sale serif;”>On the 13find serif;”>thlook serif;”> and 14th October, UCD Sailing Club made the journey south to Wexford town for the Irish University Sailing Association (IUSA) Easterns Championships. With a great weather forecast and 8 different colleges from around Ireland attending, it was bound to be a great weekend at Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club. The event was one of the 5 college team racing events held in the year, sailed in two-man Firefly dinghies.
Bright on Saturday morning, the 28 competing teams awoke to reasonable conditions. With a gentle breeze, sunshine and a strong spring tide a challenging day of racing was on the cards. As it was the first event of the year, all the college 1st and the top ranked 2nd teams from last year were split into Gold A and B fleets. The Silver fleet was made up of a mixture of the remaining 2nd teams, the 3rd and the top ranked 4th college teams with all others in Bronze.
After losing many sailors through graduation it was a new UCD1and UCD2 team that took to the water, with a blend of new and old blood. After a tough day’s racing, UCD1 led from the front winning 5 of their 6 races to qualify for the Gold finals, with UCD2 sailing very well in what was a very high standard fleet and just missing out on the Gold finals on Sunday.
UCD3 followed UCD1’s footsteps coming away with 5 out of 6 wins in the Silver fleet despite a close encounter with UCD4, who more than held their own and qualified for the Bronze fleet finals after just missing out on the Silver fleet finals. The first race of the day in the Bronze fleet was UCD5 and UCD6, with UCD6 coming away with the win and continuing their strong performance to qualify comfortably for the Bronze fleet finals. UCD5 learnt from their mistakes in the first race and also qualified for the Bronze fleet finals.
Sunday morning dawned with the sun shining and a light breeze for what was going to make for another intense day of racing with a strong tidal current present. The knock-out finals got underway early with UCD4 vs UCD5 racing in the first Bronze fleet quarter finals. After a race that came down to the last upwind UCD5 came away with the win and qualified for the semi-finals to race against UCD6 after they beat UCC4. Another strong performance by UCD6 led to them qualifying for the Bronze fleet finals and beating UCC5 to take gold in the Bronze fleet.
UCD 3 cruised through their quarter and semi-final races in the Silver fleet beating TCD3 and UL2 respectively. After racing very well all weekend they came up against TCD Alumni (moving up from the Bronze fleet) in the Silver fleet final, who were suspiciously sailing as TCD6. UCD3 ended up finishing 2nd in the Silver flee; a fantastic start to the year.
UCD1 continued to lead from the front winning their quarter-final, with a comfortable 2-0 win against DCU1. In the Gold fleet semi-final they came up against the Alumni team who had been setting the bar high all weekend. UCD1 got off to a dream start winning the first race; unfortunately Alumni came back strong to win the next 2 races to win the semi-final 2-1. Alumni went on to win the overall event beating UL1 in the final.
UCD3- Vinnie Varley and Shauna Golden, Maria Dolan and Maeve Lavelle, Sophie Murphy and Hodel Herlihy
UCD6- Ben Shanahan and Callum Mc Loughlin, Keelan Conway and Andrew Fitzgerald, Eoin O’Neill and Niamh Murphy
By Cian Mollen