The 19th International Knickerbocker Cup hosted by the Knickerbocker Cup Foundation will take place Oct. 4-7 in Manhasset Bay at the Knickerbocker Yacht Club. As a stop on the World Match Racing Association professional tour, the Knickerbocker Cup 2000 is one of only two international match races held in the United States this year. The event is an ISAF Grade I world ranked event.
The Knickerbocker Cup match race is the ultimate test of tactical skill and teamwork. Each team will race in identically outfitted J-105s and the outcome depends solely on the skill of the helmsmen and crew. The challengers at The Knickerbocker Cup 2000 include many who challenged in the recently completed America's Cup.
The roster of entrants in this year's Knickerbocker Cup is the most illustrious in the history of this 19-year-old event. They include:
Dawn Riley, San Francisco, the first woman to captain an America's Cup entrant, America True. Also to her credit, Riley was the first women to be a crew member of a winning America's Cup challenger in 1992, and was team captain of the all female challenger, America3, in the 1995 America's Cup. She is currently ranked 25th in world match racing.
Ed Baird, Newport RI, a two-time winner of the Knickerbocker Cup, was skipper for the America's Cup challenger, Young America in 1999. He was part of the America's Cup winning team, Team New Zealand in 1995. Baird, who is currently returning to competition on the world match circuit, has won 10 major international events, has been ranked number one and is a world champion match racer.
Frenchman Luc Pillot has been involved in match racing since 1992. He has served as crew for many of the world's best skippers before establishing his own team in 1994. Pillot is ranked 6th in the world.
American Ken Read has an impressive sailing record with repeated world championships to his credit. He is a six-time J/24 world champion, four-time J/24 North American champion, two-time Corel-45 world champion and two-time Elchells-22 North American champion. In this year's America's Cup he was helmsmen on Dennis Connor's Stars and Stripes.
Tomislav Basic of Croatia, a 24-year-old rising star on the international match racing scene, won last year's Knickerbocker Cup with his ACI Team. His 1999 accomplishments include finishing third in the Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand and taking the silver medal in the European Championships.
Twenty-year-old Australian, James Spithill is credited as the youngest skipper of an America's Cup entry (with Young Australia in 1999). He has also competed in New Zealand, Europe, the US, Canada and his native Australia with many successes. Spithill is currently ranked 36th in the world.
Another young up and coming star of the circuit, Britain's Andy Green, placed fifth in the 2000 World Championship in Croatia and sixth in Auckland's Steinlager/Line 7 Cup. He is ranked 17th overall according to the world ranking system.
Peter Holmberg, native of the US Virgin Islands, served as tactician for Stars & Stripes in the last America's Cup. Among his accomplishments as a professional sailor are two world championships. He began match racing in 1992 and is currently ranked 22nd in the world.
French born Sebastien Destremau, who calls Perth, Western Australia his home, is ranked 14th in world match racing. He is an accomplished sailor who has three world championship wins to his credit.
Principal sponsors of the Knickerbocker Cup 2000 include Chrysler, Continental Airlines and the Roslyn Savings Bank. The event will provide a minimum total purse of $25,000 (for all places combined) with the opportunity to have the prize money increase dependent upon further sponsorship involvement.
Begun in 1982 by Yachting Hall of Famer, Ed duMoulin and the late Arthur Knapp, the Knickerbocker Cup has a long association with America's Cup greats and major yacht race contenders.