Two DCU students were part of the Irish team that came ninth in the Student Yachting World Cup in Pornic, France recently.
Ryan Scott and Shane Diviney, both final year students, were part of the Dublin Universities team along with others from Trinity College and Dublin Institute of Technology. Over 150 competitors from 15 countries take part in the yearly event which is organised by students for students.
Despite not initially qualifying for the event, the Dublin team were called up when the University of Limerick were unable to compete. With just two weeks until the races started they had to fundraise for the competition in a short space of time.
Speaking to The College View, Scott said, “The first thing we did was call DCU to let them know. Just three days before we left to go to France, we found out how much money we got from them – which was less than DIT and Trinity gave their students. It was great to get the money, but it was nowhere near what was needed or expected so we fundraised ourselves by giving kids sailing lessons on weekends and doing raffles.”
When the team were sure of their place they went to England for a training event in preparation, where they learnt a lot about their team, as well as coming an impressive fourth in the competition which gave them a boost ahead of the Worlds.
They started off well in France, being placed fourth by the end of the first day. Scott explained, “On the first day there was really light wind so our speed was even with everybody else’s and we came fourth that day. It was a good start but we knew the score was going to change a lot before the end.
“The wind was really up on the second day and we couldn’t match people for speed. We were left at the back so we had to do more manoeuvres and that only slowed us down more.
“It was breezy again on the third day. We expected to be better than everyone else because our team is so used to sailing in those conditions.
“The fourth day we went into a completely different strategy and kept to the edge of the course and pulled off some better results but it still wasn’t enough to bring us back up.”
The team finished up in a respectable ninth place but were disappointed they didn’t do better.
“Our team was the only one in the whole event that didn’t break a single thing. That speaks a lot for how good the crew was and that wasn’t really reflected in the results,” said Scott.
Scott and Diviney, together with the rest of the DCU sailing team, now have four regional events to work towards, plus the Student Yachting Nationals which are the qualifiers for the event in which they just competed.