The UKSA team waits to hear if its campaign to represent Britain at the Commodore’s Cup has been successful after last weekend’s Vice Admiral’s Cup

This weekend the British
Keelboat Academy crew were competing in the Vice Admiral’s Cup, the inshore
selection event for the Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup. Results from this
event, combined with the Morgan Cup (the offshore race two weeks ago), will be
used to help the RYA selection committee choose three teams of three boats for
the GB entry.

Final preparations for the
event started on Thursday afternoon, with the collection of our brand new North
mainsail. It was a bumpy and salty ride over to Cowes, reminding us of the long
beat home during the Morgan Cup!

We had an early start on
Friday, managing to get three hours sailing in before the first start gun at
11.30. It was important to get some training in, with a few changes in who was
on trim for the weekend and the new main to get used to. Unfortunately the
stitching on the main came undone at the tack, and the boltrope needed to be

The wind was very light to
begin with and quite shifty, between 6-12 knots for racing along Ryde bank. As
we hoped, we did quite well in the light airs, posting a 5th in race
1, three seconds off 3rd place. We also placed 5th in
race 2, but then had a bit of a shocker for the last race of the day, finishing
in 14th! Despite being over the line at go, we managed to make some
big gains, only to get in a muddle with the Farr 45s who didn’t have a spreader
mark at the top of the beat. Things got a bit tense…luckily there were no
crashes! Straight after racing we took the new main to Jerry the sailmaker; he
sorted the boltrope in plenty of time for the crew to head off for a Steak BBQ
at the Royal Corinthian.


Going in to day 2, we were
looking to discard our 14th place. We had three races, in no more
than 12 knots, racing up on the Hillhead Plateau. We finished with an 11th,
9th, and 7th, leaving us in 9th place overall
at the end of day 2. To top it off, we had been sailing in shorts and t-shirts
all day. Having secured some sponsorship from Polaroid sunglasses, it was cool
to spend the day living in HD! Back at UKSA we spent some time discussing
future events, crew weights and further training needs.


Day 3 bought with it some
fresh breeze from the NNW, averaging 16 knots with gusts of 18-20. We found
that our boat handling was good, but that we will need to keep developing our
trimming skills to be able to work through the gusts. We found ourselves down
the pack in the last day, with an 11th and 14th. The last
race of the day had required some orienteering, with a long spreader reach and
3 runs. We were well in the pack making some gains during the first 2 runs, but
then lost out on the final legs, crossing the finish line with Salvo. It was
nice to finish at Seafarer’s Ale, just off Cowes; not far to go for parking at
the Royal Yacht Squadron and getting a refreshing orange & lemonade!

Overall we finished in 11th
place. With the final call as to who has made the cut for the Commodore’s Cup
being announced shortly, fingers crossed we will have proven ourselves worthy.