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Royal Canadian Yacht Club Succeeds in Defending Title

Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster

Newport, R.I., USA (August 14, 2013) – The Royal Canadian Yacht Club team from Toronto has won the 2013 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex, successfully defending the title they first won in 2011 at the second edition of this biennial Corinthian event.

The fifth and final day of racing was notable for a prolonged delay to the start of racing when breeze from a steady direction failed to materialize. Racing got underway, in about seven knots of wind out on Rhode Island Sound, but before long the 20 yacht club teams were dealing with a dying breeze. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, which had the lead off the starting line and sustained that position up the second leg of the course to round the mark first with a large lead, carried with them virtually the last of the breeze. After rounding and slowly moving off upwind, they appeared to be going backwards. A number of other teams were able to round the mark, but, it quickly became clear that not only were the remainder of the fleet struggling to reach the mark there also would be no possibility that the race could be completed within the time limit allowed. The abandonment of racing meant the results from the previous day would stand.

“We had a 200 metre lead,” said Nick Burns, skipper for Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. “If we had actually finished it would have been marvelous, but this is sailing. It was the right thing to do [abandoning the race]; we had the last of the breeze and we never would have got to the top mark. It was sheer luck. The wind lasted for us a tiny bit longer than for anybody else.”

Burns has competed in all three editions of the Invitational Cup with Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club finishing 11th in 2009, and ninth in 2011, and he feels that the standard of competition this year is twice as high as two years ago and that probably the same will be true again in 2015.

“Every time I come here I think it’s the most fantastic event and I’ve already put the towel down to see if we can come for the next one,” Burns added. “There is nothing similar which has this very close class racing of identical boats which is absolutely fabulous because nobody can blame anything except themselves. It’s definitely the best of that type of event. Everybody comes as a Corinthian. There are no professionals allowed which, to me, is a great advantage because then there are no personal egos involved. Everyone comes here to have a friendly competition. It’s pretty tough competition, but still quite friendly. I think it’s the whole spirit of the NYYC.”

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) team had moved into the lead on the penultimate day of racing, displacing the American team from Larchmont Yacht Club who had held the overall lead for the first three days of the five-day event. It was do-or-die on the final day for the American’s as, based on points, they needed to finish with seven boats ahead of the Canadians in order to win the regatta. The Canadians took the title with 45 points, followed by Larchmont with 51.1.

“The competition at this regatta is getting better and better every year. Anyone who is here for the first time has learned a lot and wants to come back,” said McLaughlin at the awards ceremony emphasizing his belief that the competition will be that much tougher in 2015. “On and off the water, no one does it like the New York Yacht Club,” he added.

Finishing third overall was the British team from Royal Thames Yacht Club. It was their second time competing in the Invitational Cup, having placed 13th in the inaugural edition in 2009. Finishing third overall, on 63.3 points, earned them the Resolute Trophy as the top non-North American finisher.

Each of the 20 participating yacht club teams – representing 13 nations – was recognized during the Parade of Nations which preceded racing today. The teams, dressed in team gear, received a cannon salute from Newport and Ida Lewis Yacht Clubs as they circled Newport Harbor before passing the NYYC dock which was crowded with spectators. Each team received another cannon salute from the host club before proceeding to the race course. The conclusion of racing was followed by the awards ceremony where Royal Canadian Yacht Club was presented with a Rolex timepiece in recognition of their win of the 2013 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

Final results

1. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, CAN, 45 points
2. Larchmont Yacht Club, USA, 51.1
3. Royal Thames Yacht Club, GBR, 63.3
4. Royal Cork Yacht Club, IRL, 77.8
5. Royal Southern Yacht Club, GBR, 91
6. Japan Sailing Federation, JPN, 92
7. Seattle Yacht Club, USA, 92.2
8. Yacht Club Argentino, ARG, 96
9. New York Yacht Club, USA, 97
10. Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, AUS, 101
11. Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, AUS, 104
12. Royal Yacht Squadron, GBR, 107
13. The San Francisco Yacht Club, USA, 110
14. Yacht Club Italiano, ITA, 113
15. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, HKG, 117
16. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, AUS, 123
17. Royal Belgian Sailing Club, BEL, 134
18. Nylandska Jaktklubben, FIN, 138.9
19. Real Club Nautico de Barcelona, ESP, 161
20. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, SWE, 163

Full detailed results