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Corinthian YC Thayer Trophy Women's Invitational Team Race

by Corinthian Yacht Club 22 Jun 08:18 PDT June 24-25, 2023
Women's Invitational Team Race © Bruce Durkee

Seven teams are teed up for the third edition of the Corinthian Yacht Club Women's Invitational Team Race for the Thayer Trophy taking place this weekend off historic Marblehead, Mass.

Competition is expected to be fierce as veterans of the event and a couple of strong newcomers will go head-to-head in the only women's 3v3 team racing event sailed in keelboats with spinnakers, a format that places a premium on boat handling while executing aggressive maneuvers in tight quarters.

Last year's winner, Bristol Yacht Club, is coming in strong after winning the New York Yacht Club Women's 2v2 a few weeks ago. Led by Roger Williams Sailing Coach Amanda Callahan, Bristol seems poised for a potential repeat with many of the core sailors from the 2022 team returning to defend.

The Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association team will likely have Bristol in its sights after losing the NYYC 2v2 to them on a tiebreaker. CBYRA is always in the mix at Thayer, finishing second in 2021 and third in 2022. Like Bristol, much of the team, including Team Captain Ashley Love, has sailed the event since its inception, a definite advantage in Marblehead's typically tricky sailing conditions.

Adding a fun twist to the combination of competitive spirit and comradery, both Bristol and CBYRA have daughters racing against their mothers. Bristol bow person Julia O'Connor's mother, Jane O'Connor, is trimming main for Corinthian Yacht Club. CBYRA tactician and trimmer Katja Sertl's mother, Cory Sertl, a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, is skippering for New York Yacht Club.

New York has been a consistent top Thayer Trophy team, winning the inaugural event in 2021 and finishing second last year. NYYC is back with another impressive roster that in addition to Sertl, includes 2022 US Match Racing Champion bow person Abigail Preston.

Two teams making their Thayer Trophy debut are Newport Harbor Yacht Club and MIT. Newport Harbor is a respected team-racing powerhouse with a deep bench. The California club's Thayer roster is filled with former college All-American sailors including skippers Sally Mace (Stanford) and Carolyn Smith (St. Mary's). The MIT team is led by alum Emily Haig, a skipper with a long list of national championship wins including the Melges 15 US Nationals.

According to event organizers, one of Corinthian's goals for the Thayer Trophy is to help keep women college sailors engaged in the sport. As part of that initiative, hometown Marblehead clubs, Corinthian and Eastern, have been developing their women's team racing programs for years and regularly practice with and race against each other throughout the season.

"We're so excited to be hosting the third year of the Thayer Trophy at the Corinthian Yacht Club," said Regatta Chair Miranda Bakos. "Our Corinthian team has grown tremendously in depth since the first year, when we could barely fill a team. Now, any individual could step into any position on the boat. That strengthens the overall competitiveness of our club's match racing, fleet racing and other sailing outside of women's team racing."

The Thayer Trophy event schedule is a traditional round-robin format, culminating in a final four on Sunday. Racing is held in club-provided Sonars, 23-foot, one-design keelboats typically sailed with four or five crew.

Details about the Corinthian Yacht Club National Women's Invitation Team Race for the Thayer Trophy including results can be found on the event site.

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