Monday, June 3, 2019

Italians Win SAILING Champions League Q-II

J/70s sailing off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
(Porto Cervo, Italy)- After three days of champagne sailing, the One Ocean SAILING Champions League, hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Italy, came to a surprising and uneventful end! During the three days of competition, 39 races were held, completing a total of 13 flights for the twenty-four teams from across Europe. The top seven teams qualify for the finale in St. Moritz, Switzerland from 15 to 18 August.

The One Ocean SAILING Champions League was blessed with spectacular weather the first three days with sunny skies, 10-18 kt winds, and choppy seas. However, Sunday’s racing had to be canceled due to pouring rains and near gale force winds of 20-35 kts. As a result, the leader after Saturday’s racing, the Italian club of Circolo Della Vela Bari, became the regatta winner. Here is how it all went down in the beautiful azure waters of the Mediterranean.
J/70s sailing off Sardinia, Italy
Day One- Thursday
At the end of the first day the fleet was tightly packed, with Swiss teams in the top two positions. Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen, had three victories in four flights, were at the head of the leaderboard, four points clear of their nearest rivals. The second, third and fourth-placed teams at the end of the first day were sitting on equal points and were, respectively, Regattaclub Bodensee, the German crew of the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee and the reigning champion, the only Italian team participating in this semi-final, Circolo della Vela Bari.

Tom Rüegge, skipper of the leading Swiss team said: "I can best describe today's weather conditions as 'champagne sailing'. Wind shifts and gusts made the day exciting and, as far as we are concerned, everything went well. We kept up a fast pace and now we are confident as regards the next few days."

To raise awareness and to get the sailors more involved in sustainability issues, every day on the way back from the race course some of the participants were interviewed, with questions aimed to test their level of awareness on marine pollution.

When asked how much plastic waste he thought was in the ocean, Kristoforas Akromas, skipper of Nauticus Sailing Club replied, "I am aware of the plastic islands and I believe that there is currently a lot of this type of waste in the sea. From Hawaii to the Baltic Sea you find plastic everywhere and it is sad, it is time to act to enable a positive change." Data confirmed in 2018 shows that plastic makes up more than 80% of all waste in the oceans for a quantity of more than 8 million tons.
J/70s sailing off Porto Cervo, Italy
Day Two- Friday
After a second busy day, the team from Switzerland's Bodensee Regattaclub led the provisional classification with two more days of racing due to be held.

Following an initial delay due to light winds, the competition on the water began at approximately 1 p.m. The arrival of the thermal breeze from east-southeast blowing at 5 to 7 knots allowed 15 races to be held today, thereby completing the 9th flight out of a total of 15 scheduled.

The Bodensee Regattaclub moved up the rankings, thanks to two wins and three second places and now stood on the top step of the podium, leaving its opponents seven points behind. The second and third-placed teams were on equal points, with a positive day unfolding for the Circolo Della Vela Bari, despite a penalty for crossing the starting line early in the sixth flight. They hold second place overall ahead of the German team from Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee in third.

Rene Ott, bowman for the Bodensee Regattaclub, commented, "We trained a lot in Switzerland in light wind conditions and so we raced well today. Reaching the final is our main objective and even if we are in the top seven positions our approach to the racing will remain the same. The success of our team is down to consistency, we will try to compete without taking risks."

The regatta is held in the name of One Ocean; during the event, all participating sailors are urged to reflect on the topic of marine pollution by answering targeted questions. When asked what actions she takes to avoid marine pollution, Dutch sailor Marieke Poulie of the KNZ&RV Muiden team commented, “first of all, by avoiding throwing things in the water when I sail, but even at home I am careful to properly recycle garbage, when I am ashore I try to collect plastic or objects that can be dragged and dropped into the sea by the wind. I think it's important to behave properly not only when we practice the sport of sailing, but each day in our everyday lives."
J/70s racing off Porto Cervo, Italy
Day Three- Saturday
Once again, the teams gathered punctually at 10 a.m. on the race course off Porto Cervo to kick off the penultimate day of competitions, accompanied by a sirocco wind blowing at 10 knots. A further 12 races were held and a total of 13 flights have been completed in the event.

Proving that consistency pays off, the team representing Circolo della Vela Bari, who sat in fourth place after the first day, climbed the provisional rankings and claimed the top place overall thanks to two victories and two second places in Saturday’s flights. The Regattaclub Bodensee is just two points behind in second place, while holding firm in third place is the German team of the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee.

Simone Ferrarese, helmsman for Circolo Della Vela Bari, commented: "Today's conditions were good as is usual in Porto Cervo and the guys did a good job. Now we're preparing for tomorrow, our goal is to get to the finals and to be ready for St. Moritz."

The question of the day on the topic of sustainability, which has been a feature of the entire event held in the name of the One Ocean Foundation, was: "As a sailor how important is the protection of the oceans for you?"

Atle Dreng of Norway's Larvik Seilforening responded, "I think it is crucial that companies, sailors and people around the world pay attention to the problem of plastic pollution. We all need to be aware of how much we are dependent on the state of health of our planet."
J/70 Sailing Champions League teams at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Italy
Day Four- Sunday
After racing was canceled late on Sunday morning, the teams gather together at lunchtime for the regatta’s prize-giving.  As a result, the winner of the second qualifier in Porto Cervo was the Italian team representing the Circolo Della Vela Bari; skipper Simone Ferrarese with crew of Valerio Galati, Leonardo Dinelli and Corrado Capece Minutolo (they were also the 2018 SAILING Champions League overall winners in St. Moritz, Switzerland).

The Regattaclub Bodensee followed the Italians and the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee in second and third place respectively. Completing the line-up of the first seven teams to qualify for the final are (in order): Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen, Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, Société de Regates Rochelaises and Yacht Club Breitenbrunn.

Ferrarese, taking time out of his 49er campaign to represent Italy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, was delighted to have won in Italian waters: “The racing was incredibly close. I have never seen so many boats going around the windward mark at the same time. There were lots of penalties and lots of place changing, but we managed to come through and do well in most of the races.  Nevertheless, it's a pity that we couldn't compete today, but the conditions were not safe. I have to thank the crew who were perfect, we had a great time. We now have the finals on the lake in St. Moritz, where the conditions will be different than in Porto Cervo, like last year we will do our best."

YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented, “we were delighted to have you all gathered here in Porto Cervo once again for the fifth consecutive year, and I want to thank all the participants, the Race Committee, the international jury, the staff of the YCCS and our partners. Thanks also go to the SAILING Champions League, we are pleased to host events such as this in which, besides a passion for the sport of sailing we also share a love of the sea. The regatta named after the One Ocean Foundation confirms these common values, we hope to see you in 2020 to work together again and continue to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the ocean."   Day 1 highlights  Day 3 racing   Final day on Facebook
Final day on YouTube

Watch One Ocean SAILING Champions league video here

Sailing photo credits- SAILING Champions League/ Anya Semeniouk.  Follow SAILING Champions League on Facebook here

Livestream and results by SAP
As with all SAILING Champions League events, SAP Sailing Analytics provides 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media like GPS tracking, real-time analysis, live leaderboard combined with 2D visualization. You find all results on!   For more One Ocean SAILING Champions League Porto Cervo sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.