February 23, 2015, by Lee Chrimes
Snakebite Sailing Event 2015
The University of Nottingham held its annual sailing event, Snakebite, on the 21st – 22nd February this year. Kindly hosted by Notts County Sailing Club, Snakebite drew over 126 competitors from universities all around the country, once again proving itself to be one of the UK’s most exciting and popular student sailing events.
When the teams first arrived at the sailing club on Saturday, conditions were ideal; blue skies and a steady wind promised a great day for team racing. Thanks to the hard work of the Nottingham team members, the event got underway promptly and the competition quickly proved to be fierce. Nottingham’s very own Nottingham Old Boys got off to a great start, and made it through the first half of the day undefeated. However, other teams such as Loughborough 1, Wessex and Leeds 1 made equally strong starts, and at the end of the round robin the Nottingham Old Boys found themselves in 5th place, but still in the Gold bracket with 53 points. Loughborough 1 won the round robin with the least points (45), but had Wessex and Leeds 1 trailing only by one and two points, respectively.
The weather on Sunday morning was considerably more challenging. With wind speeds of 40 knots forecast, cut down sails had to be used, but this did not jeopardise the event; all of the sailors were keen to get back out on the water. Wessex seemed to revel in the gusty conditions, winning all of their races to take the Gold Fleet by storm. Nottingham Old Boys did well to come in second, securing their place in the semi-finals along with third-placed Loughborough 1 and the winners of the Silver Fleet, Newcastle 1.
The best racing of the weekend was reserved for the finals. Two tightly contested races saw Wessex overcome Newcastle 1 in the first semi-final, and the other saw Loughborough 1 just managing to oust the Nottingham Old Boys. The final coincided with the worst of the day’s weather, but heavy rain and strong winds did not perturb either team. Wessex defeated Loughborough 1, crowning themselves Snakebite champions, 2015. The Nottingham Old Boys managed to secure third place, earning themselves a well-deserved bronze medal.