New York Yacht Club Invitational Update
September 16, 2011
The following synopsis of the New York Yacht Club Invitational currently taking place in Newport, Rhode Island, is provided by RegattaNews.com:
A lack of breeze and fog contributed to a brief postponement ashore yesterday morning to push back the start of the third day of racing at the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. By noon, however, the 22 competing yacht club teams had returned to now-familiar territory north of Newport’s Pell Bridge and, with 2 winners in the 2 races held today, continued the established pattern that has now seen 8 different teams win the 8 races sailed thus far in the series.
“Today was a different world for us,” said Johannes Polgar, helm for Norddeutscher Regatta Verein from Hamburg, Germany, which won the first race of the day. “We just got everything a lot more in control and we started actually looking out of the boat, watching the shifts, getting hold of the current. It paid off. The boats [Swan 42s] are really even and nice to sail. I think the boat is not the big issue. Certainly for me it’s the first time handling a crew of 9 guys and that is something different. You’ve got to get everyone working in the right place and at the right moment. I think we’re getting better and better. We are learning a lot and the learning curve is really steep.”
Polgar raced in the Tornado class at the 2008 Olympic Games with Florian Spalteholz, who in addition to being his tactician for the Invitational Cup, is the only member of the crew with whom Polgar has previously sailed. Asked to compare managing an Olympic campaign and sailing in the Invitational Cup, Polgar explained that the difference was less about the number of persons on the boat but more about the characters. “You start to understand each individual, how they work on the boat, how they work together, and I think we got better and better. Today on the way in we started singing a very special song, Pearl of Hamburg, and I think that’s a good sign. We had a good day, we are enjoying the facilities here, and we’ve had fantastic racing so far. The conditions so far were unbelievable, really unbelievable. I’ve almost never, even in Olympic sailing, seen such a good race committee.” Polgar explained that his team mainly consists of university students. “It’s a really young and ambitious team, and it would be fantastic if they had the opportunity to come back in the future.”
Although winning the day’s first race moved NRV up 5 spots in the overall standings, to 13th, a key mover for the day was the Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) team from Newport Beach, California, who moved into third overall with 61 points after finishes of 4-2 “We were getting off the starting line a lot better today, that was a big part of it” said Payson Infelise, NHYC tactician, explaining that NHYC had struggled with that. “Just trying to get the boat rumbling fast and getting a clean lane—that’s a big factor for that first beat—and we did a fairly good job of that today and hopefully we’ll do it again tomorrow and for the rest of the races. We knew going into this event that it was going to be tough competition. With America’s Cup sailors, Olympians and world champions, you knew the level of competition was going to be there. We are certainly happy to be in third right now, as podium was one of our goals. We feel like we’ve been sailing pretty well and we’re happy to be here learning, especially for our first time around. Putting time in on the boat is huge. There are a couple of teams that own their own boat, and the North American teams [Annapolis, Eastern and Royal Canadian Yacht Clubs] who have been here sailing this summer certainly have an advantage. But, at the same time, we’ve already seen a huge improvement. People are learning the boats and I think any advantage is almost gone and everyone is up to speed. Its all about getting off the line, getting that first shift, a clean lane and going fast.”
While Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) continues to lead the overall standings for the third consecutive day, their finishes of 8-6 in todays races, for a low score of 29, means their cushion has decreased from 13 to 5 points. New York Yacht Club also kept their place in the overall standings – second – with finishes of 4-2 for 34 points. Fourth overall is Newport Harbor with 61 points, followed by Annapolis Yacht Club with 63 and Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club with 70. The final race of the day was won by Clube Naval de Cascais, which, when added to their scoreline has them in 16th place overall. Complete scores are available online at www.invitationalcup.org
There are 3 races left in the planned 11-race series and racing resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 16, with the warning signal for the first race scheduled for 11:00. Competitors leave NYYC’s Harbour Court for the race course at approximately 0930 each morning. The winner of the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will be confirmed at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, September 17.
Armchair sailors can follow the racing via the event website – www.invitationalcup.org . The site includes information on the 22 competing yacht club teams, crew lists, photos and news. Follow along on Twitter, or “Like” the event on Facebook. Once racing begins, live race tracking via Kattack, blog posts and daily video will also become available on the event website.
Related Video: Third Day of Racing