allowed the teams to get another 12 races in each before we ended the round robin to head into a best of 5 final between UCD and Cambridge. A shifty 12 knots made racing extremely tight and after 2 wins each we saw the final descend into a winner-takes-it-all final race. Incredibly good umpiring decisions saw almost all the boats in the final race spinning; however, UCD pulled through on the final beat and secured a win for an Irish team for the first time in Top Gun history.

A massive thanks must go out to the umpire team who not only delivered top quality umpiring, but were also massively helpful in explaining their decisions to the sailors after every race allowing for lessons to be learnt by all. Mentions must also go out to Keith at KSail who provided the scheduling and results system, and PRO Amy Goult who managed to churn out so many races that it seemed we were almost always racing. A final thank you must also go out to, an award winning yacht and catamaran company, who've provided generous sponsorship to OUYC throughout the past year.

We hope all sailors had a great time and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

Full results can be found here.

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