UCD Sailing Club will not be fazed by changes to World Cup format
Organisers have switched from using the Archambault Grand Surprise to the smaller J80 that is sailed with half the crew
Last year’s winning 10-man UCD crew. A new format this year will see just six taking part.
As UCD Sailing Club prepare to depart for La Rochelle and the defence of their 2012 victory in the Student Yachting World Cup, changes to the format of the event has significantly reduced the number of participants on each team.
Organisers have switched from using the Archambault Grand Surprise to the smaller J80 that is sailed with half the crew.
Instead of a team of 10 sailors, just six are required with one of these on standby as the alternate.
The change is also a switch in emphasis in the event that previously has an offshore component that required the bigger boat while the J80 falls under the Sportsboat category and inshore racing.
With their own J80 available for training, the change isn’t a setback for the Irish crew, nor are the various graduations of most of the winning teams crew line-up; just two are competing again this year.
The new bloods on board are hardly novices either.
Philip Doran from Courtown SC is on as the helm and aside from being the younger brother to Simon, who sailed on last year’s winning crew , he is also a champion Laser sailor in his own right.
There is a matching connection for Quoile’s Sophie Murphy sailing for the Royal St George YC, who is on board doing bow and tactics, as her brother Theo was mastman in 2012.
Nor is she a slouch in the Laser either and regularly wins races or places as top girl in the class.
Conor Murphy from Howth YC is the mainsheet trimmer while Vinnie Varley of Malahide YC is alternate crew and is also the current Commodore of UCD SC.
Aside from regular training on the club’s J80 all summer, recently upping that to several times a week to improve on boat speed and boat handling, the crew has also been spending the last few months in the UCD high-performance gym training as a team.
“We were surprised to see the world cup switching to a Sportsboat,” Murphy said yesterday. “Smaller team means we all have to work harder to get it perfect and it also means having a broader range of skills.
“We’re a very fresh team though no less confident because of it. We’re very determined to do well.”
The team announced Energia as title sponsor yesterday along with support for Dubarry and CH Marine and Irish Masts & Rigging.
Meanwhile, an expected abatement in the wintry conditions will allow a large fleet of 35 Flying Fifteens compete for their traditional season finale at the National Yacht Club this weekend for the Kia Motors-sponsored event.
Overseeing racing is Olympic race officer Jack Roy and national champion Ian Mathews is the boat to beat at the conclusion of 2013.