Please select your home edition
Edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
McLube SailKote Dry Lubricant - ML08
McLube SailKote Dry Lubricant - ML08

St. Francis Yacht Club repeats as Morgan Cup champion

by New York Yacht Club 12 Aug 2019 01:31 BST 9-11 August 2019
2019 Morgan Cup © Stuart Streuli / New York Yacht Club

In keelboat team racing, where so much depends upon a dozen sailors acting as if they are sharing the same brain, familiarity and consistency are a recipe for success.

With a roster that included nine returning sailors from last year's winning team, the St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) successfully defended its Morgan Cup championship, beating Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) and Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (New Haven, Conn.), which tied on points for second, with Corinthian winning the team breaker. The win by St. Francis is the fourth straight Morgan Cup championship, and the fifth in the past six years, for a yacht club from the West Coast of the United States.

"In team racing, things happen a lot more quickly than in fleet racing; you have to be a bit more spontaneous and bit more ready to do a tack, a jibe, a 360, a pin, a hook, etc.," says Michael Menninger, St. Francis team captain (at right, red shorts). "Things are changing constantly in team racing, and communication is really key, having a crew that is able to keep calm under all the pressure and execute the maneuvers."

The New York Yacht Club Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Morgan Cup was first run in 2003 and has become one of the most prestigious trophies for keelboat team racers. Clubs from around the country, and abroad, apply for an invitation, and the field regularly includes numerous collegiate All-American sailors along with former Olympians and world and national champions. The regatta is sailed out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in the Club's fleet of identical Sonar sailboats, with each team composed of three crews of three or four sailors. The Morgan Cup was presented by the members of the New York Yacht Club to J. P. Morgan as a token of esteem and a mark of appreciation of his service to the club as Commodore, 1919-1921, and is dedicated as the perpetual award for the winning team.

Two days of sparkling sunshine and reliable breeze enabled the race committee to whip through two complete round robins for the 10 competing teams. St. Francis was the strongest team over the first two days, winning 15 of 18 races to carry a two-point lead into the third and final day. The field was split in half for today with the top five teams racing for the overall championship while the bottom five competed in a separate round robin. With each of today's races worth double points, all five teams in the Gold Round Robin started the final day with a mathematical chance at the championship. But St. Francis held serve, winning two and losing two, while none of the teams behind were able to run the table and challenge the San Francisco team for the title.

"I felt like we, on average, had really good starts and good first decisions," says Menninger. "By the first mark, we were into a winning position most races and able to hold on. You always have an advantage when you start better than the other team. And then, of course, we did have a few races where did start behind or find ourselves in losing combinations, but somehow we were able to claw our way back."

According to Menninger, the team set its sights on winning this year's Morgan Cup shortly after claiming it for the first time in the club's history in 2018.

"After winning last year, we decided we wanted to keep ideally the entire team together," says Menninger, "but there was a crew change [a new event rule required each team to have at least four sailors of each gender], which we were excited and happy about because we have a deep pool of women members. So we brought on a few new women, and they did a fantastic job. We had a great team again."

The New York Yacht Club's series of elite team races will continue next weekend with the Hinman Masters, and conclude August 23 to 25 with the Grandmasters Team Race. Full details on both of those events can be found here.

Overall Results:

1. St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) 15-3 Round Robin 1 & 2, 2-2 Gold Round Robin 3, 19 points
2. Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) 11-7, 3-1, 17 points
3. Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (New Haven, Conn.) 13-5, 2-2, 17 points
4. Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.) 10-8, 2-2, 14 points
5. New York (N.Y.) Yacht Club 11-7, 1-3, 13 points
6. Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.) 8-10, 3-1 Silver Round Robin, 14 points
7. College of Charleston (S.C.) 5-13, 3-1, 11 points
8. New York (N.Y.) Yacht Club 2 6-12, 2-2, 10 points
9. Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) 6-12, 2-2, 10 points
10. Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club 5-13, 0-4, 5 points

Complete results for Round Robin 1 & 2 here and the Gold/Silver RR here.

Related Articles

COVID-19 forces cancellation of ORC/IRC Worlds
The impact of the coronavirus has been felt throughout the sporting world Despite a strong entry list from the United States and abroad, and the exhaustive efforts of the New York Yacht Club along with the governing bodies for the ORC and IRC rating rules, the decision has been made to cancel the 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship Posted on 22 May
America's Cup: American Magic in NZ in next month
New York YC American Magic will be the first Challenger to arrive in NZ in early June New York Yacht Club entry in the 2020 America's Cup, American Magic will be the first Challenger to arrive in New Zealand. The team says their arrival time in New Zealand is "early June". Their AC75 is on its way to Auckland. Posted on 4 May
America's Cup: NYYC aim for September in Auckland
A series of disruptions in the Cup cycle will force team to fly AC75 to Auckland in September "We missed the opportunity to see where we are vulnerable," was American Magic's skipper, Terry Hutchinson's comment on not being able to sail in the two cancelled America's Cup World Series regattas in Cagliari and Sardinia. Posted on 19 Apr
Earning that spot
Chasing the America's Cup was never the end goal for Sean O'Halloran Chasing the America's Cup was never the end goal for Santa Clara, California sailor Sean O'Halloran. Instead, it was about pursuing ever greater skills, experience, strength, and endurance any way he could. Posted on 16 Apr
The Top of Tech - NYYC's American Magic
Designer Robyn Lesh shares a look inside the NYYC's Challenger for the 36th America's Cup "It's the people behind the sailors, the people behind the tech, the people behind the design team. Anything that can make the boat faster is a go." Posted on 4 Apr
America's Cup: On the water in Pensacola
Insights into the on-the-water operations for the U.S. Challenger American Magic Testing Manager Anderson Reggio (Newport, R.I.) provides insights into the on-the-water operations for the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup. Posted on 11 Mar
A design environment that encourages creativity
American Magic's Principal Designer fosters design environment "You do wake up sometimes with an idea in your head. Something that just comes out of nowhere." Posted on 23 Feb
America's Cup: Dean on Terry, Terry on Dean
Here's Terry Hutchinson and Dean Barker's views on each other once competitors, now team mates. American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson and helmsman Dean Barker are no strangers to America's Cup racecourses, having sailed both with and against each other across multiple campaigns for the oldest trophy in international sports. Posted on 13 Feb
America's Cup: American Magic nosedive - video
American Magic release video of their test boat doing a spectacular nosedive New York Yacht Club's America's Cup team, American Magic have released a video of their test boat doing a spectacular nosedive while sailing off the team's base in Newport. Posted on 12 Feb
Sevenstar Yacht Transport partnership
To help with ORC/IRC World Championship at New York YC A true international keelboat championship requires a safe, effective and timely method of transporting large race yachts across vast oceans. Posted on 11 Feb