Thrilling finale to New York Invitational Cup
Racing has concluded at the event that has had us all glued to our computer screens for the past four days. Anthony O’Leary and the Royal Cork team finished in fifth position overall in the New York Invitational Cup and can hold their heads very high after a fascinating and hugely challenging few days sailing against crews with some of the world’s top professional sailors on board. In doing so Royal Cork won two races and had a second, third and two fourths.
One category three (Professional) sailor was allowed per team and Ken Read, most recently credited for his “Puma” performance in the Volvo Ocean race, was the Pro for the NYYC team. Nontheless even Ken Read had a battle yesterday when the very strong Canadians skippered by Terry McLauglin, won the last race and beat them by a “nautical mile”. However, it was perhaps the Japan Sailing Federation that had the hardest fight to maintain third place overall. “The points were very close and we had a chance to get second but the shifts made it difficult” said Tactician Eiichiro Hamaskai from that team. Steering the boat was Takashi Okaura, famous for his successful race boats named Sled, and acting as pitman was Makoto Uematsu equally famous for his successful race boats named Esmeralda. The two sailors brought together the best of their two teams and it paid off.
Finland’s team was skippered by Leonardo Ferragamo, head of Nautor’s Swan. Yesterday, however, tactician Kenneth Thelen took the helm. He said “It’s really great; the boats are so close,” of the NYYC Swan 42s being used at the event. So, when Anthony O’Leary of our own Royal Cork is quoted as saying “if you had offered us fifth place on the airplane coming over here, we’d have taken it because that’s pretty respectable in this fleet.” We all say Amen to that and once again well done!!
The other Irish team from the Royal St. George led by Michael Cotter, with Andrew Fowler as Tactician and Maurice (Prof) O’Connell also on board finished in twelfth position.
It will be interesting to hear the reports on the event from the teams on their return and perhaps they will share their stories with us on their respective club websites.
Well done to all who took part and gave us all so much entertainment with great sailing.
1. New York Yacht Club
2. Royal Canadian Yacht Club
3. Japan Sailing Federation
5. Royal Cork Yacht Club
12. Royal St. George Yacht Club