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Churchill student Paul Wedrich is part of the University's Yacht Racing Team which has qualified for the Student Yachting World Cup in France this October. The team are now looking for financial support to be able to compete and train.
The news that the team had qualified for the Student Yachting World Cup followed a successful season of racing — beating Oxford in their annual Varsity race and winning a bronze medal in the BUSA Yachting Championships, in which the best university crews from all over the country come together for 4 days of intense inshore racing in held in Sunsail F40s at Port Solent.
Speaking about the strength of this year's team Paul said;
"This year’s crew consisted of very experienced sailors who sail and train several weeks each year. Our actual training as a team on the yachts to be used for racing started in November 2014 with the final of the 2014 Sunsail race series. Throughout we were coached by previous racing team members and this knowledge transfer plays a big part in our consistent performance over the last few years."
This was Paul's second year in the Cambridge University Yacht Racing Team having sailed last year in the 'second' of two Cambridge boats — Cambridge Red, which also beat Oxford in the Varsity race and scored an excellent fourth place in BUSA. For the 2015 season Paul secured a place in the 'first' boat as 'Main trim' responsible for several lines controlling the main sail to keep the boat going fast upwind and to help it manoeuvre during starts and when rounding buoys. Paul was also the acting Team Captain for the Varsity and BUSA races and, having completed his RYA Yachtmaster certification in May, became the Club's Skipper — responsible for the safety of the boat and its crew.
Paul is now entering his third year as a PhD student with the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. His research interests are in geometry and topology with a focus on knot- and link homology theories that also have deep relationships to representation theory and mathematical physics. This will probably be his last year on the team.
"As I am finishing my PhD this academic year, I’m afraid that this has been my last season of student yachting. I hope, however, to contribute to the training of next year’s racing team."
For the last two seasons, Paul has received financial support from the College's Small Grants Fund to help towards the cost of training and representing the University in races. However, Paul and the team are now looking for additional sponsors or sailing-fascinated Cambridge alumni to support their Student World Cup campaign and make it a reality.
The team needs around £6000 for the event entry fee, training and travel. If you would like to help or get involved with their Student World Cup preparations please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Crowdfunding page
Founded in 2003, the CUYC Racing Squad organises and participates in an extensive program of yacht racing, comprising both training events and races. Training and racing mainly takes place in the Solent on chartered racing yachts. Many ex-members have gone on to compete in other boats in offshore races like the Fastnet or regular inshore racing in the UK and abroad.
To find out more or to support the team go to the Student World Cup visit their website: