New York Yacht Club Hopes to Shine in Resolute Cup Debut
Among the 11 yacht clubs that will be competing for the first time in the Resolute Cup, a Corinthian championship for U.S. yacht clubs, one stands out. Despite hosting the event out of its Harbour Court clubhouse every other year since 2010, the New York Yacht Club has yet to compete in its own regatta. The home team will make its Resolute Cup debut next week on Narragansett Bay and, as is always the case when the New York Yacht Club competes, expectations are high.
The Resolute Cup will run from Sept. 12 to 17, and is sponsored by Porsche Cars North America, Helly Hansen and Melges USA. The event was created in 2010-as the U.S. Qualifying Series-with the express goal of providing a pathway for the many United States yacht clubs interested in participating in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. As the host club for the latter event, with an automatic bid, there was no reason for the New York Yacht Club to compete in the Resolute Cup.
Now that the Resolute Cup has its own identity, and there is no longer any obligation for the winning team to compete in the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup, the prohibition against the host club competing was waived.
Numerous members expressed interest in sailing under the New York Yacht Club burgee during this regatta. In the absence of an established amateur team, the Club chose to assemble an all-star crew of Melges 20 veteran skipper Drew Wierda (top photo, far right) and top team racers Garrett Woodworth (at left) and Colin Smith.
"What attracted me to the Resolute Cup is I love Newport, I love the club and I love the Melges 20," - said Wierda, of Holland, Mich. "I know a number of the competitors who will be sailing. When I saw the entry list, I got really excited about the high level of competition."
A hallmark of the Resolute Cup has been the use of two different designs, which rewards versatility and adaptability in the competing teams and, along with the provided sails and standardized rigging, limits the advantage that could be obtained by a sailor intimately familiar with a particular design. For 2016, the regatta will be sailed in the Melges 20, one of the world’s most exciting sportboats, and the Sonar, which features a traditional symmetric spinnaker.
The 28 competing clubs will be split into two groups of 14 for qualifying; over the first two days of the regatta the schedule calls for each team to sail seven races in a Sonar and five in a Melges 20. The top five teams from each qualifying group will make the Gold Fleet, which will sail the final two days in the Melges 20s while the 18 remaining teams compete in the Sonars for Silver Fleet honors. Qualifying scores will not carry over.
While the New York Yacht Club team has not competed together previously, the combination of Wierda’s Melges 20 experience and the time Woodworth and Smith have spent team racing in Sonars should enable the trio to get up to speed quickly in both boats.
"We are going to spend a few days before the event getting ready specifically in the Melges 20," - says Smith (Boston, Mass.). "I have sailed the Sonars a good amount as has Garrett, so I think getting as much time in the Melges will be super important. I also think knowledge of Newport weather and specifically the current patterns will be crucial."
Also important will be managing the expectations of the home club. In 2009, the New York Yacht Club team, led by current Vice Commodore Phil Lotz, triumphed in the inaugural Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. Will this team feel significant pressure to replicate that feat in the club’s Resolute Cup debut?
"As a member, I always feel like I am representing the club at any event," - says Woodworth (Santa Monica, Calif.). "I always hope to perform my best for the team and club. If this event is any different, it's because we are the only club representatives. So there might be many eyes on us and some hopeful expectations. But we will approach this event like any other and do our best to represent the club well."
Live race tracking for the duration of the regatta and a live webcast of the event’s final two days will enable friends, family and fellow club members around the country to follow their team as compete for one of sailing’s most challenging Corinthian honors.
Social Media: Follow the Resolute Cup on Facebook and Instagram (#resolutecup)
2016 Resolute Cup
New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, Newport, R.I.
Sept. 12 to 17
American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.); Austin (Texas) Yacht Club; Balboa Yacht Club (Corona del Mar, Calif.); Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit); Beaufort (S.C.) Yacht and Sailing Club; Beverly Yacht Club (Marion, Mass.); Carolina Yacht Club (Charleston, S.C.); Chicago Yacht Club; The Cleveland Yachting Club (Rocky River, Ohio); Coral Reef Yacht Club (Miami); Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); The Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia (Essington, Penn.); Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.); Lake Geneva Yacht Club (Fontana, Wis.); Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Long Beach (Calif.) Yacht Club; Nantucket (Mass.) Yacht Club; New Bedford Yacht Club (South Dartmouth, Mass.); New York Yacht Club; Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.); Riverside (Conn.) Yacht Club; San Diego Yacht Club; Sandusky (Ohio) Sailing Club; Sea Cliff (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Shelter Island Yacht Club (Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.); Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans); St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco); Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.); Wadawanuck Club (Stonington, Conn.); Winnipesaukee Yacht Club (Gilford, N.H.)
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The Resolute Cup (trophy at right) is a biennial Corinthian competition among U.S. yacht clubs. The 2016 Resolute Cup will take place Sept. 12 to 17, out of the New York Yacht Club Harbor Court in Newport. R.I. The event is an evolution of the U.S. Qualifying Series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which was first held in 2010 and served as a pathway for American yacht clubs seeking to compete in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, sailing's premiere international, Corinthian, one-design competition. Competitors in the 2016 Resolute Cup must be World Sailing Group 1 (amateur) sailors and members of the club that they represent. The competition is held in supplied keelboats, with standardized rigging, ensuring a true one-design competition where the skill of the sailors-their tactics, boat speed and teamwork-determines the final outcome. Past winners of the U.S. Qualifying Series include Newport Harbor Yacht Club (2014), Larchmont Yacht Club (2012) and Eastern Yacht Club (2010). www.ResoluteCup.com
Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche 911, Boxster, and Cayman sports cars, the Macan and Cayenne SUVs, and Panamera sports sedans. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6-mile driver development track, business center, human performance center, and fine-dining restaurant. PCNA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
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Regatta sponsor, Helly Hansen was founded in Moss, Norway, in 1877. Helly Hansen continues to protect and enable professionals making their living on oceans and mountains around the world. The company invented the first supple, waterproof fabric more than 137 years ago, created the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s and introduced the first technical base layers made with LIFA Stay Dry Technology in the 1970s. Today, the brand’s off-shore racing, inshore sailing, coastal cruising, rainwear and marine lifestyle apparel and footwear are sold in more than 40 countries. To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit www.hellyhansen.com/sailing.
The Melges 20® fulfills the need for a more compact, yet spacious, fast, well-built sportboat. With its introduction in 2008, Melges Performance Sailboats has delivered the next generation of sailboats with a world-wide racing circuit. An exclusive Reichel Pugh keelboat design with well-known Melges quality, the Melges 20 has drawn sailors from across the world who want to experience close, one-design racing on a fun, nimble platfrom. Easy to rig and launch with a simple rig, top-of-the-line parts and equipment, the Melges 20 delivers a complete sailing experience for wide range of sailors. www.Melges20.com