London University won the British Universities Team Racing Championship at Grafham Water in a thrilling final with Southampton.
After each team had won a race, Southampton appeared to be controlling the decider with London's captain Mark Campbell-James tightly pinned between two Southampton boats. But Campbell-James successfully claimed a penalty against Southampton's captain Dom Johnson for gybeing too close in front and managed to break free while the latter was doing penalty turns and gain his team a winning combination.
The event was a huge success and was run very efficiently by Cambridge University Cruising Club despite the fact that, due to the foot and mouth crisis, a month ago they were unsure whether the event would be able to take place.
This year saw a new race format with 3 leagues, the top team of which went straight through to the quarter finals with the next 3 going into a round robin for the other places.
A number of those sailing in the team placed in the top 3 have been selected to sail for the 2 British Team Racing Worlds teams which shows the calibre of student sailing in this country at present.. Last week Campbell-James won the Universities Match Racing Championship, gaining himself a place in the national finals in September. In the ladies team racing, Oxford beat Southampton by two races to one.
British student sailing has progressed significantly in the last few years with better organisation, more funding and a lot of commitment from the sailors involved all of which are reflected in the results they have achieved recently. BUSA goes on to their 3rd Championship of the year, the Student Yachting Nationals, at Port Solent next week and plans for a British Student entry in the Tour Voile this year are looking very hopeful.