Sailing to Inter-Service success

Storyline: Sailing

The Royal Navy sailed away with their 8th consecutive win at the Inter-Service team racing championships this year.

The 14 strong team of Royal Navy sailors arrived at Bowmoor Sailing Club a day early to establish team pairings and get some training in to develop boat speed and tactics.

Day 1 of racing saw some very mixed conditions from hail to sunshine, and 45 degree wind shifts which made things difficult for the race team and competitors alike. The wind switched off mid afternoon leading to an early finish.

Despite the tricky conditions both the Royal Navy A and B teams came out on top of the first round robin. Navy A with 5 wins from 5 races sailed, whilst the B team won 4 out of their 6 races.

Friday’s forecast, North Easterly of 8 knots, was far more stable though there were still plenty of wind shifts to make gains from. After 2 round robins, both Royal Navy teams qualified for their respective finals, to sail against the Army A and B teams.

Race 1 of the B Cup final was taken by the Army after they won the pre-start battle, meaning the Navy would have to win the remaining two races.

In the second race there was a lot of confusion at the start as 3 boats were called over, 4 boats decided to return to the start. The Navy later managed to compress the fleet with a mark trap, and skilfully converted this into a winning combination taking the second race to square the final up 1-1.

The deciding race was very much edge of the seat racing, an interesting start with a port - starboard infringement gave the Royal Navy the edge at the windward mark. After a titanic battle at the second windward mark, the Navy managed to pull out into first, second, and third, resulting in a Royal Navy B team win. The team were strong throughout the regatta and were well deserved winners for the 8th year in a row.

The final got off to a fantastic start with race 1 won pretty much as the start gun sounded, the Army were left in fourth, fifth, and sixth place. The Navy never looked in any danger, finishing in first, second, and third.

Race 2 went in favour of the Army as one of the Navy teams was called over at the start and did not go back, resulting in being scored OCS, adding 10 points to the the finishing result. 

The wind dropped for the final and deciding race, which made things very tense up the first beat. However, after some great team work mid way through the race, the RNavy pulled out into a convincing lead, and ran away as worthy race winners sealing their 8th consecutive win at the Inter-Services championship. 

The team sent a massive thanks to Tom Whittingham, all the team at Bowmoor Sailing Club and Nova Systems for enabling the event.