LaserPerformance Collegiate Cup 2016
Published on August 27th, 2016
From August 23rd through August 27th the second annual Collegiate Cup Clinic and Regatta was hosted by Circolo Vela Torbole in Torbole, Italy. Teams from Austria, Australia, France, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands and the United States participated in the five-day event at one of the most beautiful sailing venues in the world.
The first two days of the event provided the sailors with a team racing clinic coached by American Karl Zeigler and Olivia Crane. The coaches worked on shore and on the water to reinforce team racing skills, tactics, and strategies, as well as providing them with an understanding of how to get the most out of the 18 matched collegiate Z420s.
Following two days of the clinic, team racing for the championship began on Thursday, August 25. Torbole is well known for its favorable wind conditions, where almost every day the breeze comes in at around noon and builds to about 15kts. Racing commenced at 13:00hrs, and the wind was exactly as predicted. The professional race committee, headed by Carmelo Paroli, planned and completed one full round robin of 28 races.
After the first day of racing, Italy had run the table going 7-0, followed by the US women’s team with a 6-1 record and Netherlands with a 5-2 record.
Following the day’s racing a post mortem discussion between many of the teams and the umpires further defined the parameters around how calls would be made and how issues should be resolved. Although some of the teams agreed to disagree in regard to what actually occurred on the water, they agreed further discussion should be taken while sharing a cold beverage or two.
Day two of racing started off exactly like the first day, beautiful sunshine, 12kts of breeze and a very light chop. Another complete round robin was completed in breezes from 12-15 kts. Once everyone was back on shore the results board showed some shifting in the ranks: ITA still held the lead with a score of 12-2, followed by Netherlands, and USA Women at 11-3. Austria moved to fourth with a record of 8-6. The racing was infinitely tighter on day two, and the competitors stepped it up as they progressed.
Karl Zeigler delivered a wonderful talk over dinner at Circole Vela Torbole that Friday. He focused on the virtues of team racing, the lifelong friendships it creates, the friendly rivalry between teams, and how people from different cultures all come together in the spirit of this great game.
The final format would see the teams split into Gold and silver Fleets: the 4 boat Gold fleet would sail a double round robin and the 4 boat Silver fleet would sail a single round robin. Scores from the previous two round robins were carried into the final. Racing would commence an hour earlier on Saturday to insure competitors could make their way home in time to return to school.
On Saturday morning Circolo Vela Torbole was buzzing. All of the teams arrived early and headed out onto the water to prepare. Austria would have to run the table to win, but they had a chance. Italy and the USA looked good; they had speed, but the Dutch had continuously improved all week – so the stage was set.
The breeze came in on time at about 12kts, but continued to build as the racing continued into the day. Austria started out hot, but it wasn’t meant to be. Italy, who led through the first two round robins seemed to be off their game, so it came down to the final race between USA and the Netherlands. Team USA had to beat the Netherlands to tie and force a sail off…though that wasn’t meant to be, and the Netherlands were crowned the Champions.
The Netherlands won the Zachary Leonard Trophy for the LaserPerformance Collegiate Cup with a 16-4 record, followed by the USA Women with a 14-6 record. Italy was third with a 13-7 record, and Austria rounded out the Gold Fleet with a record of 11-9.
Ireland 1 won the Silver Fleet with a 9-8 record followed by Australia with a 7-10 record. Third was Ireland 2 followed by Team France.
Report by Rachel Starr.