2013-09-19 / Nature

Canadians Win Cup, Defend Title


The crew of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster) The crew of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster) Following a fiercely contested week on the water, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) was confirmed as winner of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. In the process, the Toronto-based club successfully defended the title it won in 2011.

The third edition of the biennial competition, held from September 7-14, welcomed 20 international yacht club teams from five continents and 13 different countries to Newport.

As defending champion, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club began the week as the team to beat but faced a determined onslaught from 19 skilled teams over five days of competition. Helmed by Terry McLaughlin, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the Flying Dutchman, the RCYC won the 2011 event by 20 points ahead of the inaugural event winner and host, the New York Yacht Club.

This year, however, the RCYC began the competition poorly, not finishing higher than seventh in the first three races, including 14th place in the first race.

By day three, the RCYC was easing into the competition and claimed four straight bullets. A further bullet, followed by a third and a seventh on the penultimate day of racing, enabled the RCYC to move ahead of Larchmont Yacht Club for the first time in the week. It set up a beautifully poised final day: defender versus challenger. The Americans were faced with the challenge of overcoming a tough, but manageable six-point gap.

On the final day, Larchmont Yacht Club’s main adversary proved to be the weather and not the Canadian crew. In contrast to the 20 knots of breeze that heralded the first day of competition, the final day proved frustrating for both an expectant fleet and race committee.

After a patient wait for breeze, racing eventually got underway in about seven knots of wind but a rapidly dying breeze eventually forced the abandonment of racing. Consequently, the leaderboard remained unchanged and the RCYC was confirmed as champion.

For winning, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club was rewarded with the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Trophy and a Rolex timepiece at the final prize-giving held at the New York Yacht Club.

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