SCL Asia Pacific Final – Ultimate bragging rights on the line

AUTHOR: Harry Fisher

The stage is set for a much anticipated SAILING Champions League Asia Pacific Final as 16 teams will go head to head on 20-21 May to see who will be crowned the best sailing club in the region.

Hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in front of the iconic backdrop of Pittwater, the event is mostly made up of Australian clubs with one pacific entry from the Vanuatu Cruising Yacht Club attending for the second year running.

There will be strong showings from Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, which has seen growing enthusiasm following the development of state leagues in each of those locations.

Teams will also make the trip from Hobart, Perth and Canberra to make up the remainder of the entry list.

After two years of local competition in the SA Sailing League, the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia will bring three teams, including one under-22 team, and Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club will bring its under-22 team.

Formerly a 420 combination in their junior years, Carter Baker (CYCSA) and Ben Hinks (BSYC) will go head to head for the under-22 title against some quality interstate competition.

Making up the other SA teams are South Australian sailing veteran Robbie Deussen, fresh off a second place in the SA Sailing League final in December, and the CYCSA’s boating operations manager Greg Allison, who is leading a team of his own.

Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron will be represented after initially battling it out at the VIC Sailing League final at Festival of Sails in January with respective skippers Tom Holmes, Mason Mahoney and Ed Warner eager to battle it out for bragging rights in their home state.

The winners of the VIC Sailing League Final in January hailed from the Derwent Sailing Squadron in Tasmania, further solidifying the 100 per cent strike rate of Tasmanians winning league sailing events in Victoria.

Alice Buchanan skippered the team in Geelong but has handed the tiller to Rohan Langford for next weekend’s final.

The New South Wales component will have a strong showing, as expected with the final on home waters, with host club Royal Prince Alfred entering two teams helmed by Hugo Butterworth and Daniel Kemp.

They’ll be joined by the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, skipper to be confirmed, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, skippered by Zac West, and Woollahra Sailing Club, skippered by Mina Ferguson.

The Woollahra team with Jack Ferguson on the helm took out the NSW Sailing League final just a few weeks ago, so we would expect this team to be in great form at the final.

The Australian Defence Force Sailing Academy will also be represented with Shinead Surmon helming the team from the nation’s capital, while Western Australia will make its league sailing debut with Mia Lovelady helming a team from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

The event will be sailing in the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s fleet of Elliott 7s with qualifying racing throughout Saturday and most of Sunday, with a finals series to determine the winner scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

To stay up to date with results and key information, head to https://sailing-championsleague.asia

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Harry Fisher

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