Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Bodensee YC Wins Youth SAILING Champions League

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League- Travemunde, Germany (Travemunde, Germany)- The Youth SAILING Champions League was the latest innovation to be launched out of the successful SAILING Champions League format, and eighteen crews from eight nations raced each other in Travemünde, Germany, from 27 to 29 July. The first-ever league competition exclusively for sailors from 16 to 23 years old at Travemünde Week attracted prestigious yacht clubs from Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Some of the yacht clubs were already well-versed in the short-course windward-leeward style of racing the fleet of J/70 sportsboats. The Royal Danish Yacht Club (Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub) recently won the inaugural event in the Women’s SAILING Champions League at Kiel Week, in addition to also leading the overall standings at this stage of the Danish National Sailing League 2018.

Catharina Sandman, one of 17 female sailors competing in Travemünde, from the Finnish entry Nyländska Jaktklubben said, “Our team consists of two girls and three boys and our background is mostly in dinghies such as the Optimist, Laser, 29er and 49er. We have all been sailing together since we were kids mostly competing against each other so we are really excited to finally team up and join forces. We are very much looking forward to the first Youth SAILING Champions League and we are expecting tough competition with great spirit.”

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League- Travemunde, GermanyAfter three days of intense competition and a nail-biting four-boat finale, it was the Bodensee Yacht Club Uberlingen from Germany’s Lake Constance that won the first ever event in the Youth SAILING Champions League after a stellar performance in Travemunde. Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub from Denmark was the runner-up ahead of fellow Danish team from Roskilde Sejlklub in third place.

Bodensee YC’s young crew consisted of helmsman Konstantin Steidle, Alexandra Lauber, Patrick Hasse and Jonathan Koch.  The team went into the finale as the third-ranked club, but secured the overall win.

Helmsman Konstantin Steidle explained, “The last race was really close and we are just happy to have won! It’s amazing, but we haven’t realized it so far. We sailed at our best in the final races. It was a tough competition, especially the Danish teams did a great job, as well.”

Crew Jonathan Koch commented on the new Finals format, “We were very nervous about the final races, but it was a lot of fun. It’s just all to zero before the races and every team can win. It’s a great idea.”

For the leading group, the final day was all about making sure you had done enough to make it through to the four-boat finale. After twelve flights with 36 races, the final was a battle Denmark vs. Germany: the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY) and Roskilde Sejlklub from Denmark against Bodensee Yacht Club Uberlingen (BYCUe) and Lindauer Segler Club from Germany.

The new Finals format means that your overall position from Qualifying is taken into the Final Series. So as winner of the Qualifying Series, KDY carried through a first place and hence already one race win. Whichever of the four clubs secures two race wins would become the overall champion.

J/70 Youth SAILING ChampionsIn the first final race, BYCU won, putting them level with KDY, the winner of Qualifying. The other two yacht clubs were really starting to feel the heat, desperately needing a win in the next race. In final race 2, BYCU earned her second race win, giving the young crew from Germany the overall victory.

Oliver Schwall, founder and co-organizer of the SAILING Champions League said, “The experiment with the four-boat Finale was a great way to finish off the regatta. It keeps the interest and excitement for much longer, because whoever wins the last race becomes the overall winner. How often do you see that in sailing? It will be interesting to see if other areas of the sport pick up on this idea. We’re proud to have been the ones to pioneer it here in Travemunde at the first ever Youth SAILING Champions League.”

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League interviewThe atmosphere among the eighteen clubs from eight nations was friendly, respectful and exemplary for other events. “The sportsmanship you showed during the event was outstanding and set the benchmark for sailing worldwide,” added Oliver Schwall at the prize giving ceremony. “This weekend has been an important step forward for the League concept, two big experiments confirmed as a success. Innovation is risky, but we had a good feeling about introducing a Youth SAILING Champions League, and actually, it has gone much better than I ever imagined. And with around 20% of the sailors being female, that created a fun atmosphere. It would be great see even more girls competing here in future events.”

Over the three days, the clubs experienced all kinds of wind conditions: from Freaky Friday, with the wind averaging 17 knots and gusting quite a bit more at times with big waves – it was a day to hang on to your hats – to lighter airs on Saturday and Sunday, putting a greater emphasis on tactics.

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Did you miss the races of Youth SAILING Champions League? Just visit sapsailing.com and click through the SAP Sailing Analytics for replays of all races and different and interesting statistics about the action on water. You find the overall results on sapsailing.com!   Youth SAILING Champions League video highlights  For more Youth SAILING Champions League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.