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O'Leary's Royal Cork Crew Move up to Third at New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

16th September 2021
Royal Cork Yacht Club shares equal points with second overall at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Credit: Daniel Forster/Rolex

Royal Cork Yacht Club shares equal points with second overall at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup after the second day of racing.

The impressive display so far by the Anthony O'Leary skippered entry keeps the Cork Harbour crew on course to defend its bronze medal performance of 2019.

The Crosshaven sailors are counting a scoreline of  3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6 to tie on 30 points with Royal Thames in second and be nine points off the overall lead currently held by America's Southern Yacht Club.

Ireland's second entry into the event, a team from Howth Yacht Club, is lying 17th with a best score so far in the series of 11th taken in Wednesday afternoon's race six. 

Day two was just the sort of moment that the founders of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup envisioned more than a decade years ago when they created the event. Two identical boats crewed by amateur sailors blasting downwind in the late afternoon sun each with their eye on first place in the race. Eastern Yacht Club had had the lead around the top mark, but The San Francisco Yacht Club crew, always at home in some breeze, was chewing into the advantage and looking for any opening to take over the lead. It would come down to the final jibe before a long port-tack run to the finish.

“We both didn’t have great jibes,” says Sean Bennett, the skipper of the San Francisco crew. “But we had a little better jibe that they did and we were able to fill and get going. Both of us were still in the late-main jibe mode, that flipped them over harder than us so we were able to get just enough ahead on them to get over the top of them and get by.”

Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story, a drop in the windspeed or a slight shift to the left would've forced both boats to jibe again and allowed Eastern skipper Bill Lynn to repay the favor. But the breeze held and The San Francisco Yacht Club took its first win of the regatta, capping off a marked improvement over Day 1 and putting the team within range of the podium with six races remaining. Coming in third in that race was Southern Yacht Club, which had the best day on the water and vaulted into the lead with 21 points. Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club are tied for second, 9 points back.

The Howth Yacht Club crew was 11th in race sixThe NYYC Cup Howth Yacht Club crew was 11th in race six Photo: Daniel Forster

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by County Wicklow's Mark Mills. 

The San Francisco Yacht Club was one of the teams that stepped in to fill the slots that opened when a handful of foreign teams were unable to travel due to COVID restrictions. Among the many challenges, was finding the time to practice together, ideally in an IC37. San Francisco's team is loaded with talent, but Bennett says they're still very much in learning mode in the IC37.

"We’re getting more comfortable with the boat," said Bennett. "It’s the first time we’ve raced it. Yesterday, in the bump, we struggled more trying to understand how to make the boat go fast.

"Today [was better] with the flatter water, a little more breeze on, which helps San Francisco people anyway. But we've generally been on a steeper learning curve in the light spots, and we’re getting better understanding how to make big adjustments when the wind drops off."

With a second, 11th and first today, the SFYC team is now seventh overall. Despite missing out on the win in the final race, Eastern Yacht Club had a very strong day and is tied for fourth, two points out of second.

But the unquestioned boat of the day was Southern Yacht Club, with a fourth, first and third.

Ireland has two entries in this year's New York Invitational Cup Ireland has two entries in this year's New York Invitational Cup Photo: Daniel Forster

"Basically it was our teamwork," said Lovell, a four-time Olympian who won a silver medal in 2004. "Marcus [Eagan] did an incredible job with tactics. Rick [Merriman] was playing the main. Andrew [Eagan] was trimming the jib, and the team was really clicking today. I think mainly we just didn’t make any big mistakes. We got off the line with clean starts, didn’t miss any shifts and had great boathandling."

This is Lovell's third Invitational Cup. He called tactics when Southern won in 2017 and finished fifth in 2019. He's especially pleased to be on the helm this time around.

"It’s been great, really enjoying it," he said. "It’s actually a little less stressful to be driving than doing tactics in a way.

"I tried to look around a few times [today], and I got told I’m the driver, I just need to drive fast. That’s what I’ve been concentrating on, just driving the boat as fast as I can drive it. Everyone’s got their job and everyone does their job well, then the team does well."

Yacht Club Argentino wasn't able to move up in the overall standings, but the event's lone Southern Hemisphere team still found reason for optimism as it closed the first half of the regatta with a seventh.

"The last race today was the windiest one, we could sail as fast as we wanted to," said skipper Emilio Miguel. "Honestly, compared to the rest of the fleet, we weren’t slow. Even yesterday, I think we were fast. We made a lot of unforced errors. Yesterday, for example, in the second race, we could've been first or second to the first mark. We ended up third, and then we were penalized and it was a disaster, it all went down from there."

In today's first race, they passed seven boats on the final run, and then put it together for a top-10 in the third race.

"The last race was our best result yet, a seventh," he said, "so we’re pumped for tomorrow."

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, Day 2 Provisional Results

(Place, Club Name, Boat Number, Country, Race results; Regatta Total)

