Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron reigns supreme in Asia Pacific league sailing final

AUTHOR: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail

The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has put its stamp on the sailing community after going back-to-back in the SAILING Champions League – Asia Pacific Final last weekend, hosted on the iconic Pittwater by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

Led by Zac West, the team sailed more consistently than any other competitors and went into the four-team finals series with an extra point, giving them one hand on the trophy.

The qualification series was fierce throughout the whole weekend for the remaining three spots with some highly-competitive racing seeing many clubs in the hunt.

At the end of the qualifying races, it was the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, skippered by Robbie Deussen that finished as the clear second place.

Zac West steered the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team to success
Zac West steered the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team to success

Then it was a lot tighter from there with hosts Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club skippered by Daniel Kemp securing third and Rohan Langford’s Derwent Sailing Squadron team securing the last finals berth on a countback.

Daniel Kemp's RPAYC team finished third overall
Daniel Kemp’s RPAYC team finished third overall

The Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia’s youth team, skippered by Carter Baker had an outstanding final day and fell just short of the finals series due to Derwent Sailing Squadron having more qualifying race wins.

Mina Ferguson’s Woollahra Sailing Club team was also in the mix, just two points behind the finals series, while Thomas Steenson’s Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club team and Hugo Butterworth’s RPAYC team were also in the mix.

Mina Ferguson's Woollahra Sailing Club team finished sixth and also as the first female helm
Mina Ferguson’s Woollahra Sailing Club team finished sixth and also as the first female helm

As the finals begun, the breeze on Pittwater came in hard with the top four teams fighting hard to get the Elliott 7s around the race course

The experience of the South Australians was on show as the oldest skipper in the event, multi-class national champion Deussen, started well and maintained the lead comfortably to take the opening race win and join Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on match point.

Robbie Deussen's CYCSA team finished second overall
Robbie Deussen’s CYCSA team finished second overall

But as the breeze continued to build with gusts of more than 30 knots, race management made the decision to race the second finals race without spinnakers.

Deussen put everything on the line at the start, but came in a bit early and was forced to tack away from the windward end of the line with about 10 seconds to go.

From here, West and his Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team were able to hold a loose cover on the other two teams and hold their own to clinch the race win and the title.

Deussen and his team sailed from well back to take second in the last race and second overall in the event, while Kemp and the RPAYC team finished third overall, and the Tasmanians from Derwent Sailing Squadron in fourth.

The RSYS team celebrating after the win
The RSYS team celebrating after the win

The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron also claimed the overall Youth win, while Mina Ferguson was awarded the first female helm award in the event.

Rohan Langford's Derwent Sailing Squadron team finished fourth overall
Rohan Langford’s Derwent Sailing Squadron team finished fourth overall

Qualification for the World Open and Youth Finals was determined at this event, with more details to be released soon about which teams will head to Germany in July.

For more information about SAILING Champions League – Asia Pacific, and for full results, head to https://sailing-championsleague.asia

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AUTHOR: Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail

IMAGES: Alex Dare, Down Under Sail

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