As usual, both York sailing teams were up early for a quarter-to-eight start before many other squads were out of bed. The mission was simple, win at all costs, and what an eventful day it turned out to be.
By ten o’clock the six boats were rigged and ready to go before we set off on a quick training session to test the course. We immediately realised the wind was shifting about from all over the place and was gusting a good 22 knots. This would present challenging conditions for the sailors, which was soon realised after an early capsize.
Despite the strong wind, both York and Lancaster stood up to the challenge and braced the harsh conditions. The first race was met with an encouraging win for Lancaster against York’s firsts in a winning boat combination of 1, 3 and 5. York then proceeded to win the second game, before losing the third after a York boat crossed the start line early, forcing her to do penalty spins.
In a well-fought race, York then won the fourth in a crucial winning position of 1, 2 and 6. Any capsize at this point would have spelt disaster for both teams. However, the fifth and final race was perhaps the most gripping of the day for the firsts, with all to play for as both teams were drawing two points each.
On the second to last leg, York were in a losing position whilst Sam Edom and his crew, Annie Brough, desperately tried to catch up with the Lancaster boat in front. All seemed to be lost, until the unexpected happened. The Lancaster boat span out of control after mishandling a strong gust of wind, forcing it into the water. Edom, narrowly missing the boat, then accidentally dropped his tiller thus forcing his boat to make an unexpected gybe round in the opposite direction on the brink of a capsize themselves.
Nonetheless Edom, using his experience, managed to salvage the situation and sail past the capsized boat, resulting in a last ditch effort to win four points for the White Rose under captain Matt Goacher’s leadership.
The second team also won their match against Lancaster. In one of their races, 5 out of 6 boats capsized. However, the seconds worked together to pull off a fine victory after some high-quality racing.