In the Spirit of Amateurism

Published on August 11th, 2015

Just one month remains before the start of the fourth edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Invitational Cup.

With five days of racing planned for September 15-19 at Harbour Court, the New York Yacht Club’s summer home in Newport, Rhode Island, this biennial one-design sailing event gathers together crews from the world’s most famous and influential yacht clubs for an impressive race series that has Corinthian ideals firmly at its core.

Under the event format, the competing yacht club teams sail matched NYYC Swan 42s with identically tuned rigs, and sails provided by the organizers. The emphasis is firmly on the skill of the competitors to determine the winner, with the international crews limited to non-professionals and all but two on each team having to be nationals of their club’s home country.

The contest rewards preparation, teamwork and tactical expertise. It is a concept admired and embraced by all those taking part, and fits perfectly within the Rolex constellation of yachting events that is centred on a privileged alliance with the yacht clubs that form the very core of the sport.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club comes into the event as the team to beat. Following a second-place finish at the inaugural (2009) event, it proved a dominant champion in 2011 securing a win, 20 points ahead of second-place finisher New York YC. The RCYC repeated this success in 2013 although the margin of victory was much slimmer, only six points.

Across the three events to date, crews have been quick to acknowledge increasing levels of competition. The Canadian team captain in 2011 and 2013, 1984 Olympic Silver medallist Terry McLaughlin, pointed to good boat speed and positive teamwork as being the primary foundations for a successful campaign.

Seventeen clubs from 11 countries will be on the start line.

The US is represented by New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club (California) Eastern Yacht Club (Massachusetts), and Seattle Yacht Club (Washington).

Europe fields teams from the UK: Royal Thames Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron and Itchenor Sailing Club; from Italy: Yacht Club Italiano; Ireland: Royal Cork Yacht Club; Sweden: Royal Swedish Yacht Club; and Spain: Real Club Nautico de Barcelona.

The Japan Sailing Federation returns along with two clubs from Australia: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, which is appearing for the first time, and Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, which made its debut two years ago.

The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Yacht Club Argentino (Argentina) complete the list with the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

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