RSYS wins Sailing Champions League 2019

Media Release: The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron turned on the afterburners in a thrilling four-boat showdown to win the SAILING Champions League 2019 on the lake of St. Moritz. 

The crew from Sydney was the only non-European team among 24 clubs representing ten nations at the August 15-18 championship, and now the trophy flies out of Europe for the first time, winging its way to Australia. 

Second place went to Norddeutscher Regatta Verein from Germany. The other two clubs that contested the four-boat final represented Denmark: Kaløvig Bådelaug finishing third, and Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in fourth place.

David Chapman, skipper of the winning team, commented: “We are absolutely stoked. We struggled to get a crew together for this regatta so we nearly didn’t come. But what a great team to have sailing with me: Finn and Charlotte Alexander and Zac Quinlan. I think the other teams didn’t rate us going into the Final, which was just fine. Winning the Oceania Final really put us in good stead. We didn’t make a mistake and the crew were just awesome – you can see that in how hard they hiked.”

Compared with the 51 races of eight-boat heats over the previous days of competition, the four-boat final required a more aggressive approach. No one could match the starting prowess of Chapman and his crew - all with high-level match racing or experience in other small boat classes - who won the first race of the finals and then followed up with an even more dominant display in race two. 

“I hope we inspire more teams from Down Under to compete in the SAILING Champions League. It’s such great racing - turn up with your mates and your lifejacket and race in equally-matched, provided boats,” Chapman added. Usually he would be tactician for Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood at Hamilton Island Race Week, that crew taking out IRC division 2 race 1 just hours before the Australians’ victory in Switzerland. 

Much was made by the SCL commentary team of the Alexander siblings’ choice to race barefoot in the cooler mountain climate, Charlotte laughing: “It works, so we’ll keep doing it!”

The Oceania league launched in April 2019 and the dates for the second season were announced recently: 
1.    NSL Oceania Open Final, Sydney (April 3-5, 2020), 
o    NSL Southern Qualifier, St Kilda (February 8-9, 2020)
o    NSL Northern Qualifier, Sydney (March 14-15, 2020)
o    NSL Pacific Qualifier, Auckland (date tba)
2.    NSL Oceania Youth & Women’s Final, Newcastle (March 21-22, 2020)

Good luck RSYS at SCL Final

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

 

 

 

 

Members assist at Pacific Games


RSYS Members Captain Karyn Gojnich and Howard Elliott have just returned from Samoa, where they generously devoted their time to support young sailors at the 2019 Pacific Games. 4,000 athletes and officials from 24 Pacific Nations competed across 26 sports over a two week period in Apia. 

Howard was a member of the International Jury appointed for the regatta and Karyn was part of the coaching team supporting four Australian sailors at the event. Karyn commented, "There were many highlights during our two weeks however the most rewarding was working with some very talented young sailors, watching them rise to the challenges, soak up advice, learn and adapt both on the race course and onshore. The future of Australian Sailing is looking very bright with these sailors coming through." said Karyn


A warm welcome at the Opening Ceremony

Week one included racing for the Women’s single hander event sailed in the Laser Radial.  Australia’s Paris Van Den Herik from Darwin got off to a solid start day one with a 2,2,4 in the three races sailed. The weather throughout the regatta was challenging, quite often huge clouds building over the land and rain clouds coming in from the ocean affecting the local wind on the course area. On day 3 Paris picked up a second yellow flag but she was able to bounce back on day 4 and pick up two race wins. Points were close going into the final day of racing however Paris was able to secure the bronze medal.


Karyn with the Australian sailing team

 
The Oceania Championships were held alongside the Pacific Games and in week one this included a Kiteboarding event in which Australians Logan McCormick and Levi Fowler collected the Gold and Silver medals respectively.  
 
The inaugural Para Hansa 303 single handed event was held and Australia's Russell Phillips collected the silver medal.
 
In week two the Open Catamaran event was contested in the Hobie 16. Lake Macquarie Nacra 15 sailors Tom Dawson and Sarah Hoffman had to put on weight before the event to stay above the class minimum of 130kgs. The Pacific Games experience was a major development opportunity for the two 16 year-olds, who were racing against athletes twice their age with a wealth of experience competing on the world stage.

About the event Sarah commented "It was an amazing opportunity to be able to relate with other athletes from different sports and be able to have the experience of being a part of a multi-sport Australian team. It was really interesting to learn the mindset other athletes carry when they achieve or don’t achieve their goals when competing. Overall, this event gave me a wide insight to the scope of sport and future opportunities in sports as well as giving me a further appreciation for sport itself." Tom observed "It was an awesome experience, heaps to take away from it and put back into our sailing back home."
 
Also in the second week of competition was the single handed men's event that was contested in the Laser full rig. Due to the limited number of Lasers available in Samoa competitors sailed in split fleets. Will Sargent from Tasmania was up against some top opposition with French sailors Maxime Mazard and Etienne Le pen representing New Caledonia. Will racked racked up 12 second places and managed a win in race 13. There were some great battles on the water, and one that also went before the international jury, only to be dismissed, but nevertheless a very valuable learning experience for both teams. In the final race of the series Will had to beat Eroni Leilua from Samoa for the Bronze medal. After a match racing style pre-start, Will comfortably stayed three to four boat lengths in front of the Samoan to claim his spot on the podium.
 
On reflection Will commented "This event has highlighted to me the skill and fitness levels required to be able to compete at the top end of Olympic class fleets and has given me an insight into what I need to improve on to compete near the top end of the fleet of Olympic classes."

 

Podium finish at Laser Worlds


Congratulations RSYS Youth Members Zac West and Mark Louis who have achieved 2nd and 3rd place respectively at the 2019 ILCA Laser Radial Men's World Championship. They competed in a fleet of 32 at the event in Sakaiminato City, Japan.  

The prize giving and closing ceremony will be held tonight, 24 July.

View provisional results here