Southern Yacht Club Soundly Wins the 2017 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

The 5th edition of the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup was held this past week in Newport, RI.  Fourteen teams representing eight countries came for this spectacular event of One Design racing in Swan 42s with equally superb on-shore social activities.  This is the last year the event will be sailed in the Swan 42s so it was a celebration of the past ten years of success with the Class, whether in One Design, IRC, ORC, and/or cruising events. 

From the first day of racing it became quite clear there would be two teams to watch:  Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, LA) with SOUTHERN, owned by Stephen Murray and helmed by Marcus Eagan, and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's BLAZER owned by Chris Culver and helmed by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis.  After three races the first day of racing Southern had a mere 5 points and Royal Sydney 7 points.  The gold spinnaker was awarded to Southern and they retained it for the remainder of the regatta.

The NYYC  Race Committee did a terrrific job working around almost daily postponements due to lack of wind and sometimes fog, but were able to complete three races a day for the first three days of competition, two races the fourth day, and one race the final day following the always moving Parade of Nations around Newport Harbor.  The goal of 12 races was reached with two days of racing held outside and three days in the Bay. 

Third and fourth positions in the regatta proved to be more difficult to predict with Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, MA) and Bill Lynn helming Ken Colburn's APPARITION making his third apparance at the IC and looking strong.  But there were also other teams looking like they could make the podium with Yacht Club Argentino (ARG) and Paul Zabetakis's IMPETUOUS co-helmed by Juan Pablo Alvarez Gallesio and Martin Ramos, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's (RHK) QUINTESSENCE owned by Roger Widmann and co-helmed by Laurence Mead and Mark Thornburrow, Royal Thames Yacht's Club's (GBR) MUTINY owned by Ted Madara and Gibb Kane and helmed by John Greenland, as well as John Hele's DARING representing the New York Yacht Club.  The NYYC made an amazing comeback demonstrating local sailing knowledge once the boats moved into the Bay to come from 11th place after two days of racing to 4th. 

After Day 3's races it looked like the duel would be down to Southern and Royal Sydney and the battle would be for third.  Final results placed Southern in 1st, Royal Sydney 2nd, Eastern 3rd, NYYC 4th, Royal Thames 5th, and Royal Hong Kong 6th.  Upon accepting the 1st Place awards, Marcus Eagan (holding the Rolex Watch box) spoke that New Orleans was in recovery from the devastation of Hurriane Katrina in August 2005 and every member of his crew was responsible for re-builiding sailing in his home state of Louisiana.



PEZ DE ABRIL is the 2017 36 Copa del Rey MAPFRE Swan 42 One Design Champion

The best racing of the regatta occurred on his final day of competition at the 2017 Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Palma.   It was a sparking day with a fresh breeze indicating the Embat was back and two races were completed.

Two new winners emerged on this final day.  Race 9 was won by an exuberant Jerome Stubler (FRA) and RAVING SWAN with a total of five family members aboard to share in the victory.  Lorenzo Mondo's (ITA) FAR STAR was 2nd and Andrea Rossi's (ITA) MELA 3rd. 

In Race 10, the final race, the winner was FAR STAR.  RED ELECTRICA ESPANA, with Alberto Viejo Puga (ESP) at the helm was 2nd, and Jose Maria Meseguer's (ESP) PEZ DE ABRIL 3rd.

But the day really belonged to Jose Maria Meseguer (ESP) and the crew of PEZ DE ABRIL winning the regatta.  Having placed second at this event a year ago, he was beyond words.  "It is lovely to win in such difficult conditions as this week with the weather and such technical races," he said.  "This is the future of the Class and we need to push for it to continue."   

For Pedro Vaquer (ESP) and NADIR who would finish 2nd in the regatta, he was very happy with the result.  This was his third Copa del Rey MAPFRE regatta he has competed in.  RED ELECTRICA ESPANA would finish one point behind NADIR in 3rd.

King Felipe VI of Spain presented the awards to the competitors tonight.   It was a special moment when all the winners were called back to the stage and Meseguer brought Carlos Sabatel, his Captain, with him.

One boat who had a particularly good learning experience at this regatta was the team from Yacht Club Argentino headed by Fernando Chain.  This was the team's first One Design event and first time for any of the team in a Swan 42.   They usually sail ORC in Argentina, but he prefers One Design saying, "There is no mystery of formulas and figuring out where you are in the fleet.  One can be 1st or 2nd and then lose on a rating in ORC."  Chain is enthusiastic and will most likely return for The Nations Trophy.

Between 8-10 boats are expected to return for The Nations Trophy, October 10-14 in Palma.  Boats to watch will be FAR STAR who had a technical issue on Day 1 and had to use his discard for the first race, and Dominique Luna Tudela's MAGICAL who finished 6th in BMW ORC 1.






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