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2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup – Tough fight on Day 1

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2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup – Tough fight on Day 1

Their preparations for this event couldn’t have been more different. But as is often the case in sailing, there was more than one path to the top of the leader board on Day 1 of the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. After three races in a fresh southwesterly breeze, Southern Yacht Club and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron stand first and second in the regatta, with five and seven points, respectively.

The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup takes place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from eight countries from around the globe have 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 and will be broadcast live via the web.

2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup – Day 1 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com

After qualifying by winning last September’s Resolute Cup, Southern Yacht Club has spared no expense nor effort to prepare its team for the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup. The Club syndicate purchased a Swan 42 and competed in a number of regattas this past summer. The results of this hard work were immediately obvious today as Southern Yacht Club, with Marcus Eagan at the helm and 2004 Olympic silver medalists John Lovell calling tactics, took second in the first race, second in the second and then added a first in a third.

‘We have a good team,’ said Lovell, a four-time Olympian in the Tornado class. ‘We’ve been practicing. Andrew (Eagan)’s trimming the jib really well. We’re really excited and hoping to stay in that top group. I’m sure we’re going to have one of those days where we get in the back a couple times. We had a couple crosses where we barely made it, and if we hadn’t we would have been pack in the pack. So everything just seemed to go right today.’

2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup – Day 1 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com

On the other hand, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, the helmsman for the Royal Sydney team, hadn’t laid a hand on the wheel of the Swan 42 for two years when he showed up for the first day of practice on Saturday. And his team hasn’t spent a lot of time sailing together. But that didn’t stop them from winning the first race and then adding a pair of thirds for a comfortable second place in the overall standings.

‘It’s so nice to have a group of guys to come together,’ said Belgiorno-Nettis. ‘They were all sailors for a long time, but we had hadn’t actually sailed together as a team. They just dug deep, and we figured out the way pretty quickly by the looks of things.’

But the wiry Australian—of Italian descent—was quick point out that prior success is no indication of future performance. And that there are four days left in this event.

‘I’m sure we’re going to go backwards in other races because it’s natural,’ he added. ‘You can’t do great work every day in every regatta. I’ve been to too many. I think for us it was a good moral lift to be able to be successful today, we’re happy to end out in the front end. The guys are enjoying it. The New York Yacht Club puts on one of the best regattas in the world, if not the best.’

2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup – Day 1 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com

Eastern Yacht Club finished strong with a second in the third race and currently sits third, with 13 points. Rounding out the top five are Royal Cork Yacht Club—a five-time Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup competitor—and the defending champions from Royal Thames Yacht Club.

The biggest cheer in the tent today, however, went to a team that currently sits sixth. After 45 races over four regattas, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club team finally won its first Invitational Cup race in the day’s second contest. Few teams have matched the passion of the RHKYC, which always shows up determined to have a good time and has succeeded each time, no matter the final results.

Racing in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup continues tomorrow through Saturday, with 12 races expected in the series. Live coverage, photos and a lot more can be found via the event’s Facebook page.

Results:

Place

Team

Boat#

MNA

R1

R2

R3

Total

1

Southern YC

2

USA

2

2

1

5

2

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

14

AUS

1

3

3

7

3

Eastern Yacht Club

3

USA

7

4

2

13

4

Royal Cork YC

8

IRL

4

8

5

17

5

Royal Thames Yacht Club

1

UK

3

9

6

18

6

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

15

HKG

11

1

8

20

7

New York Yacht Club

4

USA

8

5

9

22

8

Japan Sailing Federation

9

JPN

5

8

11

24

9

New Bedford Yacht Club

22

USA

13

10

4

27

10

Royal Yacht Squadron

7

UK

6

12

10

28

11

Itchenor Sailing Club

16

UK

10

6

13

29

12

Yacht Club Argentino

6

ARG

10

14

7

31

13

Shelter Island Yacht Club

21

USA

15

11

12

38

14

Royal Swedish Yacht Club

11

SWE

12

13

14

39

 

+1 point sprit penalty

 

Source: sail-world.com

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