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RCYC Defense of Title Begins

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Water, whether in its frozen or liquid form, is the common denominator providing sports fans in Canada much to cheer for this week:  the ice hockey season is just gearing up, and the team representing Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) in Toronto is in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, to defend their title at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

RCYC will have to hold off an assault from 19 competing yacht club teams, each of whom will have a 10-member crew racing aboard identically matched Swan 42s, over the five days of racing that will take place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound from September 10-14, 2013. 

The biennial event, in its third edition, has had two winners – RCYC in 2011 and host New York Yacht Club (NYYC) at the inaugural event in 2009.  This sets the stage for RCYC to potentially earn another asterisk in the record books:  if successful, they would become the first repeat winners of this event which has garnered much attention since its inception for upholding the principles of amateur competition and promoting national pride.

In preparation for their defense, the RCYC team travelled to Rhode Island to compete in the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta, Block Island Race Week, and the Swan 42 Nationals.  At the Nationals, in July, the RCYC team aboard Daring, owned by John Hele, were victorious in a fleet of 15, giving them a good benchmark coming into this contest.

While adequate preparation will be a key factor, teamwork will also heavily impact the outcome of the competition.  To that end, the 2011 winning RCYC crew will all return, joined by one additional crew member as the result of an increase to the crew weight limit permitted in the class rules.

At the helm for the third consecutive effort will be Terry McLaughlin, who, in the Flying Dutchman, won an Olympic Silver Medal in 1984 and the World Championship in 1980.

“Our planning and training for this year’s event is very similar to that of 2011,” said McLaughlin who drove Daring to a second-place finish in the inaugural Invitational Cup in 2009.  “We know the Invitational Cup will have extremely good competition and therefore we are doing our best to prepare for what will be a fantastic regatta.  Consistency is the name of the game at the Invitational.  With 11 races, no drops and 19 talented teams there is not a lot of room for bad races.  Finishing in the top six or seven in the races can keep you in the hunt over the course of the regatta.”

For McLauglin, returning to the event also brings the opportunity to reconnect with old friends.  “The NYYC Invitational Cup is a unique event in the world of sailing.  It brings together talented sailors from all corners of the world.  The sailors come for great racing, good fun and tremendous hospitality at the NYYC.  It will be great to be back at the one of the greatest yacht clubs in the world in one of the best sailing venue.  To race against old friends in a very competitive event, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

How to Follow the Event
 Further information on the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex and daily reports during the event may be found at www.nyyc.org

To receive a post-event wrap up report and to download high-resolution images, copyright free for editorial purposes, register online at www.regattanews.com

Virtual Eye, with realistic 3D animation and the ability to switch between multiple camera angles, will bring the event to anyone who can’t physically make it to Newport. The tracker, displaying data for each boat, will be available on the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex website.

To enhance the tracking, live audio commentary will be provided by Brad Dellenbaugh, NYYC’s Sailing Director and America’s Cup umpire, and Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport and the 2002 J/24 World Champion.  Flanking the fleet on RIBs, this dynamic duo will provide their perspective of the racing as well as their considerable insight into one-design tactics.  In addition to live streaming, this audio will be available via VHF 86 for local spectators watching the racing from the water.

Video of the competition, including onboard footage and post-race interviews will be available after 9:00 p.m. EST each day of racing at http://www.youtube.com/user/asht2p

Finally, the event can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter.

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