Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

U.S. Qualifying Series - Storied yacht clubs to take part

by Stuart Streuli on 5 Aug 2014
The Southern Yacht Club team sailed to second in the Silver Fleet in 2012 U.S. Qualifying Series Billy Black / NYYC
Founded in 1849 and 1875, respectively, Southern Yacht Club and Chicago Yacht Club are two of the oldest and most respected sailing organizations in the United States. Come September, in Newport, R.I., four amateur sailors from each of those two clubs will compete against teams from 22 other U.S. yacht clubs—old and young—in the 2014 U.S. Qualifying Series for the 2015 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

The USQS, as the regatta is commonly known, is the lone pathway for domestic clubs looking to compete for the Invitational Cup, sailing’s premiere Corinthian big-boat competition. Both events are hosted by the New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. The top three teams in the USQS, which is sailed in J/70s and Sonars from September 2 to 6, will earn a berth in the 2015 Invitational Cup, which is sailed in the New York Yacht Club Swan 42.

Both clubs have mined their respective talent pools to assemble competitive teams. Chicago Yacht Club (at right), which is participating in the USQS for the first time, tabbed former U.S. Sailing Team member Mark Teborek to skipper its entry.

Teborek is no stranger to high-pressure sailing events, but this one is different from most of the regattas he has done since graduating from Boston College a decade ago.

'There is an added pressure when you are not just representing yourself,' he said. 'From the start we have tried to involve as many people as possible. We have the goal of qualifying, yes, but our ultimate goal extends beyond this one regatta. We want to do keelboat team racing and other national events, and get more sailors in their 20s and 30s involved in racing at CYC. In short, we are taking a long-term perspective.'

Having missed the qualifying spots in 2010 and 2012, Southern Yacht Club (at left) is hoping the third time will prove to be the charm.

'I would love to come back to the club having qualified us for the IC,' said skipper Zak Fanberg, a first-time USQS competitor who was an All-American sailor at the College of Charleston. 'The Club has done [the USQS] a few times. I’d like to be the one that gets us qualified first.'

To do that, Fanberg and Teborek, and their respective crews, will have to revisit the skills that helped them succeed on the college sailing circuit. While the boats for the USQS are 23-foot keelboats—as opposed to the light 14-foot dinghies used in college sailing—the format is nearly identical. The boats are provided, as are the sails, the rig tuning is locked for the regatta, and the races are short. Boatspeed differences across the fleet, which help the best sailors separate from the pack in most regattas, are minimal.

'You have to know you’re not always going to get a good start,' said Fanberg. 'It’s the teams that can turn an eighth place at the top mark into a fifth, or turn a fifth at the first mark into a second, that will do well. It’s a lot of minimizing mistakes because everybody is going the same speed.'

The 24 clubs will be split into two groups for qualifying, with each group sailing in both the J/70s (at right) and the Sonars. The fleet will then be split into Gold and Silver fleets, with the former sailing in the J/70s and the latter in the Sonars.

Preparing for two different boats—among other differences, the J/70 carries an asymmetric spinnaker while the Sonar has a more traditional symmetric spinnaker—is one of the many unique challenges of this regatta.

'We have been practicing twice a week since mid-June,' said Teborek. 'We went up to Harbor Springs to race a J/70 in the Ugotta Regatta. Lastly, we have coordinated with Bayview Yacht Club who is coming in to do a weekend training session in Sonars. Overall, it was a tremendous effort to get our keelboat team off the ground, but I believe it will pay dividends going forwards for the club. We have a dedicated team and a very supportive club.'

NaiadKilwell - 1Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr