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RN Victory at the Inter Services Dinghy Team Racing Championships

RC (Dinghies) - 29 Apr 19 Dinghies

The Inter-Services Dinghy Team Racing Championships took place 25-26 Apr at Bowmoor Sailing Club (Cotswolds) hosted by RAFSA. The Royal Navy Dinghy Team did rather well - here is the report......

By S/Lt Coral Crouch RN

Arriving at Bowmoor Sailing Club on Wed 24 Apr, a productive practice day on the water was had by all. The team got used to the conditions and helm/crew pairs in some useful drills run by Dan Vincent and Natalie Roach, followed up by a tactics session and on the water starting practice from Team Captain Hamish Walker. The saviour of the day was David of Bowmoor Sailing Club who hopped in a boat due to a last minute drop out. Once trained to the highest RN standard, the RAF pinched him for the competition, to which we'll attribute some of their subsequent success! Meanwhile Simon McGee was the real saviour, turning up at short notice to complete our RN team.

That evening, the hard-core pitched tents in the beginnings of Storm Hannah, whilst others chose to stay at Shrivenham, inadvertently saving themselves £8.80 in the process.

Thursday saw the first day of Inter-service Team Racing and the completion of 2.5 round robins between all services' A and B teams. With more wind than the previous few years combined, coupled with strong gusts and shifty conditions, the scene was set for an exciting few days of racing. All teams got off to a good start and the first round robin left all A teams and all B teams evens with regards to wins and losses. The closeness of this racing reflected the highly competitive nature of the event and kept all sailors on their toes.
The second round robin, however, saw the RN teams pull away, winning more races than their counterparts.

On Thursday evening the team headed out for a pub meal by the river in Lechlade with the Army (unfortunately Matt Irwin couldn't make it). Once replete, the RN and some of the Army returned to the club to join the RAF for further inter-service bonding. Based on attendance at a minimum, it's fair to say the RN won the social!

The third round robin was completed Friday morning and although results were still relatively close and some were made yet more interesting by multiple capsizes, they meant both A and B team finals were to be RAF Vs RN. The B team took to the water first and after a good start, cleaned up the first race. They threw this success away part way through the second race though, leaving the result down to an exciting third and final race; a race closely fought by both teams all the way through but pinched by the RN with 1, 3, 6 (although cemented by the RAF who were subsequently penalised on the finish line).

Next up, the RN Vs RAF A team final. In two close but decisive races, the RN A team swept to victory, completing the double win and rounding off 2 exciting days on the water.

A big thank you to Wayne Shirley for his able support and of course to our #1 cheerleader and phot, Don Willans.


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