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Race Review: Inter Professional Team Challenge, Held 17 May 2014.

Race Review: Inter Professional Team Challenge, held 17 May 2014.

If only all the club’s sailors knew how good it almost always is!

Wow, Inter Professionals…I can only hope that you had an absolute blast on and off the water last Saturday!?

Once again the annual Inter Professional Team Race proved to be a very worthwhile and valuable event. This is an event open to all, but aligned into teams representing various professions. I am completely humbled by the positive response of some 17 yachts on the start line, with only spirit and camaraderie to play for. This year, as it was turned out, the Inter Professional Team Race was a low key event, without a sponsor or fanfare, but it was somehow just as much fun as any I can recall.

Fears of a very windy day on the water, with the associated challenges, did not materialize. In line with the intent of the event to introduce sailing to a broader audience, we were somewhat exposed aboard our yacht, with a very experimental invitational crew of would-be sailors from my profession…5 out of 6 being Architects, and the sixth being an Accountant and complete newcomer to our yacht. I am so pleased with the outcome: an outstanding showcase of sailing in the environs around RCYC.

I recall managing to somehow cajole 43 yachts into sailing this event just two or three years ago, and that was fun. We had timed legs, multiple scoring opportunities, complicated intrigue…But this year’s race taught me so much more, because this time there was no sponsor, no fanfare, little support, no reason in terms of points or badges, just the passion that we share for sailing. The core. And it has come at the end of a considerably more active on-water season than any I can recall.

So let’s cut to the chase…Why is this one called the Inter Professional Team Race??? Why is it not just called the “Engineers amongst us get together and completely pummel all other professionals race”?

Oops, I let the cat out of the bag! The Engineer’s 2nd team came second, and the Engineer’s 1st team came…first.

Well done! Again! Engineers! Another year, another victory.

Well done to the Doctors for a credible 3rd place, and to all other teams on the water, IT, Legal, Finance, Architects and Quantity Surveyors.

Without a shadow of doubt, and without taking any glitter off the domination of the Engineers, I surmise that if our friend,the late architect Rob Meek (a great supporter and organizer of this race in the past), were still with us to motivate the entry of his very good friend Gordon Kling’s yacht Mwah in this race, the outcome may have been different for the Architects! Viva the Architects/QS team, who sailed very nicely but without a full team. It was the same for Finance team, who sailed one card short of a full deck. (To the Miura’s Bandit and Wings, who entered but didn’t pitch, 50 push-ups each please…your respective teams missed you!)

Majimoto II from Scarlet Sun & Scarlet Sun from Majimoto II. Team mates in the Architects & QS Team sail alongside one another on the long beat back from Sunset Mark to Woodbridge.

There were some good efforts across the board and the team racing vibe has such a fresh potential, kind of like the pursuit race but just better…This type of team racing is a lot of fun, and it is worth developing and refining further for the handful of team races we sail: Flag Officers Team Race, Inter Professionals Team Race, Portugal Day Team Pursuit Race (what a potent combination).

Looking through the fleet and seeing the yachts skippered by club stalwarts including John Levin, Paul Mare, Keith Mattison, CP van der Merwe, JJ Provoyeur, Alan Keen, Mike Atkins, Andrew Edwards, Peter Hill, Peter Bam, Ant Cassar, Dave Arnot, Ray Matthews, Colin Horton, John Waller, Gerhard Kopatz, et al lends a certain gravitas to the event. There is still a place and a time for this event in our sailing calendar, and we hope to secure an appropriate sponsor support to reflect this in the future.

To the seventeen yachts that made the effort this year, Thank You. Thanks also to the club for supporting this event again, and long may it last.

The 9.6 mile course comprised of a short beat up to Harken, a beautiful 3.6 mile run down to the new Sunset Mark, a beat back up to Woodbridge, a close reach to #4, and a short beat to the finish. Results here. Thanks to Adrian for setting the course, and Toni for being Race Officer, and to both for running a professional bridge and race day.

If you enjoyed this one, remember that the Portugal Day Race on 7 June. It is a potent combination of pursuit and team racing!

Sail as a Team

Luke

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