NEWPORT, RI, August 17, 2006 — The home team from the New York Yacht Club defended the Morgan Trophy Keelboat Team Racing Championship against what participants described as the most talented keelboat team racing fleet ever assembled. This year’s event, held on August 12-13 in Newport, RI using the NYYC’s brand new fleet of Sonars, included almost all of the prior winners of the Morgan Trophy, nine former dinghy team racing world champions (including 5 of the members of the reigning world champions, team WHishbone) and too many former intercollegiate champions, college sailors of the year, all-Americans and Olympic aspirants to count.
Participating teams included Southern Yacht Club (coming off their victory at this spring’s Jackson Cup), Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (led by America’s Cup coach and sailing author Dave Perry and Yale University sailing coach Zach Leonard), perennial contender Larchmont Yacht Club, team WHIshbone (including current team racing world champion Ery Wadlow and her husband, Olympian Tim Wadlow) and last year’s runners-up Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.
This year’s event, raced three-on-three in Sonars with four people in each boat (most of the boats included co-ed teams) and using spinnakers, consisted of three complete round-robins of racing in very shifty and challenging 5-10 knot winds, but despite the challenging conditions the Race Committee (run by Bill Wagoner and his team from the NYYC) did a fantastic job keeping fair races running throughout the weekend.
The NYYC was able to jump out to an early lead with a 4-1 record in each of the first two round robins, and despite losing their last three races of the event, they emerged victorious (with a 10-5 record) over 2nd place Seawanhaka (9-6) and 3rd place WHishbone (8-7). In fact, just one win separated each place from the next at this event, which demonstrated the high level of parity existing at the top levels of keelboat team racing in the US today.
NYYC helmsman Rob Richards attributed their win to strong starts, lots of luck and masterful joke-telling by (some) members of the NYYC team (the Morgan Trophy features a tradition of joke-telling at the regatta dinner on Saturday night) resulting in the other teams laughing too hard to concentrate on Sunday morning.
The members of the NYYC Team included:
Joe Bardenhier – Captain
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