Monday, October 2, 2017

Itchenor SC Tops British Sailing League 2017!

British J/70 Sailing League winners- Itchenor SC (Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom)- From the 22nd to 24th September, the Royal Yachting Association & the Royal Thames YC hosted the finale for the British Sailing League on the infamous Solent for the top qualifying eighteen teams from across the United Kingdom.

The regatta was modeled after the European J/70 Sailing Leagues- like the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga.  It was an inter-club fleet racing competition in supplied J/70 one-design keelboats run by the RYA and the Royal Thames YC. The format was simple- 15-minute races with umpires on the water to adjudicate. Regional qualifiers and a UK finale with the top club being awarded a place in the 2018 Sailing Champions League.

J/70s sailing British Sailing League finaleWinning the event was the Itchenor Sailing Club.  The team was comprised of Alex Irwin, George Yeoman, Andy Shaw and Ben Saxton.  They sailed a nearly perfect regatta, compiling a high-point average of 7.81 pts over 16 races sailed- out of a possible “perfect 8”.  In other words, they just about “ran the table” with all 1sts to win by a significant margin over their erstwhile competitors.

Like the first “Round Island Race” back in 1851, when Queen Victoria watched the schooner yacht AMERICA cross the line first, she asked “who is second”? The response purportedly was “Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second.”  “Oh dear,” replied the Queen as she apparently walked away to enjoy a mint julep (or twelve) with friends at the Royal Yacht Squadron.  Much the same could be said for the outcome of the first British Sailing League finale sailed on J/70s- the Itchenor SC crew was simply dominant.

However, in this event, there was a second place- that was taken by a comfortable margin by the RORC 2 Team with 111 pts and a 6.94 race average for the regatta.

However, the bronze medal was a dog-fight between three teams, ultimately settling the top five on the leaderboard.  In what may become the new standard for tie-breakers, imagine sailing sixteen races and find yourself tied with two other teams! OMG, that’s impossible! Well, that was the story on the Solent, off Cowes, in front of “the Castle”.

The three protagonists were Wessex Sailing Club, Cambridge University SC, and Queen Mary SC.  In the end, after sixteen races they all scored 97 pts total, for an average of 6.06 for the regatta.  The tie-breaker scenario was a bit mind-numbing, but Wessex SC took the bronze, followed by Cambridge USC in 4th and Queen Mary SC in 5th position.

Watch the British Keelboat League Facebook- with live video recordings!   British J/70 Sailing League results here  For more information on the Royal Yachting Association and UK Sailing Leagues here Add to Flipboard Magazine.