Wicked weather for Resolute Cup opener
Published on September 12th, 2018
Newport, RI (September 12, 2018) – Good sailors start a regatta fast. The best sailors, however, are the ones that finish a regatta sailing faster than they began it. This is particularly true of the Resolute Cup, where no one begins the regatta perfectly comfortable with the provided boats and sails, and adjustments must be made on the fly as teams try to assimilate as quickly as possible to the regatta’s unique format.
In reviewing a very strong start to the regatta for the Storm Trysail Club, skipper Erik Storck talked about what his team did well and what they can improve in the coming days. And about the relief of surviving a challenging Day 1 that featured a long delay in the morning followed by three races in persistent rain and inconsistent breeze.
“Absolutely [relieved],” says Storck, a 2012 Olympian in the 49er class and a four-time collegiate all-America selection while sailing for Dartmouth College. “In some ways, the race that were are most proud of was our worst score. It was a nine, but it could’ve very easily been a 14 or 15, and then you have to think whether that will be your drop race. Nine will still be a keeper.
“There was a lot of current, but we overplayed that in the first race. We kind of realized we needed to adjust our strategy a bit and play more of the wind. We can get a little faster downwind, we lost a couple of boats on the downwind of the second race, which hopefully we’ll improve there over the next couple of days.”
The first day of the fifth edition of the Corinthian championship for U.S. yacht clubs, began with the hoisting of the AP flag, signaling a morning of waiting for the fog to clear and the breeze to fill. With the wind, which arrived in by mid-afternoon, came the rain. By that time, both competitors and race officials were all drenched. But races in the rain count just as much as those in the bright sunshine. Storck and his crew blocked out the weather and concentrated on the task at hand.
“We talked yesterday morning about how we need to do the same thing before every race,” says Storck. “We’re going to go off the committee boat, we’re going to go upwind, make sure we get our [tacking] angles, our line sights, go through the same process over and over. We had to do that a few extra times today as [the course] got set up, then we waited, it got set up again, then we waited. We’re trying to stick to the process, and it worked out well.”
After the ninth in Race 1, the Storm Trysail team was leading much of Race 2 before finishing third. In the day’s final race, with the breeze at its mercurial worst, they held on for the win. While two teams, Coral Reef Yacht Club (Coconut Grove, Fla.) and Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) have a lower overall points total, each sat out one of the days races. Storm Trysail will start tomorrow on the rotation boat watching everyone else add to their overall totals in Race 4.
Coral Reef Yacht Club has sailed in two previous Resolute Cups, but this is the first time for skipper Augie Diaz, a three-time Pan Am Games medalists in the Snipe class. But he didn’t let his lack of familiarity with the regatta hold him back, winning the pin end of the first start and taking advantage of a timely windshift on the first beat to take a lead his team would hold to the finish line. However, like the Storm Trysail Team, Diaz was more pleased with their worse race.
“The second race was harder,” he says. “We started at the leeward end again and there was a current change and we were in the choppy water, we couldn’t figure out what was going on. We were extremely fortunate to get out of the left because the left collapsed.
“We actually made a couple of tacks up the middle that worked out well for us, and we rounded the mark around eighth. We were only able to pick up two boats from there, but it was overall a really good race for us. If we can be top 10 in all the races I think we’ll have a good chance to play at the end.”
For many other teams, Day 1 wasn’t anything to write home about. But with the wind slated to improve over the next few days, there is ample time to crawl back into contention after a few tough races. The regatta will finish on September 15, with a double-points medal round of up to three races for the top 14 boats.
Day One Results (Top 10 of 28; 3 races)
1. Coral Reef Yacht Club (Coconut Grove, Fla.) 1-8-bye, 9 points
2. Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) bye-7-4, 11
3. Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.) 9-3-1, 13
4. Chicago Yacht Club, bye-2-12, 14
5. San Diego Yacht Club, 2-11-2, 15
6. Club Nautico de San Juan (Puerto Rico) 10-5-bye, 15
7. Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club, 3-13-bye, 16
8. The San Francisco Yacht Club (Belvedere, Calif.) 8-1-8, 17
9. New York Yacht Club, 11-bye-6, 17
10. Austin (Texas) Yacht Club, 14-bye-5, 19.
The fifth edition of the Resolute Cup is planned for September 12 to 15. The schedule calls for three full rotations (six races on, two races off) before the top 14 of the 28 teams will sail a double-points medal round of up to three races on Saturday, September 15. The final two days of the regatta will be live streamed via Facebook with tracking and commentary from America’s Cup commentators Tucker Thompson and Andy Green.