The annual Ceilidh Cup / Scottish Student Sailing (SSS) Match Racing Championship will take place this weekend, 8-9 October 2022, with a sell-out entry hosted by the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club in Rhu.
Part of the RYA Summer Match Racing Series, it is Scotland's sole annual match racing event and this year entries are full with 9 teams, including 6 Scottish university teams.
As many of the university teams are new to the match racing scene, this event offers a first taste of match racing, with entrants often going on to compete at British university or RYA match racing events, if not further afield.
Among those competing this year is top match racer and Ceilidh Cup 2021 winner Alison Morrish, back in home waters in a welcome break from her international campaign on the women's match racing circuit - Rhu is just one step on the road to the Women's Match Racing World Championship, to be held in New Zealand in November.
The Ceilidh Cup, raced in Sonars, is Qualifier 3 of the RYA Summer Match Racing Series. It is also the first event on the Scottish Student Sailing academic calendar.
Louis Hockings-Cooke, SSS Yachting Rep, said: "It's great to see so many universities entering this event, especially those who haven’t tried match racing before. I hope they enjoy the weekend and that it will encourage them to enter more SSS events planned this year, from team racing in Firefly dinghies to British yacht racing and match racing championships towards the end of our academic year."
Event convenor for RNCYC, Craig Macdonald, said: "We had an enforced break during the pandemic, and when we returned in October 2021, we only had 7 entrants. Importantly, it was the first student sailing event in nearly 18 months. It's great to be back to the full 9 entrants, and ensuring that we can develop the next generation of Scottish match racers.”
Principal Race Officer Eilidh Millar added: "The forecast for this weekend is typically blustery but we hope to find sufficient shelter in the Gareloch to complete our busy race schedule of 52 races."
* denotes a team eligible for the SSS Match Racing Prize
To find out more about RYA Match Racing visit: www.ryamatchracing.co.uk
Picture: Ceilidh Cup, credit Neill Ross