Please select your home edition
Crewsaver 2021 Safetyline LEADERBOARD

2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup - Overall

by Stuart Streuli 17 Sep 2017 07:35 BST 9-16 September 2017

The morning may have dawned with dense fog and little breeze on Narragansett Bay, but by mid-afternoon the sky had cleared and the same could be said of any ambiguity regarding which was the best team at the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

In today's single race, the Southern Yacht Club was as sharp as they had been in the previous 11 races, starting strongly and never wavering. SYC eventually finished second to Royal Thames in the race, and four places ahead of their only remaining competition for the overall trophy, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Australia. In 12 races, the Southern Yacht Club team accumulated just 34 points, the lowest winning total for a Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup by 10 points.

The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup took place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardized across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, Nautor's Swan, AIG and Helly Hansen.

"It can't get any better than this," said skipper Marcus Eagan, surrounded by a large group of club members who traveled to Newport to cheer on their crew. "It's great to celebrate with friends and members and longtime sailors."

With a margin of 8 points over second-placed Royal Sydney to start the day, and only one race remaining, Southern Yacht Club was in a comfortable position. But light air and fog can dampen the confidence of even the most credentialed sailor. A long delay only added to the anxiety.

"It was nerve wracking this morning waiting for the breeze," said SYC tactician John Lovell, who waited out plenty of wind delays during his 12-plus-year Olympic sailing career. "At one point we thought they might call it, but the breeze filled in, and we had to go to the whip and sail our best. I had a knot in my stomach the whole time. We were lucky enough to get ahead of [Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron] and then we just tacked on them as much as we could. We split away when we thought we were maybe second and third and wanted to stay in the top group. We wanted to stay ahead of them, that was the whole goal."

Southern Yacht Club was the first rookie competitor to win the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup since the host New York Yacht Club won the inaugural competition in 2009. But the team, which was composed of veteran sailors with many significant campaigns under their collective belt, approached the regatta with the appropriate commitment. Buoyed by the membership, and especially crew member Stephen Murray Jr., the team was able to purchase a boat to train on all summer and sail in regatta.

"It all started back at the Resolute Cup when we qualified for this big event," said jib trimmer Andrew Eagan. "We were super excited about it and put our heads together to try and figure out who would be the best team. This event really takes a lot of hours, a lot of days."

Throughout the regatta, the Southern team was pressed hard by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. The final margin of 12 points between first and second doesn't reflect how even the top two teams were. Were it not for one bad race, Royal Sydney and Southern might've been all but tied going into the final race.

"Hats off to Royal Sydney, they sailed super well," said Andrew Eagan. "They hadn't really been in the boat as much, and they really got better every race."

Eastern Yacht Club's firm grip on third place going into the final race quickly became a lot more tenuous when they were called OCS and had to return to restart while New York Yacht Club, which started the day in fourth place and carrying a tremendous amount of momentum, punched across the line and was quickly into the top group. John Hele and the New York Yacht Culb team would hold on for third place—closing the regatta with six straight top-5 finishes—but Eastern was able to grind back during the five-leg race and finish fifth, plenty close enough to the top to ensure they held onto the final podium position.

Royal Thames Yacht Club, the defending champions, rounded out the top five with Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in sixth, the club's best finish in this event.

Yacht Club Argentino, a three-time competitor in the regatta, was in position for a top-five finish midway through the regatta. A few penalty turns and an over-early start in the final four races knocked them down the standings a bit. However the team didn't go home empty-handed. Based on a poll of all competing teams, the jovial Southern Hemisphere team was awarded the Corinthian Spirit Award.

The fifth edition of the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup closed with the Rolex Awards Dinner on the grounds of Harbour Court. This event also brings to a close the involvement of the Swan 42 one-design, which was instrumental in getting the regatta off the ground eight years ago. The great foundation laid by the Swan 42 class will be carried forward in 2019 with the IC37. The Club has committed to purchase a fleet of 20 identical keel boats built by Westerly Marine to a design by Mark Mills, which will ensure that the world's premiere Corinthian one-design keelboat regatta remains a must-do event for sailors around the world. More information on the 2019 edition will be released before the end of 2017.

Overall Results:

PosTeamBoat NoMNAR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
1Southern YC2USA22128271223234
2Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron14AUS133171217131646
3Eastern Yacht Club3USA7425136233512567
4New York Yacht Club4USA8591012854442374
5Royal Thames Yacht Club1UK39613351361116177
6Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club15HKG111845411145741185
7Japan Sailing Federation9JPN58116111035787788
8Yacht Club Argentino6ARG1014739162101111892
9Itchenor Sailing Club16UK1061312238881210496
10New Bedford Yacht Club22USA1310481141412610913114
11Royal Cork YC8IRL48511101110131261410114
12Royal Swedish Yacht Club11SWE1213141449411131359121
13Shelter Island Yacht Club21USA15111276799991314121
14Royal Yacht Squadron7UK612109141312101414812134

Related Articles

2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup day 4
Southern plays defence as San Diego charges toward the lead with two more wins The story line at the sharp end of the fleet on Day 4 of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup was much the same as on Day 3. Posted on 18 Sep
2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup day 3
San Diego thrives, Southern survives If it wasn't the lumpy seas, it was the capricious breeze. Wherever sailors competing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup turned today, there was something standing between them and the groove. Posted on 17 Sep
2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup day 2
Lovell, Southern YC drive into the lead on Day 2 It was just the sort of moment that the founders of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup envisioned more than a decade years ago when they created the event. Posted on 16 Sep
2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup day 1
Royal Thames Yacht Club takes early control with nearly flawless first day There are strong starts to a regatta and then there's the day on the water put in by Royal Thames Yacht Club to open up the racing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. Posted on 15 Sep
2021 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup update
U.S. Teams from opposite coasts focus on common goal The road to a sailing world championship is a marathon, never a sprint. Few know that better than Peter Duncan, who will skipper American Yacht Club's entry in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which starts racing tomorrow. Posted on 14 Sep
Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup overall
Royal Sydney shines on challenging final day It all came down to the final race, as it should. Two teams of accomplished and motivated amateur sailors from opposite corners of the globe battling on a lumpy, windy Narragansett Bay for one of Corinthian sailing's most-prized trophies Posted on 15 Sep 2019
Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup - Day 4
San Diego, Royal Sydney top standings with one day remaining As with the previous day, danger lurked around every corner on the penultimate day of the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the premier one-design keelboat championship for amateur sailors. Posted on 14 Sep 2019
Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup day 3
Strong performance for Australian, Irish and Canadian teams The IC37 by Melges sailboat may be new to them, but the breezy and lumpy conditions on Rhode Island Sound for Day 3 of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup were old hat for the teams from Australia's Royal Sydney Yacht Club Posted on 13 Sep 2019
Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup day 2
A year later, San Diego Yacht Club picks up where they left off Different year, different boat, same outstanding performance for San Diego Yacht Club. Through four races in the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the premier Corinthian one-design keelboat championship Posted on 12 Sep 2019
Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup day 1
Japan Sailing Federation plays it safe, takes home win in Race 1 How to balance risk against reward is always a key decision early in a regatta. That applies double for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup where the unique nature of the event means there's no reliable pre-regatta form guide. Posted on 11 Sep 2019