From Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th April Spinnaker Club, near Ringwood, will play host the 2011 BUCS/BUSA Team Racing Nationals.
202 competitors from Universities and H.E Colleges across Great Britain and Northern Ireland will compete to lift the trophy and claim the title of BUSA Team Race Champions 2011. The event is organised by Wessex Sailing Club with significant support from Spinnaker Club, BUSA & BUCS. This year’s event will also serve as a selection event for the summer tour of America against ICSA’s finest.
The Wessex Sailing Club is Southampton University’s Student Sailing Club and there team racing teams are based at Spinnaker Club a small 70 acre lake in the new forest. Already this year the clubs have played host to the RYA/UKTRA Team Racing Nationals and Southern Central BUSA qualifier. Footage from the UKTRA can be seen here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDo4oLyDbW0 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbAsayzw5Fk.
Each team has earned a place at the finals after qualifying from regional Qualifiers, in total over 85 teams entered the competition. The final 34 teams are split into 28 mixed teams and 6 ladies teams all with 6 sailors. Racing is 3 boat team racing, in 12 foot, two sailed, dinghies called fireflies around an “N” shaped short course.
The format will consist of a Swiss league group stage, followed by a knock-out stage for the top 8. The Swiss league is a format pioneered in the UK by West Kirby Sailing Club who host the Annual Wilson Trophy, the best team racing event in World according to many, and has ben adapted to be run for this University event.
Favourites for this year include Exeter, Edinburgh, Oxford and Southampton with most agreeing that it is too close to call. In the meantime teams are training hard and hoping that they can lay claim to being the best. The competition is free to spectators and is run close to shore in colour coded boats to make the action easier to follow.