by Louay Habib
At the 2013 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, two short sharp races in Narragansett Bay produced some thrilling action, as the event passed the halfway stage. The wind speed settled in at about 12 to 15 knots from the south, but there were several shifts during the day.
INTERLODGE, Bow # 17, Seattle Yacht Club, Skipper: W. Andrew Loe III, Tactician: Jay Renehan, Type: Swan 42, Length: 42.58 ft DARING, Bow # 05, Royal Canadian YC, Skipper: Terry McLaughlin, Tactician: John Hele, Type: Swan 42, Length: 42.58 ft - New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup 2013
The narrow confines of the race area, in the East Passage between Gould Island and Prudence Island, meant that the fleet was very much bunched together. Picking the lifting tacks and gybes, as well as staying out of traffic and trouble, rewarded the smarter teams today.
After seven races there was a swing at the top of the leader board, but it was only temporary. The overnight leader, Larchmont (N.Y.) YC kept their lead after Race 6 but technical issues forced the American team to retire from Race 7, the resulting DNS dropping them to fifth. However, after redress was given, Larchmont YC was given average points for the race (4.8 as of the end of racing today). For now, Larchmont YC are now tied for the lead with the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club put in another outstanding day on the water, scoring two more bullets, but it wasn't easy for the team from Ontario, the last race went to a photo-finish with Seattle YC. After a jibing duel to the finish, both yachts crossed the line virtually in tandem but the win was given to Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Seattle Yacht Club had their best day of the regatta, scoring two podium finishes to climb up seven places to fourth. The British team from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, posted a second and a fourth today, to leap up the leader board to third.
The young crew from the Royal Thames Yacht Club includes husband and wife, Katie and Johnny Greenland, who have sailed the last three editions of the Invitational Cup. 'The standard at this regatta just keeps going up.' said Johnny Greenland. 'There are very few boats making mistakes, and the quality of the competition is very deep. It is not just the top tier that is in contention, the vast majority of the fleet are all capable of putting in the results, there are some terrific amateur sailors here and the fact that we are all Corinthians really adds to the atmosphere. A lot of the teams have brought along friends and family, and it is not just the 11 crew that are having a great time, the New York Yacht Club really know how to look after their guests. It is a pleasure to be here.'
Bruce Foye, skipper of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia entry, has competed in many Rolex Sydney Hobart Races. The team from Sydney had a good day on the water, scoring their best results of the regatta.
'We have come a long way, and it feels like a dream to come here.' said Foye. 'To sail in these waters, against international yacht clubs and represent the CYCA is something that we feel very honored to do. The crew have done a few Sydney Hobarts, well over 100 in total. The history of our yacht club is in offshore sailing, but recently we have competed in more inshore regattas in our own one-design Sydney 38s. The standard of sailing at this regatta is very strong and we took a couple of days to understand how to get these boats going, but we had a much more success today. We have come here to compete, but the average age of our crew is 50 and competing against the younger guys on short courses is difficult/ We have come to Newport to sail within the spirit of the event and enjoy the atmosphere and we love it here. I am looking forward to the lobster supper tonight and I will see how they compare with our Hobart Crayfish.'