The weekend of the 26th and 27th of November, saw the long-awaited return of the Angel of the North team racing event, held at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club and hosted by Durham University Sailing Club and Newcastle Sailing Club. Storm Arwen revoked all possibilities of sailing last year, everyone was keen to make this year a massive success. Over 140 sailors from universities across the country took to the water on Saturday morning to commence the round-robin series of races.
Despite a slow start, the wind strengthened over the course of the day, and sailors faced some pretty adverse conditions which made for some very exciting racing.
Sunday’s racing commenced, again with light winds for the final round-robin races before the knockout stages. The light and variable winds meant racing was stop and start in order to adjust the course to the conditions. Despite this, over 100 races rattled across two days.
The semi-finals saw Manchester's 1s and Liverpool's 1s take comprehensive victories over Scottish Student Sailing and St Andrews respectively in a best-of-three format. As the sun set on Derwent and crowds gathered on the shoreline, a rather beautiful scene was set for the all-important final. After some intense racing, Manchester was crowned winner, a much-deserved victory.
As for Durham's teams, two fresher teams were put out for this event where both teams performed very admirably, coming 2nd and 3rd out of the fleet of fresher teams competing. The event will have no doubt been a fantastic learning experience for them and will definitely give them the confidence for future events. It was also a wonderful sight to see the Durham alumni team return to Derwent who performed fantastically on the Saturday, dropped out of medal contention on the Sunday.
The Angel of the North event gave Durham University Sailing Club the opportunity to raise money for the Olivia Inspires Charity; a cause that is very close to DUSC supporting disadvantaged children to get into education and extra-curricular activities. The club pooled together their baking talents to sell over £100's worth of cakes at the event to donate to charity.
Thank you to all of the volunteers from both Durham and Newcastle who did a fantastic job in making this event happen, including the umpiring staff. Another massive thanks to Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club for providing their facilities and equipment for the event.