Corinthian competition: A Sophisticated and Prestigious Event

Published on September 11th, 2015

It is a testament to the ideals of Corinthian competition, and the camaraderie associated with the sport that for the fourth edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup (September 15-19), six of the 17 entered yacht club teams will be welcomed back as four-time veterans of this highly-regarded event.

Hailing from all corners of the globe, the returning teams – Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Japan Sailing Federation, Real Club Náutico de Barcelona (ESP), the Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL) and the two-time defending champion, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club – are drawn by the intensity of the on-the-water competition which is enhanced by notable social events held at Harbour Court, New York Yacht Club’s iconic clubhouse overlooking Newport harbour.

Woven into the fabric of this event is the historic partnership of Rolex and New York Yacht Club, which was forged in the 1950s. Through this enduring association, one of yachting’s greatest traditions was established with a winning sailor being presented with a Rolex timepiece in recognition of achieving excellence in competition.

“We are proud to be back in this sophisticated and prestigious event,” said Yoshihiko Hattori on behalf of the Japan Sailing Federation (JSAF) team.

The opportunity to represent some of the most prestigious clubs in the world, as well as one’s country, is a key motivation for the teams that repeatedly undertake the logistical and competitive challenges that are inherent in participating in an event of this calibre.

The JSAF team has finished in the top six in each of their previous appearances in the Invitational Cup. Building their team for 2015 from a crew that has sailed together for over ten years and are three-time Japanese National Champions, they hope to improve on that record.

Likewise, Irish helmsman Anthony O’Leary has assembled his crew based on their performance on his winning Ker 40, ANTIX. Representing the Royal Cork Yacht Club, generally considered to be the world’s oldest yacht club, could be a daunting task for O’Leary who focuses most of his sailing efforts on offshore racing. However, a 5-8-4 record indicates that while the Irish team infrequently sails one-design boats of the size of the Swan 42s used for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, they are strong competitors within reach of the prize.

“The regatta, the organisation, the dinner, the atmosphere…all is perfectly organised,” said Javier Scherk who will race in the 2015 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup for the third time at the helm of the entry representing the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona. To prepare for the 2015 competition, Scherk and tactician Oriol Cornudella gained valuable experience by competing in the Rolex Swan Cup, and hope to capitalise on the experience of the team which has sailed and trained together in Swan 45s, J/80s, Dragons and Lasers.

At the conclusion of five days of racing (September 15-19) on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay, a Rolex steel Submariner Date timepiece will reward the winner of the 2015 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: the team which has succeeded at combining efficient boat handling and finding maximum boat speed.

About the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup
First held in 2009, the biennial Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup fuses five days of intense racing aboard identical Swan 42s, with a glamorous social schedule to deliver an unrivaled event for competitors from around the globe.

Competitors must be Corinthian (non-professional) sailors and members of the yacht clubs they represent; they must also be nationals of their countries. The 2015 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup welcomes competitors from the following yachts clubs: the Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), Japan Sailing Federation (JPN), Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP), Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN), Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (HKG), Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), Yacht Club Argentino (ARG), Yacht Club Italiano (ITA), Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (AUS), Royal Swedish Yacht Club (SWE), Eastern Yacht Club (USA), Itchenor Sailing Club (GBR), Middle Harbour Yacht Club (USA), Newport Harbour Yacht Club (USA), Seattle Yacht Club (USA) and New York Yacht Club (USA).

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