Eagans Apply Southern Heat for Resolute Cup
Published on September 16th, 2016
Newport, RI (September 16, 2016) – In many respects, Marcus Eagan has been here before. He’s a veteran Melges 20 skipper and no stranger to success on the grand stage, having finished second in the class’s 2013 world championship. He’s also a two-time college All-American and well versed in what’s required to succeed in the short-course, strict-one-design, multi-race format that is integral to collegiate sailing and a hallmark of the 2016 Resolute Cup.
After a day that saw Eagan and his Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, La.) teammates—his brother Andrew Eagan and tactician Jackson Benvenutti—establish a commanding lead in the race for the Resolute Cup, the soft-spoken southerner spoke like one who also knows that there is no trophy for leading on Day 3 of a four-day regatta.
“We look at it that there’s not a throwout and we battle every race,” said Marcus Eagan. “We just take each race and grind it out. Mentally we’re just shot. We’re hoping tomorrow might be a little less chaotic, shifty, and more straightforward. But I don’t know. We’ve just got one more day, we’ll see how it goes.”
Tomorrow is the final day of competition for the 28 teams competing for the 2016 Resolute Cup, a Corinthian Championship for U.S. Yacht Clubs. Each team is comprised of three or four amateur sailors, all members of the club they represent. The first two days of the regatta were used to select the 10 teams that are sailing the final two days in the Melges 20s for the Resolute Cup and a pair of spots in the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. The remaining 18 are racing in the Sonars for Silver Fleet honors. The 2016 Resolute Cup is sponsored by Porsche, Helly Hansen and Melges Performance Sailboats.
Through three days of competition in two different classes and a full range of wind and tide conditions, the Southern Yacht Club crew has been unbelievably consistent. Of their 12 qualifying finishes, only two were outside the top 3. Today, sailing against the top five teams from each qualifying group, they were just as strong, winning the first and last race, with a third and two seconds for good measure. The other nine teams each had at least one finish of eighth or higher. The net result is a 12-point lead over second place, Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) with Shelter Island (N.Y) Yacht Club in third with 23 points.
“The way we sail is very conservative,” said Marcus Eagan. “Our goal is to be top-five at the first mark and pick off one or two guys down the run. We don’t really take a lot of chances, and I think that’s paying off.”
That could well be the understatement of the regatta.
While Benvenutti and the Eagan Brothers were blitzing the Melges 20 fleet, the 18 teams in the Silver Fleet were battling nip and tuck in Sonars. Just as it was for the previous two days, the Sonar fleet seemed glued together around the track, rounding each mark nearly stacked tip to tail. Today, no team was immune to a misstep, with each team finishing 12th or worse in at least one race. Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club finished the day tied with Beverly Yacht Club (Marion, Mass.) for the lead, each scoring 27 points on the day. The average race finish of 5.4 for the two leading clubs speaks to the parity of the fleet as does the 14 points between second and 12th.
“Certainly we were a tiny bit disappointed, but you can’t go into the next series thinking about it at all, and we had a lot of really excellent company in Silver,” said Peter Beardsley of Larchmont (at right). “[For the first two races] we had wheels, we were trying to keep it simple and we won the first two races. We were a little bummed when we moved [race locations] and then we were over early in the next two races and just kept trying to grind back as much as we could. This regatta is going to depend on how resilient you are.”
Racing for the final day will start at 1030. A live, multi-camera webcast, with commentary from America’s Cup sailor Andy Green, national champion Jon Rogers and America’s Cup umpire Brad Dellenbaugh, will allow sailing fans, and fellow yacht club members, from around the country to follow and root on their team.
Preliminary Championship Series Results
Gold Fleet (Melges 20): 1. Southern Yacht Club, 9; 2. Eastern Yacht Club, 21; 3. Shelter Island Yacht Club, 23; 4. Storm Trysail Club, 26; 5. New Bedford Yacht Club, 26; 6. Balboa Yacht Club, 26; 7. St. Francis Yacht Club, 30; 8. Austin Yacht Club, 35; 9. New York Yacht Club, 35; 10. Sea Cliff Yacht Club, 38.
Silver Fleet (Sonar): 1. Larchmont Yacht Club, 27; 2. Beverly Yacht Club, 27; 3. Bayview Yacht Club 31; 4. The Cleveland Yachting Club, 33; 5. Lake Geneva Yacht Club, 39; 6. Corinthian Yacht Club of Marblehead, 40; 7. San Diego Yacht Club, 40; 8. Carolina Yacht Club, 42; 9. Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 43; 10. Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club, 44, 11. Chicago Yacht Club, 44; 12. Wadawanuck Yacht Club, 45; 13. Nantucket Yacht Club, 63; 14. Sandusky Yacht Club, 63; 15. Coral Reef Yacht Club, 64; 16. American Yacht Club, 64; 17. Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, 72; 18. Winnipesaukee Yacht Club, 82.
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).