Denmark wins inaugural SAILING Champions League

Published on October 19th, 2014

Copenhagen, Denmark (October 19, 2014) – Twenty-three clubs from 14 nations managed three days (Oct. 17-19) packed with sailing sport on the highest level. The premiere of the SAILING Champions League ended in the rain, but the atmosphere was brilliant amongst the teams competing in J/70s.

The sought-after silver bowl from Robbe & Berking stays with the hosts from the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub from Copenhagen, who in the end did win by just 0.5 points difference to the second Circolo Canottiere Aniene (Italy). Third becomes Oman Sail (Oman). In the “Sail for Charity” campaign, where technology partner SAP is donating 25,000 Euro to the World Childhood Foundation, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (Germany) did bring up most of the money.

The decision about the places on the podium was made in the final direct encounter of the top three clubs. At the end the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY) with helmsman Michael Hestbæk (participant at the Olympics in the Star 2012 in London), Joachim Aschenbrenner, Lucas Lier and Frederik Berg took the lead with their J/70 and make their mark in the history books by winning the first SAILING Champions League. “It feels fantastic to win on home waters. We felt the pressure before the last race. We had a little advantage at the start and it worked out for us”, explained a very happy Michael Hestbæk after his arrival ashore. At the price giving ceremony, the Danish “Sejlsportsligaen” runners-up 2014 did lift the five kilogramm silver bowl from Robbe & Berking – the Robbe & Berking SAILING Champions League Trophy – into the air.

On rank two in Copenhagen are the Italians from the Circolo Canottiere Aniene in Rome, who had a very strong team at the start line, with professional sailor and helmsman Lorenzo Bressani and the Offshore World Champions Matteo Mason and Samuele Nicolettis as well as Michele Paoletti and also did win six races of the 15 – just like the team from the KDY. In total, 45 races were sailed in three days.

Even if the “Danish summer” did bring a lot of rain, the wind stayed for all three days and the spectators at the “Little Mermaid” could watch top sailing sport. Sometimes there were only ten metres between the clubs on the water and the promenade.

With help of the clubs, SAP donates 25,000 Euro to the World Childhood Foundation

Next to the winner of the sports event, there is a second winner, the German Champion of the “Segel-Bundesliga”, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, did win the “Sail for Charity” campaign. With the help of the fans of the 23 international clubs, technology partner SAP donates 25,000 Euro to the World Childhood Foundation (Childhood), founded by the Swedish Queen Silvia “SAP is very happy to collaborate with Childhood. It’s an honour to help Childhood to do great things,” said Sofie Hesselkilde, Senior Marketing Manager of SAP Denmark. Susanne Labonde, Executive Director of the World Childhood Foundation in Germany adds: “I’m excited to be here at this great regatta. Special thanks to SAP fort he donation and to all the supporters, who voted for their club. The journey will go on 2015 and I’m looking forward to it.” Apart from the 25,000 Euro of the online vote, another 1,000 Euro from selling the wristbands on site, will also go into the Childhood projects.

The KDY did raise the bar for clubs hosting the event in the future. Ashore and on the water, 60 volunteers did arrange a perfectly organised event. “I am proud that we organised the premiere of the SAILING Champions League here in Copenhagen. To be honest, I didn’t think that it is possible in such a short period of time. We are ready for next year and hope to be part of the SCL again”, said Lars Ive, Vice Commodore of the KDY.

The organisers of the SAILING Champions League – the national German sailing league “Segel-Bundesliga”, the Danish league “Sejlsportsligaen” and the Royal Danish Yacht Club – did manage the whole program of 45 races (15 for each club) and did convince every participating club of the format “Bundesliga”, so there will be other countries copying the format. Among the 92 sailors were many prominent names of Olympic participant and more than 22 medalists from World Championships and Volvo Ocean Races winners.

Event website:

Final Results

Report by event media.

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