Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) representing Ireland became Student World Yachting Champions to-day (Fri) in the most dramatic fashion after an epic final race in la Trinite-sur-Mere, France. Competing over 15 races since last Sunday, they raced against the top student teams from France, (two teams) Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway, England, Scotland, USA and Japan, a total of 140 students.
Coming into yesterday’s final race it was absolutely vital for Ireland to win the race and for Italy to finish at least seventh. To do this they engaged Italy in a pre-start match racing manoeuvre at the pin end of the line while the rest of the fleet stacked up on the favoured boat end of the line. They did not let up resulting in Italy never having a chance until the gun and then leaving 30 seconds late for the start. While Italy and Ireland were last and second last coming off the line, the Irish managed to overtake most of the fleet and arrived in second place at the top mark. The Italians could only manage to round in 10th with the Swiss a few lengths ahead of Ireland in first. CIT under skipper Nicholas O’Leary made short work of passing the Swiss and reaching the bottom mark in first and extending on them for the rest of the race. Further down the pack the Italians managed to get up to seventh but it wasn’t enough and Ireland emerged in first place, overall winners of the series and winners of the Student Yachting World Cup by 0.9 of a point.
The victorious CIT team members are: Skipper and helm, Nicholas O’Leary, George Kenefick (Main Trim), Joe Bruen (Trim), Silvia Phelan (Trim), Aoife English (Trim,Pit), Grahame Durcan (Mid Bow,Pit), Dave Barnett (Mid Bow, Navigator) and Cian Twomey (Bow). Coach and Team Leader for the event was Adam McCarthy.