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35th Student Yachting World Cup at Le Pouliguen, France - Day 4

by Icarus Sailing Media 19 Oct 2015 11:57 BST 13-20 October 2015

One day before the last race, the name of the final winner is still unknown, even though the Swiss team is the great favourite of the competition. Yet, the ranking is still very likely to change, and every point is precious for the crews.

Fortunately, although the morning fog delayed the first race, the sun was present on the second part of the day and the wind was stronger than Saturday, around 15 knots with highs of twenty knots. Despite the strong wind, the program was the same as yesterday, with three inshore races and one coastal race.

The 12th race took place just before midday and saw Canada make a very good start. After the first buoy they were far ahead of the other boats, followed by Switzerland and Southampton, the defender team. Far behind came the other crews led by Ireland, who managed to catch up on Southampton at the half of the race. Unfortunately for Ireland, they faced a problem with their spinnaker which cost them one place. This leading quartet led the remainder of the race, and Switzerland managed to overtake Canada just before the finish line. Southampton and Ireland finished 3rd and 4th, far ahead of Cambridge, 5th at the finish.

The wind began to raise up to twenty knots at the beginning of the second race. Despite a promising start of Cambridge, Ireland and Southampton took the lead of the race but were very close to each other, followed by Switzerland. Ireland lost two places but was still in competition for the win of this round. Canada made a good race, but suffered from a spinnaker problem and finished at the 4th place only to face a disqualification due to an OCS. At the end of the race, the battle raged between Switzerland and Southampton, the latter finally managed to win the round.

The third race was the last inshore one for the day. Once again, Switzerland, Southampton and Ireland immediately took control, but were very close to each other. However, Southampton managed to widen the gap with the Swiss boat but was caught up by them at the end of the race thanks to a good strategic move. At the 3rd place came Japan, scoring their best result since the beginning of the competition! Finally, at the other end of the race, France lost three places during the last lap because of difficulties with their spinnaker.

The last race was the only coastal race of the day. Southampton was unreachable from the start, followed during all the race by Ireland. Sadly for them, Oxford didn't manage to take advantage of its good start and fell from the 3rd position at the beginning to the 8th position at the finish. At the end of the pack, Japan had a technical problem with its rudder and finished 9th. It should be noted that Canada achieved a great ascend in the race: after being delayed far behind the others because of a technical problem in the first part of the race, they managed to finish at the 6th place, between Cambridge and Scotland.

Today was an interesting day for the competition, with a strong wind and enough time to run four races. Tomorrow will be the last day of the competition, and everything is still possible! The wind will also be very strong; we all expect a great finish for this 35th edition of the SYWoC...

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