WHO IS THE BEST INTERNATIONAL SAILING CLUB?
How do to work out which is the best sailing club in the world? Is it the club with the largest membership, biggest marina or club house, the biggest or the best boats? We think it is none of these things, but it is the club with the best sailors.
So how exactly do you work this out? That too should should be simple, but up until now it has not as there has been no simple, accessible, cheap way of getting sailors young and old to compete in a global club vs club competition. The key to this is that the racing format does not favour rich or poor, large or small clubs as all clubs send their best sailors to compete on a level playing field in event organiser supplied boats.
This starts at local club level progressing to National Sailing Leagues (of which there are 23 NSL’s worldwide) and then the top clubs from each NSL compete at a regional basis (ie SAILING Champions League: Asia Pacific) to compete to be the best club in Asia Pacific and then go onto to compete against the best clubs from around the world in the SAILING Champions League: World Finals based in Europe each year.
THE IDEA BEHIND SAILING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
It’s a straightforward format that has been working well in football for years; now we have clear proof that it also works for sailing: An international club competition generating high levels of media interest and a competition that clubs, sailors and fans can all identify with.
The idea behind SAILING Champions League is simple: it’s the championship of the national champions. The most successful clubs of the National Sailing League countries are competing against each other to fight for the title: “Best Sailing Club of the Year”.
YOUTH SAILING AND WOMEN’s SAILING AND CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Following the exponential growth of the league format, the next obvious steps were to create special leagues for Youth and Women’s competition. So for the first time in 2018 we saw sailors competing in the Youth SAILING Champions League and Women’s SAILING Champions League. It’s all about making league sailing as accessible and attractive as possible to a wider group of sailors, as well as increasing the appeal to sponsors and commercial partners.
WHY NATIONAL SAILING LEAGUES?
The SAILING Champions League is based on the same proven and successful format of National Sailing Leagues. It all started out with a bold experiment in 2013 with the creation of the German Sailing League in 2013. The format was the brainchild of consulting and holding company “Konzeptwerft” in conjunction with some of the leading German sailing clubs as well as the German Sailing Association.
The concept took off like wildfire and it wasn’t long before it started capturing the attention of sailors in other countries. The organisers of the German Sailing League started getting several serious inquiries from all around Europe and even from the USA. In 2014, Denmark became the first European country to adopt the format of a National Sailing League along the lines of the German model. As of 2019, 21 nations all over the globe are running their own National Sailing Leagues. The logical conclusion of this trend? One international League for the national champions and the best of the National Sailing Leagues – the SAILING Champions League.
HISTORY OF SAILING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
In 2013, the consulting and holding company “Konzeptwerft” in Hamburg revolutionised the sport of sailing in Germany. For the first time the clubs raced directly against each other in a friendly competition called the National Sailing League. The concept took the ages-old tradition of “club versus club” and turned that friendly rivalry into a competition that immediately caught the interest of sailors around the country. It ignited a passion for inter-club competition that hadn’t previously existed. This enthusiasm not only caught the attention of the nationwide sailing community but also regional and nationwide media.
With a TV live stream as well as in-depth race analysis provided by SAP Sailing Analytics, fans and indeed anyone interested in sailing can follow each race of the National Sailing Leagues in real time on the internet. A panel of sailing experts and professional TV presenters bring all the action and excitement directly to people’s homes and sailing clubs around the country.
ABOUT THE SCL FORMAT
Typical NSL events include a round-robin Qualifying Series of up to 45 races. Teams rotate through the boats in each flight so that each team competes against every other team and sails in every boat. The top 4 teams from the Qualifying Series compete in the Final Series. Both series use a short course, stadium format which includes: