At 8am on Saturday the 12th of December, a bunch of DUSC’s finest showed up in the Royal St George Yacht Club to kick off the Third Annual Alumni Regatta. Boats were rigged, registration was taken and after a few minutes with a non-compliant printer the flight sheets were handed out. The weather was described by some as “treacherous”, while this may be a slight over-exaggeration it was typical of an Alumni Event. It was raining heavily all day and lots of encouragement was need to get the sailors out from the safety of indoors. Despite the awful rainy conditions, the wind in the morning was perfect. The two flights of boats were launched and the other teams were brought out to the Spirit of the Irish which was acting as mother ship for the day. We had eight teams competing on the day: four DUSC alumni teams, including the reigning champions of the Alumni Event, the DUCATIS. Two current DUSC teams tried their hand at showing the Alumni how the new kids do it, but unfortunately their youth and eagerness to impress could not quite match the experience of the Alumni. Two UCD Alumni teams decided to join in the fun, but a mishap with one of their alarm clocks resulted in a last minute shake up of the helms.
Sailing started off well, despite the rain. Shifty wind conditions meant that the course had to keep being adjusted slightly, but the races kept going. The teams were all closely matched making for exciting races. From 12 o’clock the wind kept building, but was still manageable. There were a few close shaves and boats almost capsizing. At half past 1 the wind shifted again, now coming directly in through the harbour mouth. This caused the waves to become quite big inside the harbour and coupled with the increase in wind it was decided that sailing would be cancelled before boats started to break. Much to everyone’s relief they were able to go in and enjoy their lunch and post sailing pints in peace from the rain and the wind.
With the afternoon off people had time to go home and get ready to look their best for the dinner that was taking place in the George at 8pm that evening. Suits were dusted off and shoes were polished. A drinks reception took place at 7pm and all the teams gathered together to congratulate each other on not getting lost at sea. The George kindly organised for the dinner to be downstairs so the event had the whole area to themselves. After the main course “prize giving” took place. Unfortunately, as racing had to be cancelled there could be no winner, but our ever modest Captain, Richard Roberts, figured that his team won the first flight and DUCATI took the second flight. The curse of the Alumni Event continues as the trophy has not been awarded since 2012, when DUCATI took the trophy. To soften the blow of another year without a winner, DUSC were able to unveil the new Colours trophy: “The Graham Elmes Memorial Trophy” which the club commissioned jointly with UCDSC in honour of our old coach Graham Elmes.
After the “prize giving” the microphone was passed along and people were encouraged to reminisce about their days in DUSC. Stories were shared, mostly about the biggest event in the IUSA calendar, the Varsities Ball. Glasses were raised to DUSC, as for many it was the biggest part of people’s college life. The big turn out of Alumni is a testament to the club and its committee and the success of the event has set precedent for the event getting even bigger in the future.
DUSC would like to say a special thanks to everyone that took part in the event, the Royal St George Yacht Club for accommodating us and supplying a flight of boats, the Royal Irish Yacht Club for supplying our mother ship and most importantly the Umpires, without whom we could not have held the event.
Words: Alva McDermott
Photos: Eoin Cambay