IUSA Student Nationals at HYC

28 March 2023
IUSA Student Nationals at HYC

HYC again hosted the IUSA Student Nationals in the Club J80s. The weather provided a bit of everything during Saturday. We started off in a Westerly breeze of about 14kts which was ideal.

Flight 1 sailed their series without any real incident with some excellent racing resulting in TUD1 leading the way with the slenderest of margins of 1point over UCC1. MTU were the third boat left with an anxious wait to see if they would claim the spot in the final.

Flight 2 got off after a swift changeover and turnaround and started uneventfully, however when approaching the Windward mark at the end of the first downwind leg in race 1 a squall blew in leading to much excitement and unfortunately a badly ripped jib. This lead to a long delay whilst the sail was taken ashore and repaired. During this delay the wind started fading rapidly and races 2 & 3 were sailed in lighter conditions with full sails, the reefs having been in up to that point. Unfortunately it was not possible to sail races 4 & 5 that day as the wind had now died completely. It was therefore decided that the flight would continue on Sunday morning.

Sunday dawned, and despite losing an hours sleep due to the beginning of summertime, we were all set to go on time for the 10AM gun. The wind was 15-16knts in a very lumpy North Easterly making life uncomfortable for all. The decision was taken by the race committee to leave the spinnakers in their bags and sail under white sails only. This led to TUD2 winning the group, again by only one point from UCD1 who did very well as they had to count an OCS. QUB finished third and scored exactly the same points as MTU had in the first flight. This meant that the countback tie breaker had to be employed leaving MTU as the unlucky losers.

By the time we were ready to start the final series the wind had dropped to about 12kts so spinnakers were back in. The racing was incredibly close with the two top teams from Flight1 renewing their recent rivalry. UCD1 were also determined to show their strengths with these three teams sharing out the race wins between them. Going into the final race UCC1 led TUD1 by one point with UCD1 a further two points back. At the bottom mark first time around TUD1 held the lead and UCC1’s woes were worsened when their spinnaker got snagged at the top of the mast and they struggled to retrieve it, but retrieve it they did without losing too much ground. They then showed us why they had gone in to the final race ahead by sailing a brilliant second half of the race and coming out on top.

A fantastic weekend’s sailing was capped by some incredibly tight racing which was honestly a joy to watch.

Final scores:

UCC1 18pts  1st
TUD1 21pts  2nd 
UCD1 22pts  3rd 

Finally, with a weekend like this there are nearly as many volunteers as there are competitors. A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers who helped to make this event the great success it always is. 

--- Report by Scorie Walls