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Ceilidh Cup Review – Ross McGlennon & Craig Macdonald

With the annual Ceilidh Cup/SSS Match Racing being again hosted at RNCYC, Saturday October 5thwas mostly dry with a steady light breeze for most of the day. However Sunday brought a very uneventful morning and then wind filling in completely against the forecast in the afternoon.

Saturday morning saw the first of the round robin flights off to a competitive start. Again the event front runners began to emerge including Miles Jones from The University of Edinburgh, Ali Morrish (St Mary’s Loch SC) and Balazs Gecse (University of St Andrews) who all gained early wins. With Sunday’s forecast showing no promise of wind PRO David Denholm, from host club Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club continued racing into the early evening getting through 27 of the scheduled 38 races.


Sunday morning brought very light winds: all boats were towed to the race area. After a morning of searching for breeze and relaying the course several times a decision was made to end the round robin flights and move straight into semi-finals (top 4 teams) and king of the hill (bottom 5 teams). This kicked off with a freshening breeze and brought plenty of challenges to the umpires as teams battled it out for their final place in the rankings. Jake Miller from The University of Strathclyde made a strong start to the day but with one re-sail required, finished in 6th. Semi-finals were fought and won, leaving a final between Miles Jones of The University of Edinburgh and Balazs Gecse from the University of St Andrews, won by the latter. A quote from Balazs Gecse sums up the event final.

"We would like to thank the Organizers and fellow Competitors for the amazing weekend! The fast-changing weather conditions made the competition challenging and taught us important lessons.

The final against Edinburgh was very close racing. The start of the first race was unusual to say the least as we went around 20 boat-lengths below the line, attempting to cross Edinburgh’s bow, making the start an upwind race to the line. While we were lead around the marks during the first race, we managed to catch on the final downwind and get two penalties just before the finish. In the second race, jostling at the start meant we both got penalties, levelling the field, and although a close finish with a puff coming down the course left, Edinburgh were in control. On the final race, Edinburgh led off the line, but a shift from the left meant when Edinburgh split upwind we managed to come out in front, then leading for the first time all final around the course for the final win.

Our team really enjoyed Ceilidh Cup and St Andrews is looking forward to coming back next year!" - Balazs Gecse

(Photo Credits: Neill Ross)

Final ranking of competitors:

1st Balazs Gecse (University of St Andrews)

2nd Miles Jones ( University of Edinburgh)

3rd Ali Morrish (RYA)

4th Craig Macdonald (RNCYC)

5th Ellie Cumpsty (Chew Valley Lake)

6th Jake Miller (University of Strathclyde)

7th Thomas Goodman (University of Strathclyde)

8th Ian Walsingham (University of the Highlands and Islands)

9th Hamish Taylor (University of Dundee)

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