Americans slip to third at Student Yachting World Cup

Published on October 17th, 2013

Ponic, France (October 17, 2013) – During the fourth day of the Student Yachting World Cup, the 14 schools raced J/80s in four windward-leeward races. While the France team from Kedge BS keeps the top place in the general ranking, the Switzerland team made an outstanding performance which elevated them to second place.

In the morning, the wind was much lower than the previous days, around 10 knots. The teams had to review their tactics and strategies. At the first race of the day, Scotland did not make a start as good as usual and was 9th on the second mark. Switzerland looked to be in good shape for the races of the day and finished second. France seemed to be unbeatable and won again this round. The USA got 3rd.

The wind speed went even slower for the second race. With only 7 knots on the instruments, the soft skills of the team and the keenness of the tuning were even more crucial. On the first mark, France crossed the line only 9th while Germany which made a great start was leading this first race. However all the teams were side by side and at the finish line Switzerland had overtaken Germany to go first in front of the Committee boat. The results are Switzerland, first, then Germany, USA and France. The latter had not stopped any effort to re-conquer the lost places.

As the third race started, the wind did not strengthen and the teams needed to concentrate even more on how to grasp the path. At the first mark, the French were leading followed by Germany and Australia. The boats were really close to each other and the skippers needed to pay close attention to their surroundings. Still, on the first leeward, the wind swung left. Switzerland took the opportunity to take over the head of the race, leaving France at the 7th place. Australia finessed to get second. France tried to struggle back but finished 4th after Switzerland, Australia and England.

In the afternoon the wind was not blowing hard, but very shifty. At the first mark, Australia was first. Ireland, Switzerland, and England came after. After the first lap, France was leading, then Switzerland and Australia. The mark was over crowded as there was only 2 minutes between the first and the last crew. France won the last race of the day; Switzerland got second then England and Australia. The USA finished fifth but got an OCS penalty for a false start.

The races today proved that there is still a fight for leading the Student Yachting World Cup. France keeps leading of this edition but strong competitors got revealed as Switzerland won two races and almost won the other two once. Today races proved once again that the final ranking is not settled yet; there is a tiny gap of 4 points between Switzerland (2nd) and the USA (3rd).

Friday, the crews are due to compete in good weather conditions again. Racing concludes on Saturday, October 19. Here is the ranking after day 4 (after the protests):

1 – FRA – Kedge BS (14 points)
2 – SUI – EPFL (39 points)
3 – USA – Team USA (43 points)
4 – AUS – Maquarie University (51 points)
5 – SCO – Team Scotland (56 points)
6 – BEL – UCL (58 points)
7 – ENG – University of Southampton (59 points)
8 – DEF – UCD Team Ireland Powered by Energia (69 points)
9 – IRL – Dublin Universities (77 points)
10 – GER – RWTH Aachen University (92 points)
11 – NOR – NTNUI Sailing (102 points)
12 – FRAX – X-HEC (110 points)
13 – JPN – Kobe University (135 points)
14 – CHN – Xiamen University (139.7 points)

The video highlights from the 4th racing day.

Event website: http://www.sywoc.org/

Report by Michalis Pateniotis

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