Friday, 10 September 2010 00:00
Seawanhaka Corinthian of Oyster Bay, is one of 24 preeminent yacht clubs of America to compete in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup U.S. Qualifying Series. It will be held in Newport, RI this week from Sept. 7 to 11. The top three U.S. teams from this week’s event will join the top six teams from the 2009 Invitational Cup: New York, Royal Canadian, Japan Sailing Federation, Nyländska Jaktklubben of Finland, Royal Cork of Ireland and Royal Bermuda, plus at least 10 other international teams, Sept. 10 to 17, at the NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.
The yacht clubs competing this week are American in Rye, N.Y.; Annapolis; Bayview in Detroit; Boston in Marblehead, Mass.; Carolina in Charleston, S.C.; Eastern in Marblehead, Mass.; Fishing Bay in Deltaville, Va.; Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas; Ida Lewis in Newport, R.I.; Indian Harbor in Greenwich, Conn.; Larchmont in New York; Little Traverse in Harbor Springs, Mich.; Long Beach in California; Newport Harbor in Newport Beach, Calif.; Pequot in Southport, Conn.; Rochester in New York; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Seawanhaka Corinthian in Oyster Bay, N.Y.; Southern in New Orleans; St. Francis in San Francisco; St. Petersburg in Florida and Stamford in Connecticut.
Among the competitors, who must be amateurs (Corinthian) sailors and members of the yacht clubs they represent, is Bora Gulari, skipper of the entry from Bayview Yacht Club, founded in 1915 in Detroit. Gulari is the 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in America on the strength of his win in the Moth World Championship that year. “This is a great honor to be invited to compete. I’m very excited to race against other U.S. yacht clubs. This is like an amateur championship in the States. I hope to do well, but this is not my usual type of sailing,” explained Gulari who sails a fast-singlehanded hydrofoil-equipped dinghy. “I look forward to representing my club Bayview and am going to give it an all-out effort.”
The skipper for the team from Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass. is Bill Lynn, who is no stranger to the Sonar, the boat to be used in this event (along with the J/22). Lynn is the 2007 Sonar World Champion and 2004 North American titleholder. Eastern Yacht Club was founded in 1870 and fielded three successful defenders to the America’s Cup: Puritan, Mayflower and Volunteer in 1885, 1886 and 1887, respectively.
The St. Francis Yacht Club Team from San Francisco is skippered by Russ Silvestri, who sailed a Finn in the 2000 Olympics and competed in the 2009 NYYC Invitational Cup for this same yacht club team, which finished seventh. The St. Francis Yacht Club, founded in 1869, is the oldest yacht club on North America’s Pacific Coast and boasts a number of Olympic and America’s Cup sailors.
From the Pequot Yacht Club in Southport, Conn. comes Becca Dellenbaugh, All-American skipper from Dartmouth College, and her mother Susan Dellenbaugh, six-time Thistle National Champion. Their team’s boat is skippered by David Rosow Jr. with experience in small one designs, dinghies, keelboats and big boats. Established in 1920, the Pequot Yacht Club was early to recognize the importance of an active junior program and its impact on the future of sailing. In 1923, the Club sponsored the first junior regatta for crews under the age of 18 in the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound and the first formal junior program followed thereafter.
Bill Campbell, the commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club, will skipper his club’s entry. He was involved in three America’s Cup campaigns, the Maxi-Class World Championships and Laser sailing. San Diego Yacht Club, organized in 1886, hosted the America’s Cup from 1988-95.
Sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider and Jaguar North America, with support from Sailing World, Shumway Marine, J/Boats and Team One Newport, the U.S. Qualifying Series will be a fleet racing regatta to be sailed in NYYC’s Sonars and Sail Newport’s J/22s.
The regatta chair for the U.S. Qualifying Series is Dod Fraser, of the NYYC, and Will Crump and Marie Klok Crump are vice chairs. John Mendez returns as the event chair of the 2011 Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. The latter series will be sailed in NYYC Swan 42s.