Imperial Sailing inaugurates the 2018/19 Team Racing Tour

This year’s more “senior” Imperial White team members introduced the freshers of Imperial Red to team racing competition events; winning the races is not a substitute for winning the social.

On Friday 26th October, most of the 2nd and 3rd Imperial sailing teams met at Victoria Coach Station to make our way to compete at the Wet Dream in Reading. Stragglers were forced to take the train, which ultimately proved to be much faster (but less fun) than the coach. We entertained ourselves on the coach with food, food and more food. Aidan, however, was under the impression that it would be a sesh bus – sending us a message requesting us to be binned by the time we got to the house.

After almost missing our stop, we realised we had not been dropped in the town centre, but somewhere by the side of the M4, meaning we had to then take two buses followed by a 15 minute walk to our host’s house. No sooner had we put our bags down and dibsed the sofas, we all walked to Coop to buy some bevs so we could catch up with the pub crawl that had been planned for the night, which was already on its penultimate pub! Whilst in the pubs, older members of the teams caught up with friends from other unis, and freshers frequently got caught out by the radical drinking rules of Reading (“no acceptance”???). After the pubs, we all went to the club to cut some shapes – not before Callum decided stealing a mini traffic cone would be a good idea. We also managed to leave poor Callum at the club when we were dragged unwillingly from the dancefloor​ left in order to actually get some (4 hours) sleep. On arriving at our host’s house, we realised she was still out and so we learnt of a new entrance to the house – namely, the skylight to our room. This apparently became Ollie’s preferred method of entering the house as he repeated it the following night.

Despite lack of sleep and with everyone safe home (albeit some much later than others), Saturday was a good start to the weekend with Imperial White winning five out of our six races. Against Cardiff Blue, Imperial Red managed a take out at Mark 3 to get 2,3,4 only to hit each other on the reach and lose 2,5,6. However, they then went on to beat KNOBS on the final beat after them having a comfortable lead with stable position for the whole race.

Imperial White team starts a race with boats in 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. 

After a long day of sailing, we went home for a quick nap and then started pre-ing for the eagerly awaited curry social. Our teams’ costume theme for the night was The Nightmare Before Christmas, and almost none of us stuck to it strictly apart from some questionably drawn face paint. Shoutout to Toby actually putting some effort in, coming as “Sandy Claus” and dressing in a morphsuit in such cold conditions (lows of 1°C!) Callum also deserves a mention for not being drunk, “just really extroverted” when he was asked to leave by the manager, to which he replied by shouting in French.

Sunday, was a different story for our success rate – whilst nursing hangovers and battling with lack of sleep, Imperial White lost three of our four races. Gabriel and Calvin, competing as part of the Old Waynfletes & Friends team, managed to beat Imperial White a total of three times thanks to various complications with restarts, postponements and broken boats! Due to increasing wind strength, the course kept on getting bigger and bigger which didn’t help with the punctuality of changeovers and made it even easier for us to accidentally sail into the race whilst waiting for our start. The story didn’t get any better for Imperial Red either, with an umpire getting in the way of Eddie when his rudder wasn’t working properly in the middle of one of their races. Overall, Imperial White came 7th and Imperial Red 14th out of 18 teams, having beaten a fair few teams that we wanted to.

Even after the sailing was done, our troubles did not end there: on our way home, due to delays in the coach timetable, we were faced with the possibility of waiting for an hour and a half in the cold for our ride home! Luckily, the coach arrived after around 45 minutes, which we had survived with the help of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and huddling in a parking payment booth. We arrived back in London safe and sound, and altogether content with our performance over the weekend.

Many thanks to the University of Reading Sailing Club for organising a great event, and also a b​ig thank you goes out to Toby (Imperial White Team Captain) for being a shuttle service for us!!  And as always, we’re grateful to our sponsors Rooster Sailing and Helly Hansen, for providing us with great value for sailing kit.

Written by Anita Plumley (Imperial White team member)


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