Report: RSC at NSSA Team Racing at Oxford

 A short report on the National Schools Sailing Assoc team racing event at Oxford Sailing Club that RSC took part in this Saturday 21st March.
The Event:  NSSA Match Racing Championships, with 20 teams from as far afield as Lancashire and Worchester.  
The Location:  Oxford Sailing Club Farmoor Reservoir (its big folks, I mean really big !)
The RSC Team:  Team 1  Hadey (helm), Louis (crew),  Team 2 William (helm), Joe (crew).  
The Happenings:   A grey blustery day greeted the team at Oxford, the first challenge being how to rig their Fireflies.  Ably assisted by the Commodore and Boat Park Marshall who ensured that all the ropes that looked as if they needed to be attached were attached to something that looked at least meaningful if not necessary. The adult helpers then eying the wind and the weight of the crew decided that loads of kicker and outhaul was the order of the day. Then they were off ! with the briefest instruction on how use the complicated pulley system to lower the steel centre-boards.    
The first race against West Oxford A was won, on account of one of the other boats capsizing and then turtling – which gives you some idea of the wind conditions!  The second race was more confused with William and Joe drifting off to one of the less frequented parts of the reservoir as they attempted to re-rig their jib sheets. Meanwhile Hadley and Louis in a surfeit on enthusiasm, ended up starting in the race before theirs !  At this point common sense broke out in the race committee and there was a hiatus while all the boats were re-rigged with storm mains.  This pause was enlivened with the launching of an International Moth, who then proceeded to demonstrate some truly spectacular capsizes. 
Not sure I can remember much about the third race against Worchester, other than I am happy to report that Oxford Sailing Club does a smashing line in bacon sandwiches!  Fourth race against OTRA, saw OTRA ‘s two boats in the lead after the windward mark. But with some good downwind sailing and gaining starboard rights on the final approaches to the finish line saw Hadley & Louis squeaking into first.  William and Joe were very close behind and could have squeaked 3rd place if they had called their rights as well – but politeness got the better of them !           
1 win and 3 losses didn’t see them through to the quarter finals. Anyhow it is not the result, that counts,  both Alastair and I were very impressed with the way that both crews handled in what were to them very unfamiliar and large boats in very trying conditions. Unlike other teams, no one capsized (we aren’t counting Hadey falling out her boat before the start of the first race !). Also worth bearing in mind that for Joe and Louis this was the first sailing for them this season – a baptism of fire ! So well done to everyone, and a particular well done to Hadey for organizing the entry and the teams.

Best Regards
James Primrose

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