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St. Francis Yacht Club claims Women's 2v2 Team Race Title

by New York Yacht Club 2 Jun 22:55 BST June 1-2, 2024

Courtesy of a unblemished 9-0 performance on Saturday, the St. Francis Yacht Club team went into the second and final day of the Women's 2v2 Team Race with a two-point cushion over second place. But any notion that the West Coast team could coast through today's five-team Gold Round Robin was squashed in the first few races. The New York Yacht Club led by Emily Maxwell team won twice—beating St. Francis for the second win—and Newport Harbor Yacht Club won once. Just like that two teams were each sitting one win away from a tie for the overall lead.

"Team racing is a a game where there are going to be mistakes made, where you can easily lose an advantage, lose control," said Molly Carapiet, skipper and team captain for St. Francis. "It's just about kind of shaking it off, and moving forward to the next move and what the next play is."

A few deep breaths and Carapiet and her teammates rediscovered their rhythm, winning their next two races to guarantee St. Francis the title with one race still remaining on their dance card.

"It feels great," said Carapiet. "We had really great teamwork all weekend. And on each boat, the boathandling was really strong."

Team Chesapeake emerged from a three-way tie to take second, with New York Yacht Club Maxwell third and Newport Harbor Yacht Club fourth.

First run in 2021, the Women's 2v2 Team Race is the newest of four highly regarded team race regattas held each summer by the New York Yacht Club. The event, held in early June, attracts top female sailors from across the country. The inaugural event was won by the host club, with Lauderdale Yacht Club winning in 2022 and Bristol Yacht Club winning in 2023. As with the other three regattas, the Morgan, Hinman and Grandmasters, the Women's 2v2 utilizes the Club's fleet of 22 identical Sonar sailboats. For more on team racing at the New York Yacht Club, click here.

While two-on-two team racing shares much with the more recognizable three-on-three format that is a mainstay of scholastic and collegiate sailing, it does have some subtle differences. The last-place-loses format truly means no race is decided until the first three boats cross the finish line. Which makes Saturday's 9-0 scoreline for St. Francis all the more impressive.

"There were a lot of really tight races," says Carapiet. "It was holding our breath, just taking one race at a time, trying to keep it simple and keep moving forward."

The penultimate race of the regatta pitted St. Francis against Newport Harbor, the two top teams from Saturday's full round robin. It was a thrilling match that featured aggressive team racing around the course and was decided by just a few feet, with Newport Harbor taking the win. Ultimately, the race had no impact on the final standings with St. Francis guaranteed the overall win and Newport Harbor locked into fourth. But it was a positive sign for the future of women-only team racing.

"It was such a crazy race," says Carapiet. "We ended up converging with another race at Mark 2, and the wind was a little bit light there, so it was very down-speed. It was quite stressful. But very fun. The depth in the women's team racing has definitely increased over the past few years. I've been doing this a long time. It's really cool to see the next generation, and, with women's college team racing [on the rise], there's another group of women coming coming through that are going to be really hard to beat in the future."

The smile on her face, however, indicated that Carapiet will be eager to try.

Full results available here.

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