Locals take early lead at Baldwin Cup
Published on April 10th, 2015
Newport Beach, CA (April 10, 2015) – The eighth annual Baldwin Cup Team Cup Race, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, kicked off the first of three days of racing with fluky but building winds, tight mark roundings, 25-cent beers and a good supply of Moscow Mules. Completing 51 races, there are 15 races remaining in the first Round Robin.
Team Thunder, Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s defending team from last year, is in the lead after day one with a perfect record of 7 wins, with Larchmont Yacht Club in second with five wins and two losses. Tied for third are the Balboa Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Team Lightning, Seattle Yacht Club, and Southern Yacht Club. In total, there will be between 130 to 140 races.
“It was shifty as all get out, but clocking slowly to the right,” said Staff Commodore Gale Nye Pinckney of NHYC’s Team Thunder. “The weather is shaping up to be the best of any Baldwin Cup Team Race to date. A huge thanks goes out to the pit crew, that as always totally dialed in the boats, and to the volunteers who give their time to make this three-day event possible.”
“We feel like we are in a world cup,” said Greg Costello, from the Seawanaka Corinthian Yacht Club commenting on the regatta. “First class quality of race management, the food, and the huge undertaking of clearing the mooring field put this regatta in a class of its own. The Harbor 20s without kites or complicated rigging are definitely an equalizer.”
Racers began the day with winds out of the south, very unusual for Newport Harbor. Throughout the day, the breeze shifted to the west and increased, more typical conditions.
According to Harrison Turner of St. Francis Yacht Club, “The conditions were fantastic today; all of the races have been super competitive, but fun. I do love the Harbor 20s because it is civilized racing in t-shirts, shorts and of course, we always see a wide selection of colorful blazers. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
From the start, the Newport Harbor Yacht Club has infused the event with colorful traditions including a Friday night Burger Bash, entertainment on Saturday evening featuring lip sync performances from each team dressed in their sartorial best, lively umpire debriefs, and ideal viewing conditions for spectators. Racers bring their team personalities, perhaps the best one being the New York Yacht Club racing in blazers and shorts on Sunday, a trend that has since spread through the entire fleet.
This year’s participants include: Balboa Yacht Club (Corona del Mar, Calif.), Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.), Larchmont Yacht Club (Larchmont, New York), New York Yacht Club (New York, New York), Piquot Yacht Club (Southport, Conn.), Seattle Yacht Club (Seattle), Seawanaka Corinthian Yacht Club (Oyster Bay, New York), Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans), the St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) and the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (New Haven, Conn.). In addition to Newport Harbor Team Thunder, Newport Harbor Lightning is the second home team boat.
Report by event media. Photo by Bob Yates.