Sailing Champions League Final

Credit Philipp Mann

Over the past week Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has been represented at the Sailing Champions League world final that was raced in Travemünde, Germany.

Thirty six teams contested the event which has an umpired short course racing format.  Nine boats were on the start line for each race, and 72 races determined an overall ranking of teams.  Four teams travelled to the northern hemisphere from the Asia Pacific region: Mornington Yacht Club, Vanuatu Cruising Yacht Club, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and RSYS.

RSYS was represented by Zac West, Jed Cruickshank, Mina Ferguson, Aiden Mansley and Garth Bickford.

LtoR Jed, Mina, Zac, Garth, Aiden

About our Youth team

Zac on the helm started sailing in an Optimist, moved to the Laser until early 2020, before transitioning into keelboats and foiling classes. In his time in a Laser, he competed at seven world championships and 19 other internationals. Zac is also the Lead Coach for the Squadron’s Laser squads.

Jed grew up sailing dinghies in the Northern Territory before moving to Sydney where has sailed with RSYS for the past four years.  Jed has skippered teams with the Etchells Development Program and the Squadron Keelboat Program, including teams competing in the Australian Sailing Champions League finals, in which Jed and his team were 1st Youth team in 2021 and 2nd Open team in 2022. Jed is passionate about teaching others the unique skills of sailing, and when not training, racing or studying, he works at RSYS coaching children and adults.

Aiden Mansley has sailed most of his life and has constantly sought to improve – due to a strong loathing for swimming! He has been a member of RSYS since 2019 and part of the Squadron Keelboat Program whilst sailing many other boats, including the Etchells Development Program.

Mina started out in an Optimist when she was eight years old. In 2016 she was the Australian Female Optimist Champion. She transitioned into the Laser class and contested international regattas in both the 4.7 and Radial classes, and in 2020 was the Youth Female National Champion. Mina is currently sailing a 49er FX as a part of the Australian Futures Squad to campaign for the LA 2028 Olympics.

A Sydney based sail maker, Garth is a 19 year old progressing through the ranks as he competes at the 2023 SCL final in Travemünde. He has traveled overseas competing in multiple world championships including the RS Feva in 2019. Garth is a regular in the RSYS SKP squad and races frequently on TP52s, MC38s, J/70s, Skiffs and VXOnes.  In the 2021 Sydney to Hobart race Garth was the second youngest sailor in the fleet.

Photographer – Christian Beeck

It was a challenging event for our RSYS team and a valuable learning experience for everyone.  Each team sailed 17 races to determine the final ranking and RSYS had a mixture of results, including a race win.

The top four ranked teams after the qualifying event sailed four races for the final.  Congratulations to Club Member David Chapman, above right, who sailed with Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and took the overall win.