Please select your home edition
leaderboard with question mark E6 launch 2021
Product Feature
Team Racing Companion by Chris Atkins
Team Racing Companion by Chris Atkins

Royal Thames Yacht Club team win the British-American Cup

by Malcolm McKeag 1 Nov 2010 10:53 GMT 27-31 October 2010

Britain wins for first time since 1999

Andy Cornah and his fellow skippers Ben Field, Mark Lees and Jon Pinner - all members of the Royal Thames Yacht Club team racing squad - reversed more than a decade of American domination in the British-American Cup with an emphatic performance on Queen Mary Water, West London to take the oldest prize in keelboat team racing by 7 wins to 2. The British-American Cup, originally donated by the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in 1922 as an International Challenge match in Six Metres has been held bi-ennially ever since but was last won by the British in 1999. In 2008 yet another American win brought the Fourth Series of the Cup to an end after 16 matches. Rather than see the competition die Royal Thames challenged the USA to a Fifth series and put up a new British-American Cup. Although the guardians of the contest have always been yacht clubs (in the USA Seawanhaka, in Britain a number of Clubs) the competition is by tradition open, with selection trials held in both countries.

Selection trials for this year's event were held in April and since then Cornah and his team, determined not to preside over yet another British defeat, have practised together assiduously. Most international team racing is three-on-three over short courses with races lasting about 12 minutes; the BA Cup is unusual in calling for teams of four boats a side, sailed over longer courses and with races lasting 40 minutes. The tournament allows for up to 13 of such races, spread over three days, with the match going to the first team to win 7 races.

Racing for the First Match of the Fifth Series began on Friday 29th October with four races sailed. The British opened well with a straightforward win, then fought off a determined American challenge to win more narrowly. In the third race all but two of the eight boats racing were over the line at the start but the British were slower to respond to the recall (with Cornah failing to respond at all) leaving the Americans the yachting equivalent of an open goal. The Yanks needed no second bidding. Stung, the British came back strongly to lead after Day 1 by three races to one.

Day 2 saw more close racing and the signs of an American resurgence. They narrowly lost the first two races, then in the third managed by excellent and aggressive team racing to turn what looked at mark two to be a solid and unbreakable British 1-2-3 combination into an Amercian 1-2-3 win. In race four although Cornah for Britain led the race America held a solid 2-3-4-5 position at every mark until the last one. The 14 points thus scored would have been enough to give America their third win - but at that final tuning mark Cornah turned-in a true 'Captain's Innings' blocking and slowing all four US boats to allow his team mates to catch-up, re-engage and eventually convert their losing 1-6-7-8 placings into a winning 1-2-3-7.

This is a competition that has often seen the British start well then fade while the Americans dig deep, find new resolve and shift up a gear to pull the fat from the fire - it happened in 2008 in the USA, in 2007 and in 2003 in UK waters - so no British supporters risked so much as a smile as the boats lined up for the first race of a possible five today. No one smiled when the Brits went round mark one in positions 1-2-3-7 (13 points) with the Americans 4-5-6-8 (23 points - lowest score wins). No one smiled when the Brits held that 1-2-3 while Ben Field, in the 7th-place British boat, ran such effective interference on the American boats that the gap between them and the leaders widened further. No one smiled as the Brits rounded the final mark still 1-2-3 - the order in which. at last, they crossed the finish line. Then everyone smiled. Well, everyone British, that is.

Related Articles

12th Monaco Optimist Team Race overall
The regatta has been a reference for international sailors in this discipline since 2010 They did it - after their victory in 2020, the American national team clinched another win at the 12th Monaco Optimist Team Race that saw 60 young sailors out on the water from 15 nations. Posted on 17 Jan
RYA/BUSA Women's Team Racing preview
Entry opens for championship in February at Budworth Entries have opened for the RYA and BUSA Women's Team Racing Championships, which will take place at Budworth Sailing Club over the weekend of 19/20 February 2022. Posted on 11 Jan
RYA National Team Racing Championship
A fifth championship win for the West Kirby Hawks The RYA National Team Racing Championship saw 24 teams competing at Spinnaker Sailing Club with the West Kirby Hawks successfully retaining their title and the Prince Philip Trophy. Posted on 17 Nov 2021
Twisted Tube Random Pairs Team Racing at Spinnaker
Nineteen eager Firefly crews gather on Saturday Nineteen eager Firefly crews gathered at Spinnaker Sailing Club on Saturday 6 November for the Twisted Tube Random Pairs Team Racing. Posted on 8 Nov 2021
Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships 2021
Rutland and Royal Hospital School crowned champions Teams from Rutland Sailing Club and the Royal Hospital School claimed the 2021 Eric Twiname Team Racing Championship titles at Farmoor Reservoir over the weekend. Posted on 11 Oct 2021
Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships return
More than 40 teams of young sailors are set for battle this weekend More than 40 teams of young sailors are set for battle this weekend as the 2021 Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships returns. Posted on 5 Oct 2021
Hinman Trophy, offshore sailing, and Mini Transat
Summer may have handed the baton off to autumn, but the sailing scene hasn't been cooling off Summer may have handed the baton off to autumn, but that certainly doesn't mean that the sailing scene has been cooling off in North America, at least not yet. This past weekend gave the sailing world multiple great events to follow and participate in. Posted on 28 Sep 2021
Holiday Sideshow wins 2021 Hinman Trophy
U.S. Team Racing Championship at Bristol Yacht Club Team Holiday Sideshow bested 23 other teams from around the country in this weekend's U.S. Team Racing Championship, hosted by the Bristol Yacht Club. Posted on 27 Sep 2021
U.S. Team Racing Championship heads to Bristol, RI
Racing for the historic George R. Hinman Trophy this weekend This weekend, the 2021 U.S. Team Racing Championship for the historic George R. Hinman Trophy is coming to beautiful Bristol, Rhode Island. Posted on 23 Sep 2021
Applications open for RYA Team Racing Nationals
Championship returns for 2021 edition at Spinnaker Sailing Club! The RYA National Team Racing Championship is back with teams invited to get set for the return of the event at Spinnaker Sailing Club this autumn. Posted on 9 Sep 2021