NUSYC feel the need for speed at Top Gun

Freya Macdonald reports on how Newcastle University Sailing and Yachting Club got on at the invitational event down in Oxford

Freya Macdonald
20th March 2017
Riding the wave: Newcastle battled against the wind to achieve 3rd place. Image: Nigel Vick

The first weekend of March saw our University sailing first team head down South to race the best teams in the country at Farmoor Reservoir in Oxford.

The event was an invitation only trophy, meaning that only the best eight teams in the country were selected to compete, which included Newcastle due to winning BUCS Northern Qualifiers back in February.

Team racing is the favoured type of racing by Universities with the format of a race containing three boats vs three boats and the team with the lowest combined score wins.

Having spent a night with a slug for a roommate, Newcastle joined the competitors at the Reservoir early on Saturday morning, ready for a weekend full of intense but well-natured competition.

“The team have come away from the weekend exceptionally proud”

NUSYC enjoyed an exciting days round robin racing against Cambridge, Exeter, Southampton, Oxford, Manchester, Trinity Dublin and London, winning at least one race against all these teams. This even included last year’s BUCS winners, Cambridge. Amongst all this were capsizes, crashes, bumps and bruises due to the heavy wind.

On the Saturday evening, all competitors were invited to the Oxford University Yachting Club’s annual alumni meal that celebrates the club’s achievements, and this year was sponsored by Moët & Chandon champagne!

By Sunday the wind had got up even more and so only a few more races could be fitted in before racing had to be cancelled due to the adverse conditions. This meant that overall, Newcastle finished in third place having completed 16 races, closely beaten by Cambridge and Exeter.

3rd  place for NUSYC at the invitational event

The team have come away from the weekend exceptionally proud, having never even been invited to the event before, and feeling very positive for BUCS finals which will take place in Easter holidays.

For anyone who is interested in getting into sailing, Newcastle University Sailing and Yachting Club are running learn to sail courses this term and also run social sailing on Saturdays, for enquiries contact James Sparks at

They thank their sponsors Gingerboats and Rooster for their continued support, as well as the Newcastle University Marine School for sponsoring the club.

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