Strathclyde First up in 2023 Sailing Champions League
The University of Strathclyde Sailing Club competed with 12 teams from 11 countries in Vilamoura, Portugal last week in the first event of the 2023 Sailing Champions League (SCL)
The team, which qualified for the SCL by finishing 2nd in last years British Keelboat League (BKL) final, completed 18 races in fantastic sailing conditions (8-16 knots) and temperatures of 23 degrees which saw the team sporting sun hats, quite a contrast to their wintery training sessions back home.
The temperature change didn’t affect the overall winners who represented the Esbo Segelforening club from Finland (winners of the SCL Final in 2021) who won 13 of their 18 races. French team, Sport Nautique et Plaisance du Havre and Austrian team Burgenlandischer Yachtclub finished in 2nd and third places respectively with 6 and 8 wins each.
The Strathclyde team of Jake Miller, Calum Bell, Tony Fitzgerald, Laura Young and Rowan Edwards, worked hard over the 4 days of racing in choppy conditions. After a day of practice sailing, four J70 Keelboats were used in each of the 18 races which saw all teams racing against each other in all four boats over the event.
By race 6 and with finishes in 3rd and 4th places, it was clear to our Strathclyde team that they were up against some really strong teams but in race 7 they took their first win and followed it up with a second win in race 8 against teams that were all ranked higher than them. Now they were getting the boat dialled in.
Competition on the water was strong, and there were very small margins between the teams in every race as they crossed the finishing line. Using a low points scoring system Strathclyde finished in 10th place overall and just missed out by a handful of points in making it through to the Sailing Champions League Final. Well done team!
Ed: As we went to press a team from the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club were on their way to compete in the next leg of the SCL in Berlin this week. More later…
2024 Could be your clubs turn to represent British clubs in the Sailing Champions League!
Follow the lead set by Strathclyde Uni SC and enter your team in the next British Keelboat League event. The first two teams in each BKL event will gain an entry to the BKL final where they will be in with a chance of winning a place in the 2024 SCL.
For dates and links to all the 2023 BKL events, visit the BKL website.
THINK Football Champions League – SAIL British Keelboat League