1. Southern Yacht Club, Boat 3, USA, 1, 10, 2, 4, 1, 3; 21
2. Royal Thames Yacht Club, Boat 10, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 8, 8, 9; 30
3. Royal Cork Yacht Club, Boat 13, IRL, 3, 3, 11, 1, 6, 6; 30
4. New York Yacht Club, Boat 19, USA, 4, 1, 7, 3, 5, 12; 32
5. Eastern Yacht Club, Boat 16, USA, 12*, 6, 4, 5, 3, 2; 32
6. San Diego Yacht Club. Boat 17, USA, 12, 4, 5, 6, 12, 5; 44
7. The San Francisco Yacht Club, Boat 2, USA, 17, 7, 9, 2, 11, 1; 47
8. Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Boat 5, CAN, 13, 9, 16, 9, 2, 4; 53
9. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Boat 14, ITA, 7*, 12, 3, 16, 7, 8; 53
10. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Boat 15, CAN, 7, 5, 6, 7, 19, 17; 61
11. American Yacht Club, Boat 8, USA, 9*, 11, 8, 13*, 13, 16; 70
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Boat 6, SWE, 10, 8, 18, 14, 9, 13; 72
13. Noroton Yacht Club, Boat 7, USA, 15, 14, 10, 10, 14, 10; 73
14. Nylandska Jaktklubben, Boat 12, FIN, 6*, 18, 13, 15, 10, 12; 74
15. Yacht Club Argentino, Boat 9, ARG, 14, 13, 17, 11, 15, 7; 77
16. Yacht Club Italiano, Boat 18, ITA, 10*, 17, 12, 17, 16, 14; 86
17. Howth Yacht Club, Boat 4, IRL, 16, 16, 14, 13, 17, 11; 87
18. Itchenor Sailing Club, Boat 11, GBR, 19, 15, 15, 18, 4, 18; 89
19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Boat 20, BER, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19; 112

*Race score includes 1-point penalty for early extension of sprit

Published in Royal Cork YC, Howth YC
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Royal Cork Yacht Club

Royal Cork Yacht Club lays claim to the title of the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. 

It is currently located in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Ireland and is Cork Harbour’s largest yacht club and the biggest sailing club on the south coast of Ireland.

The club has an international reputation for the staging of sailing events most notable the biennial world famous Cork Week Regatta.

In 2020 RCYC celebrated its tricentenary under its Admiral Colin Morehead.

Royal Cork Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the World’s leading yacht clubs, and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. It is the organiser of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. It has hosted many National, European and World Championships. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, continental and national sailors among its membership.

The Royal Cork Yacht club is in Crosshaven, Co Cork, a village on lower Cork Harbour some 20km south-east of Cork city centre and on the Owenabue river that flows into Cork Harbour.

The club was founded as The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720, in recognition of the growing popularity of private sailing following the Restoration of King Charles II. The monarch had been known to sail a yacht on the Thames for pleasure, and his interest is said to have inspired Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin — who attended his court in the 1660s and whose grandson, William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, founded the club with five friends.Originally based on Haulbowline Island in inner Cork Harbour, the club moved to nearby Cobh (then Cove) in 1806, and took on its current name in 1831. In 1966 the club merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and moved to its current premises in Crosshaven.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club today encompasses a wide variety of sailing activities, from young kids in their Optimist dinghies sailing right through the winter months to the not-so-young kids racing National 18s and 1720s during the remaining nine months. There is also enthusiastic sailing in Toppers, Lasers, RS Fevas and other dinghies. The larger keelboats race on various courses set in and around the Cork Harbour area for club competitions. They also take part in events such as the Round Ireland Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race. In many far off waters, right across the globe, overseas club members proudly sail under the Royal Cork burger. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail our magnificent south and west coasts. Others head north for the Scottish islands and Scandinavia. Some go south to France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The more adventurous have crossed the Atlantic, explored little known places in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while others have circumnavigated the globe.

As of November 2020, the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is Colin Morehead, with Kieran O’Connell as Vice-Admiral. The club has three Rear-Admirals: Annamarie Fegan for Dinghies, Daragh Connolly for Keelboats and Mark Rider for Cruising.

As of November 2020, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has approximately 1,800 members.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s burgee is a red pennant with the heraldic badge of Ireland (a stylised harp topped with a crown) at its centre. The club’s ensign has a navy blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and the heraldic badge centred on its right half.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. The club also hosts many National, European and World Championships, as well as its biennial Cork Week regatta — widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has an active junior section with sailing in Optimists, Toppers and other dinghies.

Charles Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club regularly runs junior sailing courses covering basic skills, certified by Irish Sailing.

 

The Royal Cork hosts both keelboats and dinghies, with the 1720 Sportsboat — the club’s own design — and National 18 among its most popular. Optimists and Toppers are sailed by juniors, and the club regularly sees action in Lasers, RS Fevas, 29ers and other dinghy classes.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has a small fleet of 1720 Sportsboats available for ordinary members to charter.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House office can provide phone, fax, email, internet and mail holding facilities for a small charge. Club merchandise and postcards may be purchased. Showers and toilet facilities are available 24 hours a day, free of charge. Parking is plentiful and free of charge. Diesel and petrol are available on site. Marina berths are generally available for a fee payable in advance; arrangements must be made before arrival.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House has all of the usual facilities, including bars and restaurant, which are open during normal licensing hours. The restaurant provides a full range of meals, and sandwiches, snacks etc, are available on request.

Normal working hours during the sailing season at the Royal Cork Yacht Club are 9am to 9pm daily. For enquiries contact the RCYC office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club caters for all types of events rom weddings, anniversaries, christenings and birthday celebrations to corporate meetings, breakfast meetings, luncheons, private dinners and more. For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

New members are invited to apply for membership of the Royal Cork Yacht Club by completing the Nomination Form (available from www.royalcork.com/membership) and returning it to The Secretary, Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven Co Cork. Nominations are first approved by the Executive Committee at its next meeting, and following a period on display for the members, and are reviewed again at the following meeting at which any objections are considered.

No; while ordinary members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are usually boat owners, there is no requirement to own a boat when submitting an application for membership.

The annual feel for ordinary members (aged 30+) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is €645. Family membership (two full members and all children aged 29 and under) is €975, while individuals youth (ages 19-29) and cadet (18 and under) memberships are €205. Other rates are available for seniors, associates and more. All fees quoted are as of the 2020 annual subscription rates.

Memberships of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are renewed annually, usually within 60 days of the club’s Annual General Meeting.
For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

©Afloat 2020

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