Australia debuts at the Sailing Champions League Final at St Moritz
Twenty-four yacht clubs are set to fight for the title of “Best Sailing Club of the Year“ and the prestigious silver trophy in the SAILING Champions League Final 2019, due to start today, August 15 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Joining the hot European contingent for the first time is an Oceania team flying the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron burgee, the club qualifying for a starting position when they took out the open division of the National Sailing League Oceania’s launch event on Sydney Harbour back in April.
On the eve of day one of the four-day competition using J70 class boats, RSYS skipper David Chapman said: “From what we know of this league, it’s going to be extremely tough. We need to learn the boats and venue in a very short space of time.”
All four crew have come through the RSYS youth program – Chapman, Zac Quinlan and Charlotte and Finn Alexander. David and Charlotte were part of the team that qualified Oceania, and Finn and Zac have stepped in for the international final.
Chapman is a former youth match racing champion turned professional tactician with a seasoned resume in Dragons, Farr 40s, Etchells and other classes. Finn Alexander is past Laser youth world champion who now races full-rig Lasers, and is a member of the Australian Sailing Squad. Both Charlotte and Zac have strong match racing backgrounds.
After a long summer of qualification battles, it’s crunch time for the SAILING Champions League having enjoyed champagne sailing in Palma de Mallorca and in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, and tricky conditions and very light winds in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The SAILING Champions League qualifier series is due to begin at 1300hrs local time today and Chapman says the forecast looks light. Sunday afternoon’s final series result will deliver the world’s best club for 2019.
Photos by Darcie Collington