David K. Elwell Jr., commodore of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), announced today that the club has invited 26 pre-eminent American yacht clubs to compete for places in the second New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, which will be sailed in Newport, R.I., September 10-17, 2011. Commodore Elwell explained that a number of yacht clubs in the United States had expressed interest in competing in the inaugural event, held in September of 2009. “This invitation for a U.S. Qualifying Series is in response to that interest,” he said. The Qualifying Series will be held in Newport on September 8-11, 2010.
The initial list of invited American yacht clubs are American in Rye, N.Y.; Annapolis; Bayview in Detroit and Little Traverse in Harbor Springs, Mich.; Boston and Eastern in Marblehead, Mass.; Carolina in Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Fishing Bay in Deltaville, Va; Fort Worth Boat Club; Houston; Ida Lewis in Newport, R.I.; Indian Harbor, Pequot and Stamford in Connecticut; Larchmont, Rochester and Seawanhaka Corinthian, also in New York; Long Beach, Newport Harbor and San Diego in Southern California; St. Francis and San Francisco in Northern California; Southern in New Orleans, La.; St. Petersburg in Florida; and Seattle.
The top three U.S. teams from this series will receive invitations to the NYYC Invitational Cup, where they will join the top six teams from 2009: 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, to be invited in the spring of 2010.
Last summer, the NYYC hosted the first New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, where 19 amateur yacht club teams from 14 nations competed in chartered NYYC Swan 42s at Harbour Court, the NYYC’s on-the-water clubhouse in Newport, R.I. Competitors had to be members of the yacht club and nationals of the country represented. The 2009 event saw teams from Japan, Germany, Finland, Spain, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland (two), Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand, England (three), Italy (two), France and the United States (two), including the host and eventual winner, the NYYC.
The competition proved to be tough and demanding, allowing yacht club teams to display the competitive skills of their sailors. Sponsors of the 2009 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup were Rolex, Sperry Top-Sider and Nautor’s Swan.
The racers were impressed, as was the yachting press. Said Leonardo Ferragamo, head of the team from Finland’s Nyländska Jaktklubben, “This event is a lighthouse in the world of sailing.” Sailing World magazine put it this way: “The New York Yacht Club pulled out all the stops for its first Invitational Cup, creating what is sure to become a high-profile Corinthian Classic.”
Next summer’s U.S. Qualifying Series will feature fleet racing in Sonars and J/22s in historic Newport, R.I. – on the same waters that the NYYC conducted the America’s Cup from 1958-1983. This will be the only opportunity for domestic yacht clubs to earn a place in the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.
“We wanted to respond to requests for places in our Invitational Cup, an international competition for Corinthian sailors,” said Commodore Elwell. “Creating this new event will give more American clubs the opportunity to share the stage with visitors from overseas. I am pleased we are expanding competitive opportunities for the event.”
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