In the build up to the hotly anticipated this years Varsity, Anna Pennington spoke to Pat Rigby the president of the Southampton Sailing team to get his view on the upcoming fixture against Portsmouth. The team will be competing on Wednesday the 15th.
How has this season gone so far?
Very well. We were the most successful university at the BUCS fleet racing nationals in November winning both the Fast handicap and Laser fleets and winning the men’s team trophy. We have three of our team racing teams qualifying for the BUCS Finals held over the Easter holidays with an excellent chance of challenging for the top places. We also have strong entries for the BUCS Yachting and Match Racing nationals over Easter as well and hope to be top sailing club in the country for the third year in a row.
What was Varsity last year like to compete in?
Last year we comfortably beat Portsmouth 30-2, and hopefully we will repeat that performance this year! I personally did not compete but from what I’ve been told by those who did, it was a great afternoon of sailing beating Portsmouth!
Do you think something similar will happen this year?
The teams are slightly switched up due to some people being unavailable but we still have 2 very strong teams competing that have sailed together for the past year. We are confident of keeping our title!
What are the teams key strengths? Are there any key players that we should keep an eye on in particular?
Our first team with helms comprised of Mary Henderson, JJ Marie and Matt Whitfield are definitely the team to beat. They are experienced team racers and are very quick sailors. At a team racing event at the weekend, they were unbeaten all weekend, coming in 1st place and will be on the top teams at the BUCS finals in Easter.
Prediction for the final result?
I predict a Southampton win but don’t know by what margin, it’s not looking very windy this week so not sure how many races we’ll be able to get in!