University ready to set sail in race for glory

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PORTSMOUTH students will be looking to finish their season with victory in the British University Sailing Association (BUSA) Yachting Championships next week.

It’s been a fruitful campaign so far for the University of Portsmouth.

They finished sixth out of 53 university teams in November’s Fleet Racing Championships and won the team racing event at Brunel University in March.

The annual yachting nationals will be held in the Solent next week – beginning on Monday and climaxing on Thursday.

With 24 entries confirmed for the four-day event, competition will be fierce.

Day one will comprise of three hour-long races, with two hour-long contests and a middle-distance battle on day two.

Following an inshore race and a long, eight-hour contest on the third day, the final day will see a series of shorter races before the overall victor is announced by BUSA patron Princess Anne at the prize ceremony.

Rivals Southampton University took victory in 2014 with Portsmouth finishing in sixth place.

But University of Portsmouth commodore Ashley Greenall believes his squad are capable of victory on home waters.

He said: ‘Southampton are the team to beat.

‘They are very, very strong, while a lot of our team are fairly new to yacht racing.

‘But at the end of the day, it all comes down to teamwork.

‘It’ll be the crew that works together the best that wins.’

Alongside Greenall, Portsmouth’s crew consists of team captain and helm James Hall, Zoe Whittaker, Lauren Nimmo, Marie-Claire Sothcott, Will Berry, Hamish Bettany and Lukas Wendisch.

Greenall added: ‘We have three freshers and a second year, who is new to the sailing club, in our team.

‘They have all stepped into their roles really well and training has been excellent.

‘Everything seems to have gone really smoothly and once we’ve nailed the technique everything should come together.’