Locals Finally Have Skin in Resolute Cup

Published on September 8th, 2016

Newport, RI (September 8, 2016) – Among the 28 yacht clubs that will be competing in the Resolute Cup, a Corinthian championship for U.S. yacht clubs, there are 11 teams that will be participating for the first time. On the list of the newcomers, one team is of particular interest to hometown fans – New York Yacht Club.

Despite hosting the event out of its Harbour Court clubhouse every other year since its launch in 2010, the New York Yacht Club has yet to compete in its own regatta.

The Resolute Cup, which will run from September 14 to 17, was created as the U.S. Qualifying Series – with the express goal of providing a pathway for the many United States yacht clubs interested in participating in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. As the host club for the latter event, with an automatic bid, there was no reason for the New York Yacht Club to compete in the Resolute Cup.

But now that the Resolute Cup has its own identity, and there is no longer any obligation for the winning team to compete in the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup, the prohibition against the host club competing was waived.

Numerous members expressed interest in sailing under the New York Yacht Club burgee during this regatta. In the absence of an established amateur team, the Club chose to assemble an all-star crew of Melges 20 veteran skipper Drew Wierda and top team racers Garrett Woodworth and Colin Smith.

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Veteran Melges 20 sailor Drew Wierda (right, at helm) will bring his experience in the peppy sport boat to the New York Yacht Club entry for the 2016 Resolute Cup.

“What attracted me to the Resolute Cup is I love Newport, I love the club and I love the Melges 20,” said Wierda, of Holland, Mich. “I know a number of the competitors who will be sailing. When I saw the entry list, I got really excited about the high level of competition.”

A hallmark of the Resolute Cup has been the use of two different designs, which rewards versatility and adaptability in the competing teams and, along with the provided sails and standardized rigging, limits the advantage that could be obtained by a sailor intimately familiar with a particular design. For 2016, the regatta will be sailed in the Melges 20, a lightweight sportboat with an asymmetric spinnaker, and the Sonar with its symmetric spinnaker.

The 28 competing clubs will be split into two groups of 14 for qualifying; over the first two days of the regatta the schedule calls for each team to sail seven races in a Sonar and five in a Melges 20. The top five teams from each qualifying group will make the Gold Fleet, which will sail the final two days in the Melges 20s while the 18 remaining teams compete in the Sonars for Silver Fleet honors. Qualifying scores will not carry over.

While the New York Yacht Club team has not competed together previously, the combination of Wierda’s Melges 20 experience and the time Woodworth and Smith have spent team racing in Sonars should enable the trio to get up to speed quickly in both boats.

“We are going to spend a few days before the event getting ready specifically in the Melges 20,” says Smith (Boston, Mass.). “I have sailed the Sonars a good amount as has Garrett, so I think getting as much time in the Melges will be super important. I also think knowledge of Newport weather and specifically the current patterns will be crucial.”

Also important will be managing the expectations of the home club. In 2009, the New York Yacht Club team, led by current Vice Commodore Phil Lotz, triumphed in the inaugural Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. Will this team feel significant pressure to replicate that feat in the club’s Resolute Cup debut?

“As a member, I always feel like I am representing the club at any event,” says Woodworth (Santa Monica, CA). “I always hope to perform my best for the team and club. If this event is any different, it’s because we are the only club representatives. So there might be many eyes on us and some hopeful expectations. But we will approach this event like any other and do our best to represent the club well.”

There is live race tracking for the duration of the regatta (Sept 14-17) and a live webcast of the event’s final two days (Sept 16-17) will be available.

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Competing Clubs
American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.); Austin (Texas) Yacht Club; Balboa Yacht Club (Corona del Mar, Calif.); Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit); Beaufort (S.C.) Yacht and Sailing Club; Beverly Yacht Club (Marion, Mass.); Carolina Yacht Club (Charleston, S.C.); Chicago Yacht Club; The Cleveland Yachting Club (Rocky River, Ohio); Coral Reef Yacht Club (Miami); Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); The Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia (Essington, Penn.); Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); Lake Geneva Yacht Club (Fontana, Wis.); Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Long Beach (Calif.) Yacht Club; Nantucket (Mass.) Yacht Club; New Bedford Yacht Club (South Dartmouth, Mass.); New York Yacht Club; Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.); Riverside (Conn.) Yacht Club; San Diego Yacht Club; Sandusky (Ohio) Sailing Club; Sea Cliff (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Shelter Island Yacht Club (Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.); Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans); St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco); Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.); Wadawanuck Club (Stonington, Conn.); Winnipesaukee Yacht Club (Gilford, N.H.).

Background: The Resolute Cup is a biennial Corinthian competition among U.S. yacht clubs. The 2016 Resolute Cup will take place Sept. 12 to 17, out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport. R.I. The event is an evolution of the U.S. Qualifying Series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which was first held in 2010 and served as a pathway for American yacht clubs seeking to compete in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, sailing’s premiere international, Corinthian, one-design competition. Competitors in the 2016 Resolute Cup must be World Sailing Group 1 (amateur) sailors and members of the club that they represent. The competition is held in supplied keelboats, with standardized rigging, ensuring a true one-design competition where the skill of the sailors—their tactics, boat speed and teamwork—determines the final outcome. Past winners of the U.S. Qualifying Series include Newport Harbor Yacht Club (2014), Larchmont Yacht Club (2012) and Eastern Yacht Club (2010).

Source: NYYC

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