On Saturday March 31st, in Dun Laoghaire, the destination of the 2012 Irish University Sailing Association (IUSA) Intervarsity Championships Trophy was decided. The event was originally scheduled to take place on February 15th-19th in Westport, but was cancelled due to excessive wind on the last day of the finals. The new date was scheduled to coincide with the annual UCD/Trinity Colours Event, and provided an excellent day of racing in near perfect conditions.
As with any Colours Event, competition was fierce, with UCD and Trinity both putting in eight teams apiece, although the destination of the Colours Trophy depended solely on the results of the First Teams.
In what was a fairly even affair between the colleges, wins for UCD came from UCD 2, UCD 4 and UCD 6, before the Ladies team dominated affairs in their race. Trinity won the Thirds, Fifths and Alumni, making the battle of the Firsts all the more interesting. In the best-of-five encounter, UCD 1 prevailed, showing superior speed to win 3-0, as they did in 2011, and won the Colours Trophy for the third year in a row.
UCD 1 and UCD 2 were far from finished for the day, as at 1pm, shortly after securing the Colours trophy, they readied themselves to take on University College Cork and the University of Limerick in the IUSA Intervarsity Championships.
In the quarter-finals UCD 2 upset the odds against UCC 1, comfortably winning 2-0 in the best-of-three race. UCD 1 dually raced UL 2, easily winning 2-0 and setting up a race with familiar foes and 2011 Winners, UL 1.
Showing greater determination and hunger for the title, UCD 1 won 2-0 to move into the final. UCD 2 had the chance to follow them, and in their way stood the Trinity First team; Trinity came out on top 2-0, to set up a repeat of the Colours final.
They used the final experience from 2011 to their advantage, sailing fast and more tactically astute than their opponents to prevail 3-0 in the best-of-five race, to the scene of jubilation as they crossed the finishing line and secured the Intervarsity Championship trophy.
Bouncing back from semi-final disappointment, UCD 2 won the Petite Final against 2011 Champions UL 1 2-0, and collected their ISA Bronze medals.
In what was a strong year for UCD Sailing, UCD 1 ended top of the IUSA rankings and will now represent IUSA at the BUSA Team Racing Championship in West Kirby, Liverpool this week from April 9th to 13th.
Previously, at the race in Westport, UCD 5 won the Bronze Fleet, with UCD 3 winning the Silver Fleet, to make it a Grand Slam of IUSA Intervarsity Fleet wins in 2012.
Gold Fleet Winners and Champions 2012:
UCD 1: Simon Doran & Aoife Cooney, Barry McCartin & Eimear McIvor, Aidan McLaverty & Bella Morehead
Gold Fleet Bronze Medallists:
UCD 2: Michael Harrington & Ciara Browne, David Fitzgerald & Zoe Flood, Alyson Rumball & Caitriona Ni Mhurchu