The SAILING Champions League 2018 season kicks off with Act 1 in Porto Cervo, Sardinia from 31 May to 3 June, where the best 32 sailing clubs from the first group will meet. The qualifying races for the second group will take place in Act 2 in St. Petersburg, Russia in August. The top 15 teams from each Act will battle it out in the final in St. Moritz, Switzerland (30 August – 2 September), where the winner will claim the title "Best Sailing Club of the Year”.
The SAILING Champions League is an international competition between the top sailing clubs from each nation, featuring world-class sailors from dinghies, keelboats and offshore racing. Each country holds its own National Sailing League and the 4 top clubs qualify for the Acts. The British clubs that qualified through the British Keelboat League in 2017 are: Itchenor Sailing Club (British Champion 2017), Royal Ocean Racing Club, Wessex Sailing Club and Port Edgar Yacht Club.
At each of the 4-day Act regattas, the top clubs from all the participating European nations will fight to qualify for the finals and the title "Best Sailing Club of the Year". They will be joined at the final on Lake St. Moritz by the reigning champions, the Italian Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Sardinia). The regatta format is Fleet Racing in the one-design J/70 Sportsboat class, with 8 boats in each flight. Racing is fast and furious, with up to 60 short, sharp races right next to the shore for maximum spectator excitement.
2017: A season full of challenges
At the season 2017 of the SAILING Champions League, the teams were challenged:
In addition to Act 1 in St. Petersburg, with inner-city racing on the Neva river, where the teams had to deal with the strong current, the second qualifying event (Act 2) in St. Moritz was at temperatures around freezing and light winds. The final in Porto Cervo saw 3 days of spectacular racing under ideal conditions. With winds of up to 20 knots the teams were truly tested on their boathandling, starting and tactical skills. In the end the host yacht club Costa Smeralda triumphed, taking the title "Best Sailing Club of the Year 2017". The Russian club East Legal Sailing were second, with Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genève from Switzerland taking the last podium place.
Among the participants already qualified for next year’s Acts are such high calibre teams as Sweden’s Cape Crow Yacht Club (winners of the 2016 Swedish Championship and the 2017 Nord Stream Race), Denmark's Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub, German’s Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and Russia’s Lord of the Sail – Asia.