INSEAD Claim the Alumni Business Cup

INSEAD’s Winning team

INSEAD’s  All- Dutch team, led by Maarten De Vries, won the 21st ABCup, ending a three year period of LBS wins.  The INSEAD crew won two sailing races, came second in three and third in three more, including – crucially – the shore games. Maarten and his crew have now won the trophy a record four times.

London Business School’s team “Blue”, skippered by Klaus Rasmussen and Rob Cotterill came second overall, and won the new “Stelton Sailing Trophy” for the team that won the sailing part of the regatta.  LBS Blue had the same points, but more wins than De Vries’s INSEAD team, and so won on the water. They only managed 5th place in the on- shore games, which put them 2nd overall.

Winning the on- shore games with an impressive knowledge of wine tasting and art history, third place in the regatta went to the HEC/ INSEAD team, skippered by Philippe Lerique.

The Alumni Business Cup (ABC) has been held every year since 1992 in various locations across Europe. The 2013 edition was held in Marseille, France, based around the Islands of Frioul, just West of Marseille’s Vieux Port and Corniche. Six crews battled for the title:  Two from INSEAD, two from LBS, One joint HEC/ INSEAD crew and a mixed team “MBA Fastnet”, made up of MBA alumni who are participants in the crew of a Volvo 60 Fastnet campaign. Organisers this year were Marc LeBorgne of INSEAD and Philippe Lerique of HEC.

Thursday saw winds of over 20 knots in practice and for the first race, which was sailed with small genoas. All three races were “technical” windward- leeward races.  LBS Blue won this race, staking a claim to the trophy. In the second race, INSEAD’s Marc LeBorgne won, while LBS Blue and INSEAD De Vries were caught up in a rule 11 incident, which led to the INSEAD boat’s disqualification. By the time of the third race, winds had dropped enough to allow spinnakers and larger genoa sails. Maarten De Vries’s crew won, staking their own claim.   At the end of day one, Marc LeBorgne’s crew were leading with 6 points, with LBS Blue on 7 and both HEC/INSEAD and De Vries’s crew on 10.

Friday’s winds were even more extreme, with the crews starting out with small genoas and two reefs in the first race and with storm- jibs in the second race, as winds gusted above 40 knots. It was survival sailing – two sails were damaged.  HEC/INSEAD  proved to be the masters of the conditions, winning both races: the first a circuit of the famous Isle d’If, and the second a passage race to Marseille Vieux Port.  At the end of the second day, both INSEAD teams an HEC/ISEAD were tied on 8 points each, with LBS Blue on 11.

Saturday saw only a slight abatement in the winds, as the teams delivered the boats back from Marseille, to the shelter of the Frioul islands.  The sea- state was slightly better, however, and the organisers decided to get in one race – a tour of the If island. LBS Blue were again involved in a rule 11 incident, this time with HEC/INSEAD, who were disqualified after a protest. Maarten De Vries’ INSEAD team won the race, with LBS Blue second.  After day 3, De Vries’s crew were on top with 9 points, LeBorgne’s crew second with 11, HEC/INSEAD third with 12 and LBS Blue fourth with 13.

Sunday finally saw ideal racing conditions with 15 – 20 knots of wind, and spinnakers allowed. Two technical windward- leeward races were sailed that morning, in time for the boats to be handed back over to  charter company Team Winds that afternoon. LBS Blue sailed two strong races, finishing first in both, while INSEAD DeVries came second in one , but were pushed into third place in the final race by an MBA Fastnet team, enjoying a very late surge.  With a second discard kicking in, that left LBS Blue and Maarten DeVries’s crew equal on 11 points, which meant that LBS Blue won the sailing  on number of wins.


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