Masters Team Racing in Newport

Published on August 4th, 2016

Newport, RI (August 4, 2016) – A trio of prestigious team racing regattas featuring three-boat teams from around the United States and abroad will be hosted this month by New York Yacht Club Harbour Court.

The Morgan Cup Team Race, the Hinman Masters Team Race, and the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race are each regarded throughout the team racing community as among the top competitions for adult team racers. The competitors annually include former Olympians, world champions, college sailors of the year and numerous collegiate All-America selections. The racing will utilize gorgeous Narragansett Bay and the Club’s fleet of 21 identical Sonar sailboats (designed by NYYC member Bruce Kirby), which will each be crewed by three or four sailors.

“These three events at Harbour Court always bring out the best team racers in the country, and the New York Yacht Club is very proud of the tradition we have built and continue to build in keelboat team racing,” says Peter Benedetto, co-chair of the NYYC Team Racing Committee. “Of course, we’re rooting for team NYYC, but it’s really great to see the effort being put in by clubs across the country, in all age categories, in developing and training for this regatta and others held during the course of the year at other yacht clubs.”

Team Racing is an exciting and spectator-friendly form of sailing. The matches are sailed in a three-on-three format. The races are short, the action is intense and the final outcome is often decided just boat lengths from the finish line. Unlike in collegiate or scholastic matches, spinnakers are utilized for the Morgan Cup and Hinman Masters regattas, which places a premium on sail handling and technique.

Masters-level team racing is a recent addition to sailing and the Hinman Masters and Grandmasters Regattas were two of the first events of their type in the country. Both events have had great success. Because of overwhelming requests for entry, the Grandmasters event has been expanded to 10 teams and three days.

When
• August 5-7: Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Morgan Cup.
• August 19-21: Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy.
• August 26-28: Grandmasters Team Race Regatta.

Competing Teams
(M = Morgan Cup, H = Hinman Trophy, G = Grandmasters)

Annapolis (Md.) Yacht Club (G)
Royal Thames (United Kingdom) Yacht Club (M)
Bristol Outlaws (M)
ICSA All Americans (M)
New York Yacht Club (M, H, G)
Southern (New Orleans, Louisiana) Yacht Club (M, H, G)
Eastern (Marblehead, Mass.) Yacht Club (M, H)
Eastport (Annapolis, Md.) Yacht Club (H)
Newport Harbor (Newport Beach, Calif.) Yacht Club (M, G)
Seawanhaka (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) Corinthian Yacht Club (M, H, G)
San Diego (Calif.) Yacht Club (M)
Corinthian (Marblehead, Mass.) Yacht Club (M)
Texas Corinthian (Kemah, Texas) Yacht Club (H, G)
St. Francis (San Francisco) (H, G)
Indian Harbor (Greenwich, Conn.) Yacht Club (H)
Riverside (Conn.) Yacht Club (H)
Noroton (Darien, Conn.) Yacht Club (H, G)
Storm Trysail (Larchmont, N.Y.) Club (G)

Where
Racing will take place on Narragansett Bay, between Rose Island and Goat Island, with the first start at approximately 1000 each day.

Notes of Interest
• For the Morgan Cup, there has been a recent emphasis on all star teams not directly connected to a individual yacht club. The goal is to ensure the level of competition is as high as possible. Since 2003, the Morgan Cup title has been alternated between New York Yacht Club and Seawanhaka Yacht Club with Newport Harbor Yacht Club breaking through in 2014. Teams to watch this year include an all star team of recent graduates from Roger Williams University, named “Bristol Outlaws”, and a team of collegiate All Americans.

• The Grandmasters regatta has been so successful in years past that this year the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days of racing. Additionally the age minimums were raised by five years; now skippers must be 60, with each crew member at least 50 years old.

• The most heated rivalry in the keelboat team racing circuit may be between the New York Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club Hinman Masters teams, with New York YC winning the regatta four times in the past decade and St. Francis winning from 2011 through 2013. Last year Noroton Yacht Club spoiled the party by winning the Hinman Trophy. Will they keep New York Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club at bay for a second straight year.

• Noroton Yacht Club has dominated the Grandmasters Regatta, winning the inaugural regatta in 2010 and every year since, with the exception of 2011 when Hurricane Irene caused it to be canceled. Last year they again defended the title, but only by a small margin as the regatta was decided by a tie-breaker.

Source: NYYC/Stuart Streuli

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