Yacht Clubs From Around the World to Compete
When its Invitational Cup comes around again in 2011, the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) will proudly fly the country flags of yacht clubs from around the world as well as the trademark green and gold colors of presenting sponsor Rolex. Ireland’s Tricolour will proudly indicate the presence of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Team that has been automatically included for invitation to the 2011 event. The club has determined its official list of invited yacht clubs for the biennial event, scheduled for September 10-17, 2011, and plans to build on the success of the inaugural NYYC Invitational Cup which was held in September 2009 and hosted 19 teams from 14 nations.
“The essence of the regatta is to bring together Corinthian (amateur) yacht club teams in a competition that not only is tough and demanding but also levels the playing field.” said NYYC Commodore David K. Elwell Jr., explaining that the five-day regatta is sailed in chartered NYYC Swan 42s. Sails are supplied and rigs are equally tuned, allowing each club to demonstrate the skills of its top sailors.
“The response to and the outcome of the 2009 event were greater than we could ever have expected,” added Elwell. “Those yacht clubs returning have vowed to do so with a vengeance and many new clubs are joining the mix.”
The top finishers in 2009 offered automatic entry to the 2011 event are New York Yacht Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Japan Sailing Federation, Nyländska Jaktklubben of Finland; Royal Cork Yacht Club of Ireland and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. In addition, Real Club Nautico Barcelona (Spain) and Royal Yacht Squadron (London, England) have been invited to return, while new yacht clubs Clube Naval de Cascais (Portugal), Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, late Clube do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Royal Cape Yacht Club (Cape Town, South Africa), Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (Australia), Société Nautique de Saint Tropez (France), Yacht Club Argentino, and Yacht Club Punta Ala (Italy) are expected to accept first-time invitations.
Rounding out the fleet of 16 will be three additional U.S. teams that will be determined by the outcome of this year’s 24-club U.S. Qualifying Series (scheduled for September 7-11 at the NYYC in Newport), and up to twelve additional international yacht clubs on the condition that they bring their own boats for competition.
The worldwide fleet of NYYC Swan 42s currently consists of 46 boats, 23 of which are owned by New York Yacht Club members. The NYYC Swan 42s are unique one-design racer/cruisers created by the NYYC in partnership with Nautor’s Swan to boost Corinthian sailing and promote increased competitiveness within an owner-driver and amateur sailing framework.
“The event promises to showcase the finest amateur sailors in the world,” said returning Event Chair John Mendez, noting that, as evidenced by the teams formed in 2009, there are plenty of big names in sailing who do not or no longer sail as professionals. “The opportunity to race at such a high level of competition has encouraged many clubs to seek an invitation, for where else can they take their best club racers and compete against national and international champions, even America’s Cup legends, on an equal basis? For many, the chance to race in Newport alone is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and to socialize in such an electric atmosphere after a day of hard racing is simply icing added to the cake.”
Racing in the NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will take place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, the same waters where the New York Yacht Club hosted the America’s Cup – a trophy it first won in 1851 – from 1930-1983. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, and the winning yacht club’s name will be engraved on the NYYC Invitational Cup that is permanently displayed at NYYC’s 44th Street Clubhouse in Manhattan.