Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RC Oberhofen Triumph @ Swiss Sailing League- Act II

J/70 Swiss sailing league- Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)- The twelve best sailing clubs in Switzerland have already been fighting for valuable points in the Swiss national league. The brilliant start on Lake Maggiore has shown that the level of sailing is enormously high. Many clubs have once again strengthened their teams with top sailors, including several Olympic athletes.

The fastest climbers were SV Kreuzlingen, with the Olympic sailor Tom Rüegge at the wheel; their goal in Zurich was to show that the victory on Lake Maggiore was no coincidence. The winners of the Swiss Sailing Super League 2016 and second in the Sailing Champions League finale in Porto Cervo, Sardinia were the Regattaclub Bodensee, they were not satisfied with the fourth place in the Lago Maggiore opener; the young sailors from St. Gallen (Massimo Soriano, Lea Rüegg, Stephan Zurfluh and Rene Ott) came to Zurich with the firm determination to win.

The air at the top of the Swiss Sailing Super League is, however, literally quite thin. A whole series of teams- SN Geneva, SN Role, RC Oberhofen/BE, Thunersee YC and Neuchâtel- have the potential to sail for victory and podium places.  Plus, the Zurich Yacht Club in particular has strengthened and converted its team since Locarno and wants to free itself from the bottom of the barrel.  That was the “form” going into last weekend.

J/70 swiss sailing league mark roundingThe weather happened to be the determining factor in the event, playing to some team’s strengths and other’s weaknesses. The Swiss Sailing League meteorologist, Nicola Möckli, expected good sailing conditions, however, spiked with thunderstorms, rain and sunny sections.

In difficult wind conditions between doldrums and storms, the Regattaclub Oberhofen won the second round and is now sitting in the overall lead for the series. The Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen confirmed, by taking second place, their performance of Locarno and they are sitting in second place based on a tie-breaker with Oberhofen. In third for the series is Regattaclub Lake Constance.

Swiss J/70 sailing league winnersA mix of sun, clouds with occasional wind fields from the southwest and in the evening thunderbolts- these were the challenges the sailing teams had to master over the weekend in Zurich. On Friday, the first 4 races could be sailed in the wake of a thunderstorm. On Saturday morning, two races were taking place with rolling, light southern winds. Then postponements were announced. Only in the evening, with the thunder and winds growing again from the west could the Zurich YC PRO conduct another three races. However, when the thunderstorm discharged directly above the regatta course, the races had to be stopped and every returned to the safe harbor. Unfortunately, only one race was possible on Sunday morning and the second round was completed with 10 races.

The Regattaclub Oberhofen (RCO) with Alain Stettler, Simon Brügger, Christoph Rytz and Stephan Rupp were best able to handle the changing and difficult to read wind conditions. With three straights firsts, they tackled the team of the Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen (SVKr) with skipper Tom Rüegge.  Third place went to Regattaclub Bodensee from St. Gallen on Lake Constance; they were beaten with a penalty by the referees on Saturday because of a race offense and ended this race in the second place. This slip-up cost the St. Gallen the chances for victory.  That is how close the racing was between the top three teams- one point!!

Rounding out the top five were Societe Nautique de Geneve in 4th and Cercle de la Voile de Neuchatel in 5th place. The next round of the Swiss Sailing Challenge League will take place in Estavayer and Davos.  Follow the Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Swiss Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.