Season in review: Rifle and Sailing Clubs

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RIFLE Adam Moran – Rifle Club   This year the St Andrews University Rifle team has really made their presence felt on the national stage. A strong and committed batch of new members, coupled with an experienced returning team, helped the A and B teams each secure podium places in every competition they entered over the season. The A team regularly triumphed above the other universities, remarkably placing first at all five grand prix competitions around the Scottish universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, RGU and of course at home in St Andrews. Moreover, the club’s B team was never more than two spots behind the A team, proving a consistency in the club’s excellent training scheme. In Sheffield the team placed third at the BUCS Indoor Championships, beating away stiff competition from the likes of Durham, Exeter and Imperial College London. The Rifle Club are also pleased to report that, in the annual ‘Town and Gown’ match against the town’s non-University rifle club, the University team won by a comfortable margin, posting impressive scores across the board. The team’s Vice-captain, Sarah Boyle, cheerfully noted that “The club may even have to invest in a new trophy cabinet as we’ve won every available team trophy of the season.” The preceding quote was accompanied by a cheerful high five with Club Captain Rory McAlpine, a veteran target rifle shooter, who went to China in 2011 for the World University Games. A special mention must also be given to Kathryn Williamson, a first year member who just this year has won the Scottish Individual Championships and was in Germany recently to compete at international level.   SAILING Shelley Talbot – Sailing Club   The Sailing Club has had a great year, with a huge increase in beginner training and the dingy racing team making the Gold League at the SUSA Championships. That isn’t to say there haven’t been some ups and downs along the way. There’s been broken boats, broken cars and even an almost broken face. But on reflection, the club members have had a great time, and are really looking forward to next year. Despite a few hiccups at the beginning of the year the dinghy racing team had a great season. With almost all of the team new to university racing the team learned a lot throughout the year and hope this will show by giving strong performances in 2012-13. The team would have won the SUSA Champs this year had Monday lectures not stopped them attending the finals (a sneaky move by the other teams?), and had a few good race wins in other competitions. The team are looking forward to some new recruits, plenty of training, lots of banter and (fingers crossed) some competition wins next year. Unfortunately the club didn’t manage to send a team to BUSA Yachting this year, however it is already planning the team for next year, and have planned some cheeky training from Strathclyde the week after exams. The club also crewed for Colin for the first time. He lives in Anstruther but has his boat in the Clyde so it was fantastic to go across to the West Coast for a weekend. A group of six gained our Short Range Radio Certificate and now the club is focusing on organising a huge summer yachting trip for summer 2013. The beginner training has been great, with had two weekends at the beautiful Loch Tay, sailing Solings, Lasers and Wayfarers. One such beginner, Jess, who’d never been sailing at all before, even said she came out feeling like a fully fledged sailor! There was recreational or beginner sailing every Wednesday it didn’t feel like there was a hurricane off East Sands, and a group of beginners went on a sailing trip to Loch Ken in Galloway. 22 beginners went, with one gaining their Start Windsurfing, 10 gaining Dinghy Level 2 and 10 achieving Dinghy Level 3. Amanda was one particular beginner who was terrified of sailing, but even she was sailing on her own by the end of the trip (even if she did end up almost capsized and screaming for help at one point!). The next big thing for the Sailing Club will be the Yacht Party, taking place in an undisclosed location in Freshers Week. The club is also fundraising for its ultimate dream: new Fireflies. Club members team race Fireflies, but at the moment the boats aren’t doing justice to the team, hence all the effort being put into fundraising for them. The Sailing Club aims to continue to prosper and compete at high levels, whilst fostering an atmosphere where beginners feel comfortable to learn and recreational sailors can simply have fun. The year has been a great foundation to what will hopefully be a really successful next season, with regards training and competitions. But probably the best thing about this year has to be the friendships that have been created and cemented. It’s sad to see the graduating class leave, but the future looks very exciting.          

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