Record team racing line-up

A preview of the world championship to be held in Newport, RI in late September

Friday July 8th 2005, Author: Barby MacGowan, Location: United States
12 countries doing battle, non-stop action close to shore, color-coded sails for spectator appeal - it’s guaranteed to be an exciting contest when the 2005 Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship comes to Newport, R.I., this Fall.

The biennial event, scheduled for September 24-October 1, will be hosted by the New York Yacht Club at its Harbour Court clubhouse. Competing will be two teams each from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the U.S.A. and one team each from the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain (expected) and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Team Whishbone (USA 1) will be led by Tim Fallon who, with two of his returning teammates - Karen Renzulli and Ery Largay - won the 2003 Team Racing World Championship in New Zealand. Rounding out Fallon’s team is Mark Ivey, Matt Linblad and 2004 Olympian Tim Wadlow, who sailed with Fallon to a silver-medal finish in the Worlds in 1999 (also with Largay and Renzulli) and 2001. Team Whishbone qualified for the 2005 Worlds by winning US Sailing’s 2004 US Team Racing Championship for the George R. Hinman Trophy and more recently won the US Team Racing Association Midwinters.

The regatta will be sailed in Vanguard 15s - small, high-performance planing dinghies. Each Vanguard 15 is manned by a crew of two for a total of six competitors per team, with at least one female sailor per team. The on-water action takes place at a lightning-fast pace, with races typically between seven and eight minutes in duration. The result is an emphasis on tactics and boat handling.

"On the world stage, Great Britain and the USA are the leaders in team racing," said Fallon, who began team racing as a junior sailor on Cape Cod. "Over here, the sport has only developed in the last 10-15 years, whereas the British have been at it for a much longer time, and they do a lot of it. We’re always trying to catch up with them. Ireland is up there as well."

On Team GBR 1 is 1995 ISAF Team Racing World Champion Steve Tylecote, who figuratively and literally 'wrote the book' on the sport. It bodes well for the team that Tylecote, along with two of his teammates - David Ellis and Rob Sherington - won both the 2004 and 2005 Wilson Trophy regattas. The Wilson Trophy is considered by many as the world’s most competitive team racing regatta after the Worlds. Team New Forest Pirates (GBR 2) also includes three multiple winners of the Wilson Trophy: Stuart Hudson, Dom Johnson and Owen Modral.

The high calibre of competition is further reflected on the team resumes of Team Royal St. George (IRL 2) - skipper Johnny Mahew has won the Wilson Trophy three times; Team George Knights (IRL 1) - John Sheehy finished fourth at the last Worlds; Team Biwakko (JPN 1) - five members are multiple winners of the All-Japan Team Race Championship; Team NZL 2 - High School Team Racing National champions and finished second in the 2005 New Zealand Open Team Racing Championships; Team NZL 1 - Samantha Harrison has won the High School Team Racing Nationals five years in a row; and Team VI Challenge (USVI) - the team finished second at the 2005 High School Team Racing Nationals).

This is Fallon’s fourth trip to an ISAF Team Racing World Championship and he is looking forward to sailing in Newport. "It was nice to be in New Zealand during the last world championship, because it all took place around the America’s Cup and that was pretty cool, but Newport is also special - it’s the Auckland of this part of the world."

According to Steven Wolff, Chairman of the New York Yacht Club’s Sailing Committee and the Team Racing Worlds, "20 teams is a recent record for this regatta, and we are pleased that Grey Goose vodka has given us a boost with its title sponsorship, allowing for a bigger, better, more festive event."

The 2005 ISAF Team Racing World Championship will be sailed off Goat Island in Narragansett Bay, where racing will be "center stage," with live commentary provided by Tufts University Sailing Coach Ken Legler.

Two days of practice racing kick off the on-the-water action, with Opening Ceremonies set for Sunday evening, September 25, 2005. Racing begins on Monday, September 26, with upward of 400 races expected to be held before the teams who will move into the finals on October 1 are determined. Awards will be presented on Saturday, October 1, followed by Closing Ceremonies.

In addition to title sponsor Grey Goose, the world’s best tasting vodka, are supporting sponsors North Sails, Vanguard Sailboats, manufacturer of the Vanguard 15s, Ribcraft Inc., manufacturers of rigid inflatable boats, Sailing World magazine and Sentient Jet. Suppliers are Barry Motors, Crystal Spring Water, Heineken, Jailhouse Inn, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Newport Harbor Hotel Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Ronstan. The organizing authority for the championship is NYYC, ISAF and US SAILING, the United States’ Member National Authority (MNA) of ISAF.

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