This coming weekend (14-15th March 2015) the RYA Ladies Team Racing National Championships will be played out at Spinnaker Club, the home of team racing in Southern England. Hosted jointly by Spinnaker Club & Wessex Sailing Club (Southampton Uni), the event also incorporates the Championship for the BUSA (British University Sailing Association) Ladies Team Racing Title. Fifteen of the twenty teams will be representing BUSA affiliated University Sailing Clubs.
The 2015 edition sees the event return to Spinnaker Club after being hosted away from the club, for the first time, in 2014. Changing the event to a touring fixture, visiting venues such as legendary Wilson Trophy sailing waters at West Kirby Sailing Club (the 2014 host club) has had a positive effect on the competition. This year’s entry is the largest ever recorded and has teams the length and breadth of the country converging at Blashford Lake to battle for the titles. Teams stretch from Plymouth in the south west to Glasgow in the north.
Amongst the teams hoping to clinch the RYA title is Society, the team of Oxbridge Alumni is led by three time champion Claire Lasko. Commenting on the upcoming competition Claire said “The Ladies Nationals is really special event; probably my favourite team racing event of the year….. I really hope we can take the title”. Standing in the way of Society will be amongst others the locals; Spinnaker Club. The team is captained by Marianthe Evangelidis, who has won the RYA Open Team Racing Championships with the formidable Spinnaker Auspicious multiple times. Marianthe is keen to deliver silverware to the host club: “We are hoping that our local knowledge will give us the edge this weekend, the team is really up for it and wants to do the club proud – we’ve never managed to win the open championship on home waters, so it would be great to win the ladies at Spinnaker!” Katie Restall, another member of Spinnaker Team adds “of course we want to win – the ladies is a great event and hotly contested by many teams.”
The 2014 championship was won by Birmingham University. Birmingham has entered another strong team into the event this year and again Amy Yeoman will be leading the team. Standing in their way will be a plethora of well drilled university teams including a team from event co-hosts, Wessex Sailing Club, sailing under the banner of Southampton University. Wessex Ladies’ Captain, Hannah Tilley, says “we really want to do as well as we can, the whole club is behind the event both in terms of fielding the best possible team and helping to run the event with Spinnaker”.
Along with helping to organise the on the water activities, Wessex Sailing Club, will also be hosting and entertaining most of the competitors on the Saturday night, with a Black Tie Ball at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club. Emily Nagel, BUSA Ladies’ Captain and Commodore of Wessex Sailing Club is excited; “I can’t wait – we have an action packed weekend ahead of us. The sailing programme will be excellent and we have managed to fill the Royal Southampton to capacity!”
The 120 female competitors will sail close to two hundred, short & intense, 3 versus 3 head to head races over the weekend. The busy schedule has meant that the Race Committee has reissued the Notice of Race and brought has forward the briefing to 0930 on Saturday 14th March. It is hoped that with racing will start as soon as possible after the briefing. The new Notice of Race (Version V4) can be downloaded from the event website at www.spinnakerclub.co.uk/2015ladiesnationals.
Sailing will be run close to the shore in colour matched fireflies and should be a good spectacle for all. The organisers are looking forward to welcoming visitors to Spinnaker Club, but for those unable to watch the action from the shore, the event will be easy to follow online. Live Results, schedules and a blog will be available through the event website www.spinnakerclub.co.uk/2015ladiesnationals. The event will also be widely covered on socail media with a live and interactive Twitter run by Wessex Sailing Club @WessexSC and Spinnaker TeamRacing @SpinnyTR. To join the conversation , please use the #Ladiestr15.