Birmingham University Old Joe Team Racing at SSSC

University of Birmingham host the 'Old Joe' at South Staffordshire SC © Gemma Davies
University of Birmingham host the ‘Old Joe’ at South Staffordshire SC © Gemma Davies

Over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of June, the University of Birmingham Sailing Club hosted their annual Old Joe at South Staffordshire Sailing Club. After registration at The Goose, the event kicked off in Birmingham with an enjoyable night out at Circo and Rosie’s on the Friday.

Saturday morning started out very wet with some strong gusts; nevertheless, after a short delay and the decision to start with cutdown sails, the round robin competition got under way. As the day progressed, the wind began to drop and the decision was made to change to full sails. The afternoon brought a good breeze and an end to the rain, enabling the competitive team racing to continue until 5pm.

University of Birmingham host the 'Old Joe' at South Staffordshire SC - photo © Gemma Davies
University of Birmingham host the ‘Old Joe’ at South Staffordshire SC © Gemma Davies

Once all teams were off the water it was time for the Saturday night social to commence. This year a delicious hog roast with a variety of salads was enjoyed by all. As the clouds cleared, lots of people sat out on the pontoon, whilst eating their dinner and sipping at a drink from the bar, as the sun set behind them. After a long day of competitive racing in the strong winds, this relaxed, social atmosphere, synonymous with the Old Joe, was much appreciated by all.

Once everyone was fed, the always popular South Staffs band kicked off the night’s festivities, with two sets full of everyone’s favourite party anthems. The band were then followed by the resident DJ, who continued the celebrations into the early hours of the morning.

University of Birmingham host the 'Old Joe' at South Staffordshire SC - photo © Gemma Davies
University of Birmingham host the ‘Old Joe’ at South Staffordshire SC © Gemma Davies

After a night of dancing and camping everyone was glad to tuck into a bacon butties breakfast on the Sunday morning. As a result of the lovely weather racing was able to start on time, with many sailors opting to sit outside to watch the racing. After the completion of the round robin at 12:15pm, the very exciting finals took place. It was a highly competitive final, but in the end the defending champions, the Bartley Babes, came out on top, with the M.O.N.G.s coming in a close second. We would like to thank all teams that participated, and in particular congratulate the Bartley Babes for their much deserved win.

Overall, the weekend was an ideal combination of high quality competitive sailing, and a relaxed, fun, social atmosphere. We really do hope that all teams enjoyed it as much as we did. We would like to take this opportunity to thank South Staffordshire Sailing Club for the use of their facilities over the weekend, and for once again, helping make The Old Joe such an enjoyable event. We would also like to thank our umpires, David Bickerton, David Battye and Steve Watson, for helping make the event run so smoothly. We look forward to seeing everyone again at The Old Joe 2020.