At the RTYC Cumberland Cup 2014 the final day of racing for one of the oldest trophies in the RTYC collection proved to be another testing day for competitors and Race Officials.
Winners: New York Yacht Club - RTYC Cumberland Cup 2014
With the wind rolling right through 360 degree shifts, and the schedule showing that 12 races needed to be completed in order for a fair result to be established, the pressure was on.
Mark Layer, Bill Wyatt, whose endless mark moving task is shown below is a great demonstration of the frustrations experienced by the race committee!
map 1 - RTYC Cumberland Cup 2014
And, whilst the committee were busy relaying the course at 30 second intervals, the competitors were allowed to practice their mast walking skills...
Mast walking - RTYC Cumberland Cup 2014
When races did get underway, competitors’ power of concentration was tested to the limit with the breeze barely strong enough to fill a spinnaker.
However, PRO Gill Smith was determined to ensure that a fair result was achieved and that teams were given as much racing as possible.
CCup15--3 - RTYC Cumberland Cup 2014
With no room for error at the top, the leading few teams demonstrated a consistently high standard of team racing. In Race 29 RTYC lost to YCCS, which proved to be a fatal error, and offered fresh hope to NYYC, who then went on to beat RTYC in race 31. Race 37 saw NYYC and YCCS go head to head, and whilst the Italians had beaten the Americans in Race 13 it was the Italians who proved to be the stronger team, in their final battle, New York were able to use the fickle breeze to their advantage and seized Race 37. This meant that New York and Costa Smeralda were tied on points. With RTYC just two race wins behind both these teams, the top three teams were all vying for first place, and all would have been very worthy winners.
However, with the wind and the mark layer moving in endless circles, sadly, there was no time for a final to be sailed, and the overall results were taken from the first 40 races, with two ties having to be broken on count back.
1st New York Yacht Club
2nd Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
3rd Royal Thames Yacht Club
4th Yale Corinthian Yacht Club
5th Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead)
7th Royal Perth Yacht Club
8th Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans)
Cumulative scores after 40 races
There were also some social winners whom should be mentioned, the Saturday night dinner entertainment comprised of ditties performed by each team, the umpires and the race officials. Whilst RTYC paid homage to their Commodore and sang a particularly active rendition of ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, New York challenged teams to a rather aggressive game of musical chairs, and Costa Smeralda offered their thoughts on the entire event in limerick version (please find the full rendition of this below). But, it was the ever lively Royal Perth team who stole the show with their version of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to the updated lyrics of ‘Royal Thames Team Racing’.
Overall, a fantastic event was had by all, with world class team racing taking place alongside fantastic umpiring and unrivalled socialising of the highest standard. Many thanks to all of those who took part including; the competitors, umpires, race officials, Queen Mary staff and the caterers. The Royal Thames looks forward to welcoming teams back in 2016 for what is set to be another premier event.
The Cumberland Cup Limerick
The sailors of R Tee Y Cee
Are best if kept to the lee
If you let them ahead
You're as good as dead
They won't let you pass them, you see!
Queen Anne's geese are making the calls
Not the umpires, and rain also falls
Their flapping of wings
Don't produce enough wind
Are we sane to have come here at all?
Ms Mary McLeod MP
We couldn't unfortunately see
We knew she was single
And were ready to mingle
Dashed hopes for the Italian team!
So that this year’s wrongs may be righted,
We'd return to the Race if invited
And be back to Westminster
So she shan't die a spinster
Please tell her next time not to fight it!
As the Cumberland cup comes to a close
We are happy to be amongst those
Who received the invite
To enjoy day and night
All the fun and the sailing proposed.
Antonio Winspeare, Costa Smeralda