For the second year running, two teams of juniors entered the Eric Twiname championships at Oxford sailing club, sailing with 112 juniors in 28 teams.
The 8 sailors fielding two flights of Feva’s arrived early at the reservoir Saturday morning with the wind howling and hats flying. We were all excited with the prospect of some dramatic and challenging sailing. Our sailor’s couldn’t wait to get on the water, being in race 4 and race 9 we would hopefully be off to a flying start.
However, as we watched the Fireflies trying to stay upright and the challenges faced by the safety boats, it became apparent that we would not be on the water anytime soon.
We watched and munched our way through the bags of junk food, cakes and Haribo in lovely sunshine waiting for the race officer to give the go-ahead. We were rewarded by the request to get the Feva onto the beach and ready to launch. Butterflies in stomachs but none
the less excited, we were off. To say the conditions were perfect would be an understatement and there were plenty of Feva capsized or turtled. But not Spinnaker! Our sailors handled the boats expertly and showed real skill with our Port team hugging the start line with 2 minutes left to go….counting down and spilling wind waiting for the flags to drop, whilst one of the opposition was already on its side, we were finally off and weeks of training would pay off……and then….the wind got up, boats were everywhere, and the racing was postponed.
Frustration ensued – but calmed thanks to Penny’s amazing beetroot and chocolate cake (and that was just the parents) so more lounging around and walking and enjoying the sunshine, when eventually following a quick test by the fireflies the day’s events were postponed.
We rescued the day by a trip to a pub by the river and a meal out near the hotel, before a late night preparing for the day ahead!
Sunday was altogether different. It was raining! Where was the wind! Did we have enough dry coats and cake to keep us going? (Well we had cake – thanks again Penny)
Both our teams sailed some fantastic races both winning 2 for 2 in quick succession demonstrating some truly brilliant team racing. As most of the other teams where from schools, our sailors had the advantage (or embarrassing disadvantage) of some soggy parents getting very competitive, to the amusement of one official, from the shore encouraging our guys and they did not disappoint.
To say there were some proud parent moments would be an understatement. To see their faces so pleased with their efforts as they came off the water made the wet and windy weekend worth it.
The teams ranking was much improved on last year beating over half the entrants. Thanks at this point to Nicole for her brilliant coaching and putting them through their paces each week.
Next year we hope to enter again with new hopefuls and potentially our own youth firefly team.
If anyone is interested in joining the double handed training and start team racing, keep your eyes open for notices at the club, SYT training through 2019, chatting to some of this year’s sailors or parents and why not come and see one of the BUSA team racing events that are often held at Spinnaker.
Angie Davey – proud parent….