San Diego YC Wins Morgan Cup Team Race

Published on August 7th, 2016

Newport, RI (August 7, 2016) – For the second time in three years there is a first time champion of the Morgan Cup Team Race, a regatta that has taken place every August since 2003 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court. This year San Diego Yacht Club joined what had been an exclusive trio of previous winners after a long weekend of races against nine other top clubs from England and across the United States, San Diego placed themselves at the top of the heap in one of the premiere keelboat team racing championships.

“We are psyched. We have only been here a few times and each time we have learned a lot,” says Nevin Snow, two-time college sailor of the year and skipper for San Diego Yacht Club. “We are totally ecstatic and feeling great.”

While only the fourth team to ever win the Morgan Cup, San Diego is the second Californian team to do so after Newport Harbour beat out New York Yacht Club in 2014. The next year New York Yacht Club came back strong to reclaim the title. These teams, along with Eastern Yacht Club, were again the top contenders for the trophy.

Great breeze over the three-day championship allowed for 99 races. After running the 10 competing teams through two full round robins, the decision was made to put the top four teams into a mini round robin. San Diego Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club were ahead and tied for first, and given their advantage over third, they were the only two clubs that had a shot at winning. Even so the margin between winning and losing individual races was very narrow the whole regatta.

“All the teams were really close, we lost a few of our races to Southern Yacht Club, who ended up being fifth place in the regatta, I do not know if that in itself is a testament to how deep the regatta is but all the teams were close,” says Snow. “The ICSA All-Stars ended up in last place, but our races with them, up until the last bit, were always tight, we could never take a breather because each race was pretty intense.”

That fast paced and close competition is characteristic of team racing. An exciting and spectator-friendly form of sailing, team racing matches are sailed in a three-on-three format in the Club’s fleet of 21 identical Sonar sailboats. The races are short, the action is intense and the final outcome is often decided just boatlengths from the finish line. Unlike in collegiate or scholastic matches, spinnakers are utilized for the Morgan Cup Team Race, which places a premium on sail handling and technique.

“The fleet race aspects of team racing [are our biggest strength], a lot of us come from a college sailing or a dingy sailing background, learning to take those skills and translate them to keelboat racing is difficult because they do not maneuver as quickly and the maneuvers are different,” says Snow. “So we were really just focused on going fast and being a team while racing towards the marks as opposed to racing against the other team.”

That winning strategy worked for the team as by the end of the day they were the ones holding the trophy above their heads. Defending champion New York Yacht Club came in second, with Eastern Yacht Club coming in third and Newport Harbor Yacht Club finishing fourth.

San Diego Yacht Club Team Roster:
Skipper Jake Reynolds, Crew – Carissa Crawford, Jacob La Dow, Erik Shampain
Skipper Nevin Snow, Crew – Nicholas Kaschak (Team Captain), Adam Reiter, Judge Ryan
Skipper Scott Sinks, Crew – Rex Cameron, Rick McElvain, Anderson Reiter

2016 NYYC Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Morgan Cup Final Results
1. San Diego (Calif.) YC (17 points);
2. New York (N.Y.) Yacht Club (16);
3. Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass. (12);
4. Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Newport Beach, Calif. (10);
5. Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans (8);
6. Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Oyster Bay, N.Y. (8);
7. Corinthian Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass. (8);
8. Bristol Outlaws (6);
9. Royal Thames Yacht Club, London, England, (6);
10. Intercollegiate Sailing Association All-Stars (5).

Event WebsiteChampionship Round Robin & Fifth/Sixth Sail-offRound Robin Detail

• 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)

Racing 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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