Nakamura, with crew Norio Igea, Nathan Hollerbach and Tetsuya Sasaki, won every match except for one on the first day of racing. Rounding out the top teams were Sergey Musikhin (RUS), followed by Keith Swinton, Black Swan match Racing (AUS), and Chris Van Tol, Van Tol Match Racing Team (USA).
With Day 4 another windless day on Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound, the Race Committee was hard pressed to finish the final matches completed. When a southerly finally filled in with just about an hour or so of racing left, PRO Sue Miller got the matches off quickly. With the help of Nakamura and Swinton, competitors were swiftly dispensed with. It was Nakamura over Musikhin (2-0) and Swinton over Van Tol (2-0).
Nakamura is a team to watch. They came to the Knickerbocker Cup with a crew that hadn’t sailed together before, and won every match except one, which was against Chris Van Tol, last year’s Cup champion. Commodore Robbie Lager remarked that the Albatross Match Racing Team “won several grade 4 events, went on to a second place in a grade 3 event and now have won a grade 2 event. Hopefully this is the beginning of being launched to be first in a grade 1 event.”
That opportunity is just around the corner, as the Knickerbocker Cup is an official feeder to the prestigious Bermuda Gold Cup. In accepting his award, Nakamura said, “In the beginning of the regatta, we had a tough start and just tried to stay focused on the finals. We will do our best in Bermuda and will come back to the Knickerbocker Cup next year. Great regatta!”
Nakamura joins a long list of match racers who have come to the Knickerbocker Cup in past years and have gone on to make an impact on the match racing world. Some past winners whose names are engraved on the Cup include: Paul Cayard (USA), Russell Coutts (NZ), Roy Heiner (NED), Terry Hutchinson (USA), Terry McLaughlin (CAN), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ed Baird (USA), and Dave Perry (USA). Now it is time to add Takumi Nakamura to the Cup.
The Knickerbocker Cup has long been a regatta that has launched many a match racing career. It looks as if the Cup has just launched yet another team, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of young, extremely talented match racers.
2008 Knickerbocker Cup FINAL RESULTS:
Takumi Nakamura JAP
Sergey Musikhin RUS
Keith Swinton AUS
Chris Van Tol USA
Evan Walker AUS
Andrew Arbuzov RUS
Blythe Walker BER
Francesco Bruni ITA
Phil Robertson NZ
Juan Ignacio Grimaldi ARG
Robbie Allam GBR
Liz Baylis USA