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SYWoC Blog: Allez Marseilles!

21st October 2009
SYWoC Blog: Allez Marseilles!

Darragh O'Connor of University of Limerick will be guest blogging on Afloat.ie for the duration of the upcoming Student Yaching World Cup (SYWoC) in Marseille. Click to read his intro to this event, where they'll be facing current holders, Cork Institute of Technology, and see a video of the team in action.

On the back of our most successful season ever, UL Sailing Club hope to open the coming season with a bang representing Ireland at the 2009 Student Yachting World Cup in Marseilles, France. 

We won both the IUSA Southern Championships and the National Intervarsities in the last academic year, and with strong finishes in the Western and Eastern championships, UL topped the Irish college ranking to qualify for the prestigious Student Yachting World Cup. Cork Institute of Technology are defending champions and will again be travelling to the event so the Irish will have a strong presence. 

With a strong dinghy sailing emphasis in the club, we knew that yacht racing was not our forte. However, all sailors put on their yachting caps for the summer season and got as many hours as possible on board yachting programs wherever they may have been; Chicago, to Sardinia, Cyprus to Cork, all Sailors put the time in on the water.

Once we got back to College an intense training schedule was planned in order to sail together as a group on the Yacht Alpaca, kindly donated by Paul and Deirdre Tingle of Cork. Two- and three- day weekends were put in on the water, firstly to pick the team and finally to take part in the Autumn league in Cork. Good days and bad days were had ironing out some creases on board but things have really come together in the past number of weeks.

Of course fund raising and sponsorship has also been a big part of  this campaign, taking place in many shapes and forms. Sponsorship came in the form of  Jerry Cronin and Co. Solicitors of Cork, who really got the ball rolling in terms of funding. We would not be at this stage without you. The UL Special Applications fund again helped the club out when we needed it most.

Other fund raising was carried out week nights and weekends by way of bag-packing in Dunnes Stores, Team Racing clinics in the Royal Cork Yacht Club, personal contributions from family and friends and of course a little digging into the student loans! 

We would really like to thank everyone who helped us get to this point in the campaign, it would be impossible to name everyone but you know who you are. Things were looking dodgy for a while but somehow we pulled it off.

To all the Alumni and founding members of the club. If it was not for ye guys we would not be in this fortunate position of representing our College and Country on the World Sailing Stage. The past year has really been the fruit of all the hard work and dedication you showed in your time in Limerick, there were some tough years but the hard work has paid off and I hope you get some satisfaction in seeing the UL flag flying in France.

The team travelling to France is as follows:

Katie Tingle
Rachel Cronin
Billy Clarke
Patrick Hegarty
Cian Gallagher
John Blake
Conor Martin
Darragh O' Connor
Kevin Stallard

We would also like to recognise all the other UL Sailors who may not be travelling to France but helped out in many ways, be it pushing us hard for positions or bag packing in Dunnes. Your hard work is not gone unnoticed.

Merci beaucoup, as they say en France.

http://sailing.skynet.ie

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