A dying breeze cut short the second and final day of racing in the 2014 New York Yacht Club Grandmasters Team Race, but not even some capricious wind could stop Noroton Yacht Club from steamrolling to its fourth consecutive time.
Noroton Yacht Club (yellow sails) on the starting line en route to one of its 14 wins against zero losses in the 2014 New York Yacht Club Grandmasters Team Race Regatta.
The NYYC Grandmasters Regatta has been held four times since 2010 (the event wasn't sailed in 2011 due to Hurricane Irene) and the team from Noroton YC, in Darien, Conn., has won it each time. This year it wasn't even close. After a double round robin, where each team raced every other team twice, Noroton stood atop the overall standings with a 14-0 record.
A round robin among the top four teams was planned to finish off the day, but with no team within three points of Noroton, it could only have impacted the minor placings. When the northeasterly breeze that had fueled the racing for the better part of two days died out, the race committee decided to send the teams in. New York Yacht Club finished in second place with 10 points, with Southern Yacht Club following in third and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in fourth.
'I thought we had a real good chance of winning the regatta,' said Noroton Team Captain Steve Shepstone, 'I didn't think we would win all the races, that was a surprise. A lot of the races were close. We thought New York Yacht Club had won the first race against us [on Saturday], so we were really surprised this morning to look at the scores and see that we beat them. One of our boats headed up and shot the line and beat them by a couple inches.'
The victorious Noroton Yacht Club Team. New York Yacht Club Grandmasters Team Race Regatta 2014
When asked what contributed to Noroton's success Shepstone responded: 'We just practice. You get into situations a couple times and you realize what doesn't work. We made mistakes; I made two mistakes in the last race. Did a couple things right too, and guys on the other team made a mistake which made up for my mistake in one case. In the other case my teammates helped me out. So we ended up working back up to the fleet and were in the front in the end.'
The Grandmasters regatta is a relatively new addition to the team racing scene, but one that is gaining in popularity. 'All of the team racing events have gotten harder every year,' said Shepstone, 'so we've practiced a lot and tried to raise our game so we can stay in front.'
Noroton Yacht Club: Steve Shepstone (captain-skipper), Tom Kinney, Kevin Sheehan, Melissa Shepstone, Lee Morrison (skipper), Karl Ziegler, Warren Costikyan, Susan Morrison, Peter Wilson (skipper), Britt Hall, Carolyn Wilson, Jim Linville.
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