USA beats Brits in team race thriller
Published on October 14th, 2017
The British-American Cup began in 1921 as an international team race competition between the best American team racers against the best British team racers. The American team is administered by Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, while the British team has Royal Thames Yacht Club as its steward.
The Deed of Gift calls for matches to be organized into a series, with the British-American Cup for a Series awarded to the team that prevails in the best of five matches. Matches are held every two years, alternating between sides of the Atlantic Ocean: Oyster Bay and Queen Mary Reservoir.
This year’s British-American Cup held October 12-14 in Oyster Bay, NY represents the First Match of the Sixth Series, following Seawanhaka’s Fifth Series win. The first team to win seven races wins the match, using a 4v4 team race format sailed in Sonars.
The first day of competition saw the British team strike first with two straight wins, before the American team took the final race of the day. Day two had the Americans win all four races of the day for a win streak of five straight. The table was set for an exciting final day of racing with the Americans at five wins and the British at two wins.
The eighth race went to the Americans for a sixth straight victory, needing only one more to secure the Match. However, the British team, undaunted, proceeded to win races nine and ten before the wind completely died in the afternoon.
Co-PRO’s Al Constants (Seawanhaka) and Mike Halstead (Royal Thames), with agreement from team captains Joel Hanneman (Americans) and Andy Cornah (British), waited as long as possible for a new breeze that never came.
As per agreement in this situation, the team with five or more wins secures the Match and the American team was proclaimed the victor of the First Match of the Sixth Series. The final result was 6-4.
American BA team members:
Team Captain- Joel Hanneman (Helm)
Emily Babbit, Sam Barron-Fox, John Colburn, Dave Constants, Roberte Deane, Nick Ewenson (Helm), Karen Fallon, Lindsey Gibbons-Neff, Jonathan Hammond, Andy Herlihy (Helm), Liz Herlihy, Commodore Hugh Jones, Jr., Ben Quatromoni, Kyle Shattuck, John Storck III (Helm).
British BA team members:
Team Captain – Andy Cornah (Helm)
Ben Ainsworth (Helm), James Boyce, Guy Brearey, Marianthe Evangelidis, Ben Gratton, Tom Heywood, Sam Littlejohn (Helm), Kelvin Matthews, Sam Maxfield, Hannah Mills, Jon Pinner (Helm), Imogen Stanley, Maria Stanley, Toby Yeabsley, Hamish Walker.
In 2019, the bi-annual competition will take place in Britain before returning to Oyster Bay in 2021, marking the 100th Anniversary of this event and Seawanhaka’s 150th Anniversary.
Source: George J. Ellis