Squadron heads for Rhode Island

British team announced for September's New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Monday July 13th 2009, Author: Peta Stuart-Hunt, Location: United Kingdom
The Royal Yacht Squadron has confirmed the full line up of its racing team hoping to carry off the silverware at the conclusion of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup that takes place from 15-19 September 2009 in the famous waters off Newport, R.I., USA.

The RYS Team racing at the event is announced as follows:
Oscar Strugstad (Skipper/helm)
Mike Ewart-Smith (Tactician)
Geoffrey Stocker (Main)
Dries van der Laan (Trimmer)
Graham Simpson
Oliver Stanley
Rupert Syme
Charlie Sichel
Laetitia Campbell

John Dare - Team Captain
Tony Singer - Shore Manager

The NYYC Invitational Cup is for Corinthian (amateur) sailors representing their respective yacht clubs. The event has thus far attracted some 20 international yacht clubs to enter teams, and the UK has a strong showing putting up three Royal yacht club teams in total. The Royal Yacht Squadron, The Royal Ocean Racing Club and The Royal Thames Yacht Club will each race under its own burgee with each club competing against the others as well as against the rest of the international teams.

All competing teams will be racing on board the NYYC Club Swan 42s, unique one-design racer/cruisers created by the NYYC in partnership with Nautor Swan to boost Corinthian sailing and promote increased competitiveness within an owner-driver and amateur sailing framework.

The Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, The Lord Iliffe, DL, is extremely positive about the initiative, commenting: “The Royal Yacht Squadron congratulates the New York Yacht Club on initiating this very special inter club regatta and is delighted to be taking part along with many other yacht clubs from around the world. Here at the Castle in Cowes we will be following the progress of our entry closely and I would like to wish everyone taking part a most enjoyable time both on and off the water. The NYYC are legendary hosts and the event promises to be a highlight of the 2009 racing calendar.”

As the Team Manager for the RYS entry, John Dare is equally upbeat saying, “I am pleased to say how excited we are to be participating in the first NYYC Invitational Cup to be held in the famous waters off Newport. We are most attracted by the corinthian nature of the event, particularly as we do not have any Category 3 members! However, we have put together a keen team of experienced amateurs and we all look forward to a great competition and the hospitality of the New York Yacht Club.”

There is a long and interesting history of collaboration between these two great yacht clubs, not least of which came to the fore in the shape of the America’s Cup Jubilee in August 2001. The New York Yacht Club joined with the Royal Yacht Squadron for the America's Cup Jubilee, in Cowes for a week-long regatta and party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the regatta that came to be called the America's Cup. One of the many highlights was a race around the Isle of Wight, the course sailed by America in 1851.

The Royal Yacht Squadron is the most prestigious yacht club in the United Kingdom. Its clubhouse is located in Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight. Member yachts are given the Suffix RYS to their names, and permitted to fly the White Ensign of the Royal Navy rather than the merchant Red Ensign flown by the majority of other UK registered vessels. The club's patron is Queen Elizabeth II and the club’s Admiral is Prince Philip who is also a former club Commodore.

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