Newport, R.I., USA (Sept. 16, 2009) – The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) won today’s opening race in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and was pre-empted from showing its prowess in a second race when sailing had to be abandoned due to wind and technical difficulties. The race, sailed in lumpy seas and an 18-knot easterly on Rhode Island Sound, started the regatta off with lots of action, as the Canadian boat, helmed by Terry McLaughlin, battled most closely with the New York Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL) and Japan Sailing Federation for best position between the start and the first mark two miles to windward.
« Japan (with Makoto Uematsu steering) had the best start, » said McLaughlin « and we had a good lane, but a huge left shift made us overstand the mark. There were boats farther to our left, but the Japanese were not as affected and rounded first. » The Canadians passed the Japanese team on the run to round the bottom mark first and carried their lead to the finish. New York (Phil Lotz of New Canaan, Conn./Newport, R.I., skippering), Royal Cork (Anthony O’Leary skippering), and the Japan Sailing Federation finished second, third, and fourth, respectively, with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Mark Watson skippering) rounding out the top five.
The Yacht Club Italiano’s skipper Carlo Puri Negri could have been happier at the end of the day. As it was, shortly after the start, the stitching at the head of his jib failed, causing the webbing to pull from the sail and render it useless. He was sitting in fourth, he said, at the time of the mishap. « We sailed the rest of the race with just a mainsail, » said Puri Negri. The same thing happened to the Nylandska Jaktklubben team (FIN), with Leonardo Ferragamo at the helm, and the jibs were promptly rushed to shore and repaired while the fleet moved from « outside » on the Sound to an « inside » course on northern Narragansett Bay where the waters are more protected.
« While the fleet waited for the second race to start, the wind increased to 22 knots, » said Swan 42 Class President Paul Zabetakis, explaining that this is the limit for constant winds in this regatta in accordance with the NOR, « Another jib had failed in the meantime, and that, coupled with the sustained wind strength, made it clear the racing needed to be abandoned.
« To North’s credit, they jumped right on the situation to fix the first two jibs, and tonight they will rework all the jibs so that racing can get underway again tomorrow, » said Zabetakis.
The regatta continues through Saturday (Sept. 19) when a Parade of Nations through Newport Harbor will precede the final races to determine the winner and will showcase the 19 teams from 14 countries competing here.
Nightly reports, blogs, daily video and results are available at http://www.nyyc.org/eventnews. Live-race tracking by Kattack can be followed at http://tinyurl.com/oyue8a. On October 25th at 5 p.m., ESPN2 will air a one-hour special on the event produced by Gary Jobson.
The complete list of competing clubs is as follows:
Japan Sailing Federation (Tokyo, Japan)
New York Yacht Club (New York, N.Y., USA)
Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (Hamburg, Germany)
Nyländska Jaktklubben (Helsinki, Finland)
Real Club Nautico Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Hamilton, Bermuda)
Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Royal Cork Yacht Club (County Cork, Ireland)
Royal Danish Yacht Club (Hellerup, Denmark)
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (Hong Kong, China)
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (Auckland, New Zealand)
Royal Ocean Racing Club (London, England)
Royal St. George Yacht Club (County Dublin, Ireland)
Royal Thames Yacht Club (London, England)
Royal Yacht Squadron (London, England)
St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, Calif., USA)
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)
Yacht Club de France (Paris, France)
Yacht Club Italiano (Genoa, Italy)
Rolex, Sperry Top-Sider and Nautor’s Swan are the official sponsors of the NYYC Invitational Cup. Compliments of Rolex, the most prestigious maker of timepieces in the world and a long-time supporter of sailing, video of each day’s racing will be produced by Emmy Award winner and Rolex Testimonee Gary Jobson. The daily shows will air online during the regatta at http://www.nyyc.org/eventnews and as part of a 30-minute television program on ESPN2. Sperry Top-Sider, the iconic American brand that invented the world’s first boat shoe, hereby defining a new category of footwear, is the event’s exclusive footwear supplier. Sperry will preview its latest evolution in performance footwear, the Ventus (the Latin term for « wind ») and will provide this footwear to all competitors, prior to its retail launch in late October. The NYYC Swan 42, the result of a pioneering partnership between NYYC and Nautor’s Swan to develop a one-design for racing by predominantly Corinthian crews in local, regional and international events, is the exclusive sailing yacht of the regatta.
As supporting sponsors, Sailing World magazine is the official media partner for the event; Henri Lloyd is the exclusive performance apparel sponsor; and the NYYC Swan 42 Class is the official class organization.
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup
September 15-19, 2009
Day 1, one race completed
19 teams competing
Full results posted online: http://www.nyyc.org/
NYYC Swan 42 Yacht Name, Yacht Club Representing (Country), Skipper, Race 1, Total points
1. Daring, Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN), Terry McLaughlin, 1 – 1 point
2. Arethusa, New York Yacht Club (USA), Phil Lotz, 2 – 2
3. Blazer, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Anthony O’Leary, 3 – 3
4. Downhill Express, Japan Sailing Federation (JPN), Makoto Uematsu, 4 – 4
5. Tiburon, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (BER), Mark Watson, 5 – 5
6. Orbit, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER), Achim Griese, 6 – 6
7. Bandit, Royal St. George Yacht Club (IRL), Michael Cotter, 7 – 7
8. Mustang, Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), John Greenland, 8 – 8
9. Quintessence, Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP), Jordi Tarré, 9 – 9
10. Hoss, Yacht Club de France (FRA), Bruno Trouble, 10 – 10
11. Celeritas, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (NZL), John Melville, 11 – 11
12. Interlodge, St. Francis Yacht Club (USA), Craig Healy, 12 – 12
13. Apparition, Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), Oscar Strugstad, 13 – 13
14. Barleycorn, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), Vittorio Codecasa, 14 – 14
15. The Cat Came Back, Royal Ocean Racing Club (GBR), David Aisher, 15 – 15
16. Conspiracy, Royal Danish Yacht Club (DEN), Marie Klok Crump, 16 – 16
17. Impetuous, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (CHN), Jamie McWilliam, 17 – 17
18. Mutiny, Yacht Club Italiano (ITA), Carlo Alessandro Puri Negri, 18 – 18
19. Better Than, Nylandska Jaktklubben (FIN), Leonardo Ferragamo, 20 (DNF) – 20