Top U.S. Yacht Clubs Take Aim at 2016 Resolute Cup
Published on December 6th, 2015
Which United States yacht club has the fastest sailors? That question will be answered next September, when yacht clubs from around the country gather for four days of intense one-design competition on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.
The Resolute Cup, a Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs hosted by the New York Yacht Club, is an evolution of the U.S. Qualifying Series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which was held on even years starting in 2010. At stake, once again, will be berths in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, scheduled for September 2017. But the Resolute Cup is much more than a stepping stone to the premiere international Corinthian regatta in the sport of sailing.
“Six years ago, the New York Yacht Club created the U.S. Qualifying Series to handle equitably the overwhelming interest we had from American yacht clubs to compete in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup,” says Dr. Paul Zabetakis, the chair of the New York Yacht Club’s Sailing Committee. “But the event quickly outgrew its original mandate. Clubs around the country saw it as a chance to test their best amateur sailors against those of other clubs. The Resolute Cup can now establish its own identity, one that reflects the considerable time, effort and talent clubs dedicate to winning this competition.”
The Resolute Cup emphasizes Corinthian, one-design competition between yacht clubs. Each competitor must be an ISAF Group 1 (amateur) sailor, and a member of the club he or she represents. Teams will compete in two different fleets of identically tuned keelboats during the regatta. The New York Yacht Club’s Sonar fleet will be used for the competition, as will a second design, which will mostly likely be a 20- to 25-foot sport boat.
“The use of a traditional keelboat with a symmetric spinnaker and a sport boat with an asymmetric spinnaker [at right] requires teams to be versatile and to adapt quickly to different styles of sailing,” says Zabetakis. “It also limits the advantage that could be gained by a team that has a lot of familiarity with one particular design.”
On-shore camaraderie is a highlight of the event. The New York Yacht Club opens its Harbour Court clubhouse to the competitors and their supporters. There are post-race social activities each day, as well as an Opening Ceremony and the Final Awards Gala.
“One of the best components of this event has been the support the teams receive from their clubs,” says Zabetakis. “Teams show up with entourages that charter spectator boats and cheer at every mark rounding. It all adds up to an event that is much more than the typical championship. These sailors are racing for themselves and every member of their club. There’s a tremendous amount of pride at stake.”
Invitations for the 2016 Resolute Cup, A Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs, will be issued in early 2016. The regatta will run from September 12 to 17, 2016. Interested clubs are requested to apply for an invitation by completing an on-line form that can be accessed here. The deadline for applications is December 31.