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14

The annual Colours races between UCD and Trinity underwent a revitalisation this year, with a new location, new format and all new commentary. It was ran over the whole day on Saturday 12th April. The event was held in the heart of Dublin city, in front of the Convention Centre on the Liffey. Spectators watched from the quays and the MV Cill Airne, while listening to the Viper (Chris Tordoff), resurrecting his career as Ireland's most talked about sailing commentator.

A full schedule of races was completed, with all the teams bar the firsts and alumni taking part in 2 round robins, of which UCD 2 and UCD 4 won the Gold and Silver round robins respectively. The alumni races were held shortly after, and Trinity came out on top in their best of 3 race, where some of the past leaders of each club fought it out, trying to remember their skills from their college days. The ladies race which was scheduled unfortunately did not get to be completed due to the time restrictions on lifting the East Link bridge to get the boats back out to Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club.

However, while UCD came out on top in both round robins, the title of Colours Champions goes to whichever college wins the best of 5 races between the colleges. UCD were favourites after their win at Varsities in February, however Trinity had been training hard to break UCD's winning streak over the past 4 years. With the flow in the river picking up pace, the highly contested races began with a large crowd gathered on the MV Cill Airne to watch.

Trinity had great starts, and took an early lead in the first 2 races to hold on and win both. With UCD's hopes coming down to the do or die 3rd, a big performance was needed. The 3rd race was a much closer affair, with the lead changing hands between the sides a few times, until Trinity pulled out a very solid final beat to go on to win their first Colours match in 4 years. The winning Trinity team was Scott Flanigan, Lucy Bolger, Jack Hogan, Iain Irvine, Rich Roberts and Ally Dix.

The annual Colours sailing match on the Liffey in Dublin - photo © Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
The annual Colours sailing match on the Liffey in Dublin - photo © Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
The Colours match marks the end of the college sailing circuit for 2013/14. While there was not much sailing achieved at the 3 events before Varsities, it was still a remarkable year. UCD won one of the tightest Varsities finals in years, the Student Yachting Nationals in Howth were incredibly close between the 8 J80s, and Colours was run with unparalleled success.

The win marks a sign of great progress for The University of Dublin as they look to rebuild towards another golden period of their own. A renewed sense of pride in their teams' performances was notable.

Trinity's success was made possible due to the kind sponsorship from the TCD Alumni fund, who helped finance members from the top three teams competing in Cambridge. Trinity's other main sponsors were Waterside Malahide, Cannon Kirk and Kevin Flanigan Estates who contributed greatly throughout the year towards subsiding Trinity's competition costs.

If you would be interested in sponsoring Trinity or the colours event for the 2014/2015 please email trinitysailing@gmail.com. As can be seen from the images substantial advertising space is available on the boats and surrounding areas.

Thanks must be given to Energia and Bank of Ireland for their support in running the event and of UCD Sailing Club over the year. Without them the day definitely would not have taken place. Thanks must be given to the MV Cill Airne for hosting the sailors during the day and night. It was a fantastic event, which will undoubtedly go from strength to strength in its new location.
 
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