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Storm Trysail Club

Larchmont, NY 

Founded 1936

CLUB HISTORY

Storm TrysailThe birth of The Storm Trysail Club dates to the 1936 Newport-Bermuda Race, the gale that battered fleet and the winter that followed. A beat to windward in 40-knot winds and big seas, the ’36 Bermuda Race is widely considered the roughest before 1960. Nearly 20 percent of the fleet retired. The exact time the Storm Trysail Club was founded would be the moment when the mainsail aboard the schooner Salee blew out beyond repair less than 300 nautical miles from Bermuda. A storm trysail – a triangular sail used in place of a mainsail for heavy weather sailing – was set for the long sail back to Montauk on the eastern tip of Long Island.

Members of Salee’s crew, combined with other veterans of that race to form a club dedicated to the spirit of ocean racing. Today, the Storm Trysail Club carries that ocean racing heritage with an international membership of sailors who have logged many miles on the open seas.

In an effort to help ocean racing continue to grow, the club runs numerous safety at sea seminars, including ones for youth sailors, each year. The club also runs some of the most renowned big-boat regattas each year, both inshore and offshore.

ABOUT THE TEAM

For John Storck, the path to the 2016 Resolute Cup, the unofficial keelboat championship for American yacht clubs, had a most ordinary point of origination: the family dinner table.

“I am lucky enough to be born into this family where technical sailing speak is common dinner conversation,” says Storck, who will compete for the Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.) alongside two of his siblings, Erik Storck and Kaitlin Storck Potts (above with their father, John Storck Jr., at the 2010 J/80 North American Championship). “We have done plenty of sailing apart, but we have done so much more sailing together. If there are any arguments in the boat, the cool thing about our family is that you get over it really fast, there is no grudge holding.”

That confluence of sailing and family is a strong theme in the Resolute Cup fleet, with no fewer than seven of the 28 crews featuring some form of family connection. New Bedford Yacht Club (South Dartmouth, Mass.) is once again sending the husband and wife duo of Liz and Andrew Herlihy. Sandusky (Ohio) Sailing Club will also have crewmates bound by marriage, Kathy and Sjoerd-Jan Vanderhorst. Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit) will be represented by Marc Hollerbach and his son Nathan. John Potter is bringing his young daughter Emily to compete under the Beaufort (S.C.) Yacht and Sailing Club burgee. Brothers Marcus and Andrew Eagan will be representing Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans).

The Resolute Cup is a unique event for a number of reasons. Two different fleets of boats, Melges 20s and Sonars, will be used for the competition. All equipment, including the sails, is provided and the rig tuning will be standardized across both fleets. Each competitor must be a World Sailing Group 1 (amateur) sailor, and a full member of the club he or she represents.

The event provides one of the most level playing fields in the sport of sailing and rewards teams that come in prepared but can also learn and adjust on the fly. John Storck, for one, is hoping that his close bonds with his crewmates will be to their advantage.

“I think there are so many good teams coming with so many varieties of backgrounds,” he says. “There are many different advantages. For us it might be communication-type stuff, others it might be familiarity with the boats, others it might be familiarity with the conditions and weather.”

SKIPPER - Erik Storck

TACTICIAN - John Storck III

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