World University Match Racing Championships
Author: Conor Murphy Posted on: 14/9/12 Print Version


(L-R) Peter Mannion, Shane Diviney, Ryan Scott, Conor Murphy, and Mike Edmonds
From 3rd-8th September, 4 HYC members proudly flew the Howth Yacht Club burgee at the World University Match Racing Championships in Nice, France, representing DCU Team Ireland.

The team was led by Ryan Scott (DCU) on helm, with a crew of Conor Murphy (UCD) on mainsheet, Shane Diviney (DCU) on trim, and Peter Mannion (DCU) on bow. The team had been training frequently in the run up to the event over the summer, using the SailFleet J80s (thanks to HYC), SB20s (thanks to Ben Duncan & Dave Barry), and 1720s in Dun Laoghaire (thanks to the INSS and RIYC).

The event was sailed in Beneteau 7.5s, and finding suitable boats to train in was a significant difficulty, so many thanks to everyone for their support.

Fortunately Mike Edmonds of 'Kiwi Match Sailing Team' was available to coach and support the team throughout the event. Mike arrived in Nice after leading the round robin phase of the St Moritz stop of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

There were 25 teams in total competing at the event from every corner of the world. The teams were split into women's and open (made up of two groups) with the hopes of completing two round robins before going into quarter finals. Upon viewing the pairing list they were aware that the round robin would most likely be a tougher set of races then the quarter finals.

However light and shifty conditions made life hard for the race committee who opted to use a "drifting course", and unfortunately only one round robin could be completed. One day first gun was at 7.30 am in order to try to get some races done in solid breeze.

The racing was, as expected, extremely challenging, and initially the strong pre starts did not transfer into wins, meaning the team did not go through to quarter-finals as hoped. However, the ranking races saw an improved record, and left the team in 16th after 4 days of racing. Although the team is disappointed, there are many positives to take away; in the vast majority of races the team led off the start line and first mark but lost out due to a variety of mistakes within and outside of their control.

While the team is unhappy with the outcome they came away with a lot of lessons learned, a good understanding of how to approach future match racing events, and a determination to ensure that future events are successful.

The team would really like to thank all those that helped support us in getting there and to deliver some results, also a big thanks to Mike Edmonds, the team coach, for all his invaluable help and advice over the week.

The best way to follow his team is through their website or facebook pages.