Mother Nature wins Challenge Cup

Published on September 18th, 2022

The Manhasset Bay Challenge Cup, founded in 1902, is considered the oldest annual sailing event in the United States. While it hasn’t been too annual lately, having last been raced in 2010, the 2022 plan was to hold it again September 10 in Port Washington, NY.

The 2022 Challenge Cup was to race in Ideal 18s on Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound east of Execution Rocks in a fleet-racing format, and while six teams were ready to claim the trophy, nobody conferred with the weather.

After a valiant attempt by PRO Paul Nardone of Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, the event did not comply with the Deed of Gift, drafted 120 years ago. Needing three races to complete the regatta, one race was finally sailed and on the books by end of the day.

As several teams rushed to change their flights back home to take another crack at racing on the following day, Mother Nature had other things on her mind, and none of them involved the wind. So the Challenge Cup will live at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club until next year.

2022 Challenge Cup Teams:

Manhasset Bay Yacht Club – Port Washington, NY
Fort Worth Boat Club – Fort Worth, TX
Essex Corinthian Yacht Club – Essex, CT
Sea Cliff Yacht Club – Sea Cliff, NY
Indian Harbor Yacht Club – Greenwich, CT
Royal Canadian Yacht Club – Toronto, ON

Since 1902, the Challenge Cup has been won by 26 different clubs. MBYC, Founded in 1870, had its last member – Randy Bartholomew – win the Challenge Cup in 1971.

NOTE: The contention by MBYC that the Challenge Cup is the oldest annual sailing event in the United States is being contested by Southern Yacht Club which has its Race to the Coast, initiated in 1850, with a course from New Orleans, LA to Gulfport, MS.

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