Tuesday, September 13, 2011
EVENTS WHERE AMATEURS ARE RECOGNIZED
(September 12, 2011) - The grounds of New York Yacht Club's renowned Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, Rhode Island, were filled with sailors from around the world, who are set to begin racing tomorrow (Tuesday) in the second biennial New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.
The 22 teams, representing yacht clubs from 16 nations and six continents, have traveled far and wide to get to Newport. The teams, especially those less familiar with the Swan 42 class, enjoyed several perfect practice days with today's 12-14 knot southwesterly breeze, under sunshine and brilliant blue skies, appreciated by all competitors, especially those from some more sunshine-challenged locales
The Swan 42s, an ultra competitive one-design class, were conceived by the NYYC as the yacht club's ninth one-design class since its' founding in 1844. The New York Yacht Club Race Committee, led by John "Tinker" Myles, Jr. ran several practice starts today for the fleet.
Racing will run from Tuesday, 13 September through Saturday, 17 September.
A total of eleven (windward-leeward) races are planned, with no throw-outs.
Racing will take place off Newport, R.I. on Rhode Island Sound or in Narragansett Bay.
One of the first teams to arrive in Newport was Clube Naval de Cascais from Portugal, with skipper Patrick Moteiro de Barros. The team has been on-site for over a week practicing on their chartered Swan 42 Orbit, and making the most of coach Bill Shore's expertise and local knowledge. de Barros commented, "The goal is to do the best we can, and we're here to win. We may not win, but that's the motivation."
To that end de Barros, who is a four-time Olympian, has assembled a crew that at its' core are very competitive Dragon sailors. Included in this mix is tactician Henrique Anjos, a three-time Portuguese national champion in the class. With no Swan 42s available locally, the team came up with a clever alternative last spring, chartering a Dufour 40, and adding a bowsprit to it so they could fly an asymetrical spinnaker.
De Barros is no stranger to Newport, having sailed here in the 1980s when he was the helmsman on Magic, the trial horse for Dennis Conner's Freedom.
The team had hoped to participate two years ago, but couldn't come, and the appeal of the event is clear to de Barros who added, "The Invitational Cup is totally Corinthian, and I think it's important to have events where the amateurs are recognized. This is one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world, and I think events like this should carry on." -- Read on: