Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Europe’s "Best Sailing Club“ 2017- YC Costa Smeralda!

J/70 Sailing Champions League- YC Costa Smeralda (Hamburg, Germany/ Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The 2017 Audi SAILING Champions League Finale took place in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, exactly one week after the conclusion of the epic Audi J/70 World Championship. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in collaboration with the SAILING Champions League, and with the support of title sponsor Audi, and Technical Partner Quantum Sails, a maximum of 48 races were scheduled over the three-day event and the 32 competing teams had until the close of play on Sunday, the 24th of September to claim the title of “Best Sailing Club 2017”.  The teams were competing in eight perfectly-matched J/70s with new Quantum Sails supplied for the event.

After the entire 48 races were sailed, 12 in total for each team, it was the YC Costa Smeralda team of Flavio Favini, Federico Michetti, Branko Brcin, and Luca Faravelli that took home the grand prize and were crowned the 2017 “Best Sailing Club” in Europe.  Here is how it all took place over the course of three days.  Here is the complete SAILING Champions League Finale- Team Introductions

J/70 Sailing Champions teamDay 1- Classic seabreeze
Fourteen races were completed on the first day. Racing got underway at 12.30 after an hour’s wait for the breeze to fill in. At the conclusion of five hours at sea, three full flights had been completed along with two races of the fourth of a total of 12 scheduled flights. The 32 participating teams did battle on the regatta course of Porto Cervo accompanied by a southeasterly breeze of 10-12 kts that built to around 15 kts over the course of the afternoon. Each race saw eight teams take to the starting line aboard one-design J/70 craft for fast races of approximately 10 to 15 minutes’ duration each.

With day one’s racing filed away the home club- YC Costa Smeralda- team topped the overall leaderboard with three wins in three races! Just one point behind in second place was the Swiss team Société Nautique de Genève (Guillaume Girod – Marc Stern – Nicolas Kauffmann – Mathieu Fischer) with a 1-1-2 scoreline. In third place, four points behind and with four races run, was the Russian team LORD OF THE SAIL– EUROPE (Evgeny Neugodnikov – Viacheslav Ermolenko – Iurii Popov – Sergey Musikhin).

Flavio Favini, an America’s Cup sailor and helm of the YCCS team declared: “We didn’t expect this result today, we didn’t get a chance to practice over the past few days. We’re really happy because we managed to get 3 wins one after the other, but there is still a lot to work on. Today’s conditions were fantastic, racing in 10-12 knots of breeze was great.”  After the day at sea, crews gathered in Piazza Azzurra for the Opening Ceremony.  Day 1 Highlight video

J/70 sailing off Porto Cervo, SardiniaDay 2- Maximum Racing Day
It was a busy day for the teams that saw them reach a tally of nine flights completed. Racing ran perfectly to schedule with teams taking to the regatta course at 1000 hrs and completing 22 races over the course of more than 7 hours at sea accompanied by a 12-13 knot south-easterly breeze. This brought the participating Clubs to a total of 36 races run out of a maximum possible 48.

Competition was incredibly close at the top of the leaderboard where each point counted towards losing or retaining a podium position today.

The YCCS team gave a mixed performance, alternating top finishes with low scores, but they maintained their lead of the overall classification, thanks to victory in the final race. The extremely competitive Société Nautique de Genève team sat just one point behind the Italians and posted a 5-3-1-6-2-3 scoreline. In third place were the Russians on LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE; they came back from taking an OCS in day’s second race with a victory in the third (4-OCS-1-3-2).

Guillaume Girod, Swiss Laser sailor and helmsman of Société Nautique de Genève, commented on the day’s events: “At the start of racing we weren’t very consistent, but we got better towards the end and finished in the top three so it went well! The crew has trained, they took part in the Audi J/70 World Championship last week and we also sailed together for a few days before this race but we can always learn more. We were more aggressive in our starts today compared to yesterday and we will try to improve again for tomorrow’s final day.”

After a full day of competition, teams gathered in the evening for a Team BBQ Dinner at the YCCS Clubhouse in Porto Cervo.   Day 2 Highlight video

J/70 Sailing Champions League winnersDay 3- Fantastic Finale
A decisive final day saw the team from the host club YCCS claim the title of “Best Sailing Club 2017”. The event, organized by the YC Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the SAILING Champions League and with the support of title sponsor Audi and technical partner Quantum Sails, concluded Sunday after competitors completed the full schedule of 12 flights of races over the three-day program.

At 1000 hrs, the teams took to the starting line off Porto Cervo for the final sprint. After approximately 5 hours on the race course, with wind conditions that reached 20 knots and swung from southeast to northwest, prompting repositioning of the race area, the full quota of 48 races was completed.

The Italian team representing YCCS, in the lead from day one, secured victory with a first place finish (bringing them to 6 wins in total) and two second places in Sunday’s racing.

Federico Michetti from the YCCS team was delighted with the result, “It is a great honor to represent the Best Sailing Club 2017. It’s been a great day and a great weekend spent with fantastic friends Flavio Favini on the helm, Branko Brcin and Luca Faravelli together with Filippo Molinari as Team Captain. They were great teammates and I can’t think of a better way to round off the sporting season! There were a lot of strong teams here, a lot of young sailors and I really think this is a winning formula!!”

Russia's OST Legal Team sailing fast off SardiniaThanks to two victories and a second place today the Russian team of OST LEGAL SAILING (Vladimir Lipavsky, Andrey Kochnev, Egor Larionov, Nikolay Korneva) climbed up the leaderboard to claim second place four points clear of the Swiss team of Société Nautique de Genève in third place with a 4-6-2 scoreline.

“Luckily we had a good today, we finished in seventh place overall yesterday so we thought we might not get onto the podium. But, today we were concentrated and we had a bit of luck as well so we were able to finish in second place,” exclaimed Andrey Kochnev of OST LEGAL SAILING.  Their performance was indicative of the high standard of J/70 sailing being achieved by Russian sailors across Europe, building upon the win by Russia’s top woman skipper- Valerya Kovalenko- with her ARTTUBE team at the YC Monaco’s 2017 J/70 Winter Sportsboat Series.  In the 2016 SAILING Champions League, there were no Russian crews in the top ten, now in the 2017 edition they placed two Russian teams in the top four.  And, the winners of the German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, French, and Austrian sailing leagues finished behind them— an extraordinary achievement in just twelve months!

German J/70 sailing team at Porto Cervo, SardiniaSpeaking about the event during the final prize giving ceremony YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented,  “The Audi SAILING Champions League brings the YCCS sporting season to a close in this, our 50th anniversary year. I would like to ‘Thank’ all of the 32 teams who travelled from across Europe to take part in three days of thrilling competition. My congratulations got to all the participants and to our own team who honored the YCCS colors. Special thanks must go to the SAILING Champions League Association for collaborating with us on the organization of the event, to the title sponsor Audi, the Race Committee, the International Jury and the staff of YCCS who made this all possible. I hope to see you all here in Porto Cervo during the 2018 sailing season.”

The YC Costa Smeralda will be in Milan from the 3rd to 4th October for the ONE OCEAN Forum, an initiative that aims to promote the safeguard and conservation of the marine environment. During the Forum the “Charta Smeralda” will be presented, a code of conduct comprised of environmentally sustainable principles.  A SAILING Champions League Regatta Highlight video.

As the technological partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP provided spectators worldwide with a professional livestream. Races were commentated and explained for everyone by sailing experts and sailing reporters. All races were broadcast live via the internet Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm CEST.   SAILING Champion League results and live stream can be found here.