Cream of US yacht clubs
The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup US Qualifying Series, sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider and Jaguar North America, began today off Harbour Court, the New York Yacht Club’s Newport, RI clubhouse, with 24 pre-eminent yacht clubs in America showing their hands. The prize for the top-three US amateur teams is an invitation to the NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex in September 2011, where they will meet the top six teams from 2009: New York, Royal Canadian, Japan Sailing Federation, Nyländska Jaktklubben of Finland; Royal Cork of Ireland and Royal Bermuda, plus at least 10 other international teams.
It was windy for the first two races, about 16-18 knots from the southwest – stuck at that pace since Saturday’s passing of Hurricane Earl. The winds moderated later in the day. NYYC Race Committee Chair John Myles set the stage at the Skippers’ Meeting on Tuesday. “We’re here to sail; get in as many races as we can.” A man of his word is Mr. Myles.
The Red Fleet sailed the NYYC’s Sonars for the first four races, before switching to Sail Newport’s J/22s for the last four. The Blue Fleet started in J/22s and finished in Sonars.
After eight races for the Blue Fleet, Bayview Yacht Club of Detroit is first, with Bora Gulari, the 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in America, as skipper. The team posted the best record of the day with 21 points. Then came Sean Bennett’s San Francisco Yacht Club team and Peter Duncan’s American Yacht Club team from Rye, New York.
For the Red Fleet, Peter McChesney’s Annapolis Yacht Club is first. Larchmont, of New York, skippered by Danny Pletsch, is second and Eastern Yacht Club of Marblehead, Mass., led by Bill Lynn, is third.
The top six teams from the Red and Blue fleets will be determined after tomorrow’s racing; these 12 teams will compete on Friday and Saturday in Sonars to determine the three winners. The bottom six boats from either fleet will sail those days in a consolation round in J/22s.
The yacht clubs competing are American in Rye, N.Y.; Annapolis; Bayview in Detroit; Boston in Marblehead, Mass.; Carolina in Charleston, S.C.; Eastern in Marblehead, Mass.; Fishing Bay in Deltaville, Va.; Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas; Ida Lewis in Newport, R.I.; Indian Harbor in Greenwich, Conn.; Larchmont in New York; Little Traverse in Harbor Springs, Mich.; Long Beach in California; Newport Harbor in Newport Beach, Calif.; Pequot in Southport, Conn.; Rochester in New York; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Seawanhaka Corinthian in Oyster Bay, N.Y.; Southern in New Orleans; St. Francis in San Francisco; St. Petersburg in Florida and Stamford in Connecticut.
The four-day regatta is sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider and Jaguar North America, with the support of Sailing World, Shumway Marine, J/Boats and Team One Newport.