Takumi Nakamura, Albatross Match Racing Team (JPN) has won the 2008 Knickebocker Cup and secured an invitation to the prestigious Bermuda Gold Cup, a grade 1 match racing event that is part of the World Match Racing Tour. Nakamura, with crew Norio Igea, Nathan Hollerbach and Tetsuya Sasaki, won every Cup Match except for one on the first day of racing. Rounding out the top teams were Sergey Musikhin (RUS), followed by Keith Swinton, Black Swan Match Racing (AUS), and Chris Van Tol, Van Tol Match Racing Team (USA).

With day 4 another windless day on Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound, RC was hard pressed to finish the final matches completed. When a southerly finally filled in with just about an hour or so of racing left, PRO Sue Miller got the matches off quickly. With the help of Nakamura and Swinton, competitors were swiftly dispensed with. It was Nakamura over Musikhin (2-0) and Swinton over Van Tol (2-0).

Nakamura is a team to watch. They came to the Knickerbocker Cup with a crew that hadn't sailed together before, and won every match except one, which was against Chris Van Tol, last year's Cup champion. Commodore Robbie Lager remarked that the Albatross Match Racing Team "won several grade 4 events, went on to a second place in a grade 3 event and now have won a grade 2 event. Hopefully this is the beginning of being launched to be first in a grade 1 event." That opportunity is just around the corner, as the Knickerbocker Cup is an official feeder to the prestigious Bermuda Gold Cup. In accepting his award, Nakamura said, "In the beginning of the regatta, we had a tough start and just tried to stay focused on the finals. We will do our best in Bermuda and will come back to the Knickerbocker Cup next year. Great regatta!"

Nakamura joins a long list of match racers who have come to the Knickerbocker Cup in past years and have gone on to make an impact on the match racing world. Some past winners whose names are engraved on the Cup include: Paul Cayard (USA), Russell Coutts (NZ), Roy Heiner (NED), Terry Hutchinson (USA), Terry McLaughlin (CAN), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ed Baird (USA), and Dave Perry (USA). Now it is time to add Takumi Nakamura to the Cup.

The Knickerbocker Cup has long been a regatta that has launched many a match racing career. It looks as if the Cup has just launched yet another team, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of young, extremely talented match racers.

A regatta of this size takes an inordinate amount of people to make it successful. This year was no different. First up are the sponsors who made the 2008 Knickerbocker Cup a reality. Many thanks to: PILOTyacht, Ravenna, Italy, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, Farrell Fritz, P.C., M&T Bank, and West Marine for providing race equipment. Another big thanks goes to Steve Colgate, founder of Offshore Sailing School, who loaned the Cup their boats for the third year in a row. "We are grateful to all the competitors from around the world for their participation and praise of the match racing characteristics of the Colgate 26." Rounding out the fleet were the privately owned Colgate 26s on loan during the event: David and Jennifer Birnbaum, Paula Davis and Bruce Joseph. Additional thanks to Marianne and Alan Seewald for the use of Sea King as the committee boat.

The Knickerbocker YC members went out of their way (again) to make the 2008 Knickerbocker Cup an event to remember. Housing at a regatta is always a challenge - as any yacht club up and down Long Island Sound knows. Knickerbocker YC members, year after year, open up their homes to teams from around the world and make them feel "at home" immediately. Just listening to the comments at the Awards Ceremony reminds us how important housing is, not only to the competitors and their hosts, but for our image as a country. Thanks go to the following for housing at this year's Cup: Vicki and Aaron Alpert, Beth and Greg Danilek, Paula and Jeff Davis, Bonnie Doran, Debbie and Jay Dubowsky, Jodi and Rick Evans, Dorothy and Manny Greene, Cindy Jordan, Judy and Howard Hirschmann, Lauren and Val Marinelli, Elisa and Brian Raskin, Liz Reyher, Helene and Norm Schefer, Tinette and Joel Sterling, Norman Tanner, and Liz Wolf.

Officials for this year's Cup: Steering Committee: Commodore Robert Lager, Paula Davis, P/C Joel Sterling, Tinette Sterling, P/C Ted Weisberg; Event Organizers: Commodore Robert Lager, R/C Dr. Jeanne Rosenthal; Race Committee: P/C Howard Hirschmann (Chair), P/C Norman Schefer, P/C Joel Sterling, P/C Maurice Mandel, Paula Davis, Robert Marcus, George Magiet, V/C MBYC Sue Mille (PRO), R/C Dr. Jeanne Rosenthal (Asst. PRO), Joe Lauricella, Burt Lowatsky; Umpires and Contestants: Paula Davis. On the Water Coordinator: Commodore Robert Lager, James Lyman; On Land Coordinators: Tinette Sterling, Lauren Wolf; Colgate Boat Recruitment: R/C Dr. Jeanne Rosenthal; Support Boat Recruitment: Commodore Robert Lager; Sponsorship Recruitment: Commodore Robert Lager, Paula Davis; Trophies: Manny Greene; Hospitality: Tinette Sterling; Housing: Rick Evans; Merchandise: R/C Dr. Jeanne Rosenthal; Breakfasts: George Asher and Arthur Seidman; Lunches: Tinette Sterling, Dorothy Greene, Lydia Rab; Breakfast Raft-Up: Elisa Raskin; Communications: Richard Farber; Publicity: Andrea Watson, Sailing Press, Inc.; Website: Rick Evans; Fundraising: P/C Norman Schefer, Commodore Robert Lager, Paula Davis, James Lyman; Journal: P/C Norman Schefer, Commodore Robert Lager, Paula Davis, James Lyman; Medical Officer: F/C Steven Feinsilver, MD; Photography: V/C Brian Raskin, Andrea Watson, Paula Davis; Journal Design: Marla Freeman, Smallkaps Associates, Inc.

And finally, thanks are due Manhasset Bay YC and Port Washington YC for their assistance throughout the regatta.

For more information and photos:

Takumi Nakamura JPN
Sergey Musikhin RUS
Keith Swinton AUS
Chris Van Tol USA
Evan Walker AUS
Andrew Arbuzov RUS
Blythe Walker BER
Francesco Bruni ITA
Phil Robertson NZ
Juan Ignacio Grimaldi ARG
Robbie Allam GBR
Liz Baylis USA Logo
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