Team line up
Team line up
Photo copyright of Rolex
Photo copyright of Rolex
Photo copyright of Rolex
Photo copyright of Rolex

RVYC Places 12th Overall at the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup!

"The New York Yacht Club’s Rolex Invitational Cup is simply one of the best events in Corinthian sailing anywhere in the world, rivaling top match racing events in places such as Bermuda and New Zealand.

While at Harbour Court (NYYC’s hallowed racing facility in Newport, RI) the RVYC team experienced not only the excitement of hyper-competitive racing but also an unprecedented level of hospitality. In addition to the sailing theme park that was Harbour Court, the city of Newport itself was an incredible lesson in sailing history, with every bar sporting images of the 12 consecutive America’s Cups hosted there. This also made for some very entertaining motors in and out from the racecourses, as we watched racing giants such as the J-Class Hanuman going through practice maneuvers with their 25-person crew. 

The sailboats were state-of-the-art racing machines, all twenty owned by the New York Yacht Club and specifically commissioned for this event (thus lending the name IC37s). Every effort was made in the design to produce a high-performance sport boat that remained safe for new crews to get around the course after relatively little time on the boat. However, as we were cautioned by professional Richard Clarke, while these boats are easy to sail at 80%, they are very difficult to sail at 100%, making for some tight racing.

This meant a racecourse where the first and last boats were separated by mere minutes, with minuscule differences in set-up determining much of the outcome. 

Those watching the race trackers at home noticed this in mark roundings, where twenty hulls would converge into a indistinguishable pack before being sorted out based on the smallest of differences. 

Never having stepped on the boat prior to practice, getting our crew competitive for race day was a huge learning curve, only made possible by the constructive mindset of the team and the unified goal of improvement over ego.

In the end, each member had an incredibly important job, with no detail too small to be improved. The bow team, complete with bowman Arthur Gooch, second Annaka Hoelk, pit woman Carly Johnston and muscle Ben Scott worked on fixing mistakes before they happened and pulled off some tricky manoeuvres to get the team out of tactical pinches.

Ben was also primary jib trimmer upwind, joined by Leigh Andrew who took on the enormous A-symmetric kite downwind. Tam Matthews and Alexa Edgar were main trim and running backstays respectively, and worked hard to coordinate their actions with constant communication. In the back of the boat we had skipper Nigel Cochrane, master of the start, joined by our phenomenal tactician Hunter Lowden, who masterminded all the information being fed by the rest of the crew into concise and decisive tactical calls. Our coach, Ben Mumford, was invaluable in getting our crew work down in the first days of training and remained enthusiastic through the ups and downs of racing. 

A sincere thank you to all the members of RVYC for supporting the race team in this event."

Submitted by Annaka Hoelk

RVYC's NYYC Invitational Cup Team:

  • Leigh Andrew
  • Nigel Cochrane
  • Alexandra Edgar
  • Arthur Gooch
  • Annaka Hoelk
  • Carly Johnston
  • Hunter Lowden
  • Tam Matthews
  • Ben Scott

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