New York Yacht Club US Qualifying Series day 3 and after seven races preliminary scores show little light between the top seven teams in the Gold fleet.
The J/70 Gold Fleet - New York Yacht Club US Qualifying Series Day 3
Teams are vying for three Invitational Cup slots. Though Seattle and San Francisco yacht clubs had been distancing themselves from the group in the first five races, each swallowed a bottom-half score in the last two races to allow the fleet to catch up. St. Francis had been tied for second until a DSQ in race five dropped them to fourth.
Beneficiaries of the top group’s misfortune was Larchmont, who won race seven and also received redress in race four, and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, a team that was finally on the positive side of the subtle shifts and strong current lines on the Narragansett Bay Course ending with a 1,5,5 score line. There is no throw-out for the Gold and Silver series, putting more pressure on each race.
For fellow Texans in the Gold fleet, Fort Worth Boat Club, just one too many bottom half places put them at the bottom of the fleet despite several top five finishes. Only 10 points separated them and the next four places, roughly the same difference between first and seventh.
'It’s a very tight fleet, and you can’t make any mistakes,' said Fort Worth skipper Glenn Darden after the long day of racing. 'They’re all good, and somebody is going to get a twelfth in each race.'
The sailing wasn’t any easier in the Silver series as boats rounded the weather mark bow-to-stern, and most overlapped at the leeward gates. Four points separate the top three and an invite to the next qualifying series in 2014 is on the line. Though American, Nantucket and Southern yacht clubs have a point cushion at the top, anything can happen in tomorrow’s predicted strong southerlies.
With one more day of racing, race officials are confident whoever ends up on top by Saturday afternoon will be primed to win the 2013 Invitational Cup.
Complete results here
The winner of the Championship series will not only hold a berth along with second- and third-place finishers for the 2013 Invitational Cup but will also win the Resolute Cup. And though only one Silver fleet team gets a guaranteed invite to the Qualifiers in 2014, all the sailors are racing for the pride of their clubs. And with a large contingent spread out on the array of spectator boats with burgees flying, that’s just as important as a trophy.