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New York Yacht Club

phoca thumb l 2015 NYYC July 4th 71

New York Yacht Club
New York, USA

Club History

John Cox Stevens and eight other progressive New York yachtsmen founded the New York Yacht Club in 1844. In 1898, NYYC Commodore J. Pierpont Morgan donated three lots on West 44th Street in New York to build a new clubhouse. The club acquired Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I., the former summer home of Commodore John Nicholas Brown, in 1987. It serves as an on-the-water clubhouse. The club was the keeper of the America’s Cup from 1851 to 1983. To visit the club's website please click here.

About The Team

Skipper: Paul Zabetakis
Boat: Impetuous

"Competing in the Invitational Cup is not just about the crew doing well. It is also about the pride of representing your yacht club and your country in what has become the premiere international Corinthian event. To that end, let me state unequivocally that each member of Team Impetuous is extremely proud to be representing the New York Yacht Club and the USA in the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup." says Paul Zabetakis, helmsperson of Impetuous.

After a winning season in 2013 a number of the crew on Impetuous expressed a desire to compete in 2015 for the slot to represent the NYYC. Thus began a 2 year quest to prepare the boat and a crew to compete against the best of the Swan 42 Class. A key decision in this quest was to reconfigure the crew during the 2014 season to include all NYYC members except for the two non-members permitted under the rules. "This was done so that should we win the slot to represent the NYYC our crew would be properly configured for the Invitational Cup. In the past, once the selection was made at the conclusion of the July Swan 42 Nationals, the owner was required to reconfigure his team adding NYYC members. This meant that the new team had limited time to sail together before the main event in September" says Zabetakis.

In contrast, Zabetakis began to pull the team together with a full schedule of racing starting with Key West Race Week in January of 2015 (top boat in the Swan 42 subclass), followed by the American Yacht Club Spring Series in late April (3rd Place), the 161st NYYC Annual Regatta in June (1st Place), Block Island Race Week in late June (1st Place) and the Swan 42 Nationals in July (confirmed winner of the NYYC selection process).

Zabetakis stressed the importance of the team, saying, "The extended time we spent together both on and off the water was the key to solidifying these individuals into a "TEAM" in every sense of the word. As in most team sports, it is the team that succeeds - not the individual. Sure there are moments when an individual provides a critical play or move that is key to a successful outcome. However, it is the team and the dynamics between the team members that are ultimately key to long term success."

The importance of team dynamics and mental toughness was most apparent during the Swam 42 Nationals. Impetuous went into the event tied on points with Apparition led by Colin Gordon and a lead on Chris Culver's Blazer and Ted Madara's Mutiny. Each of the owners had put together excellent teams that were at the top of their game. The fact that this was going to be Impetuous' most challenging event became quickly apparent. After the first two days of racing, Blazer led Impetuous by 6 points and Apparition by 4 points. "Not where we had planned to be midway through the event that would decide the NYYC representative!" said Zabetakis. Demonstrating the mental toughness needed in such a situation, Team Impetuous went into Saturday determined to move up in the standings. By the end of the day, Blazer's lead had shrunk to 2 points and Impetuous was 1 point ahead of Apparition. The final day of racing now was anyone's to win or lose. Impetuous dug deep and with a second place finish in the one race on Sunday, they secured their position to represent the NYYC at the 2015 Invitational Cup.

"We certainly hope that our time competing together as a team will be key to a successful performance at the Invitational Cup this September. However, no matter the outcome, I can say that this is best team with whom I have had the privilege to sail. I am extremely proud of this team, each individual on the team and what we have accomplished to date together as a team." stated Zabetakis in closing.


Members of the Team: NYYC members Paul Zabetakis as helmsperson, Todd McGuire at main, Steve Ivers as logistics, Eric Zeller as videographer, Eric McDonald at pit, Will Gammell at offside trim and Charles Goodrich as navigator have been with Impetuous for several seasons and are to be recognized for the past accomplishments. Other longtime key members of our team are Alex Clegg at trim and Dylan Vogel at bow. New this year are John Baxter (spouse of member Molly Baxter) as tactician, and NYYC members Andrew Nawn at mast, and Katherine Wade at mid-mast and Caroline Levesque with previous Invitational Cup experience.

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