Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Newport, R.I., USA (Sept. 15, 2009) - Seemingly overnight, the New York Yacht
Club Harbour Court facility has transformed into an international village
teeming with hundreds of people, including sailors from 14 nations who have
arrived to compete in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

"It's obvious that a lot of work has gone into this," said Craig Healy, a Soling
world champion who will skipper the St. Francis Yacht Club's team. "It's very
well organized." With a Wednesday (Sept. 16) through Saturday (Sept. 19) racing
schedule, most of the 19 teams - all of which represent yacht clubs and have
adhered to strict guidelines for crew composition -- checked in this past
weekend, attended a Swan 42 Performance Symposium, and began practicing on
Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound on the course once used for America's
Cup races when the New York Yacht Club last hosted that contest here in 1983.

By Monday, a 7900 sq. ft. tent and another at least half its size had been
erected on the lower half of the yacht club's sprawling lawn, famous for its
gloriously steep sweep down to the Newport harbor front. In the smaller of the
tents, where post-racing hospitality had already started, sponsor Sperry
Top-Sider, known for inventing the world's first boat shoe, was busy outfitting
every sailor with a new pair of its "Ventus" model shoes and happily servicing a
steady stream of visitors who were checking out the merchandise at Sperry's
"Beach Cottage."

"Every rig has been tuned exactly the same," said Paul Zabetakis, president of
the Swan 42 class and chair of the impressive Technical Committee that has been
formed to oversee every aspect of boat detail, "and with the sails absolutely
matched, these boats will be more level than they ever have been since the
fleet's formation." Event Chair John Mendez added that the sailors also have
access to PredictWind, which enables every sailor to have equal wind and marine
forecast information. "I don't know how much more equal we can get," said

Since the NYYC owns the suits of sails and plans to use them again in two years
for the second running of this event, it took the liberty of emblazing them with
the event's logo and clear identification of each team so spectators can root
for their favorite entries. And spectators don't even have to be in Newport to
follow the action. At 11 a.m. on each racing day, they can log on to Kattack for
"Live Race Tracking" (http://tinyurl.com/oyue8a), which according to Kattack
representative Mark Fortin is not only entertainment for those who can't be on
the race course watching but also a performance report for the sailors, who will
be able to view the day's happenings on a big screen under the hospitality tent.
- Nightly reports, blogs, daily video and results will be available at:
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