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Royal Thames Yacht Club Cumberland Cup – Day 1
by Richard Bundy
11-13 May 2012
The Cumberland Cup, the international team racing contest hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London and supported by Audemars Piguet, got underway today in breeze conditions on Queen Mary Reservoir.
With yesterday's practice session having been blown off by gusts of 30 knots, the eight competing teams were keen to get sailing as soon as possible on Friday.
As the only major international keelboat event regularly hosted in the UK's capital, the Cup attracts global competition. This year, teams are from Royal Northern & Clyde YC (Scotland), Eastern YC (MA, USA), Southern YC (New Orleans), Island Royals (UK), Seawanhaka Corinthian YC (New York), New York Yacht Club (USA), Royal Perth YC (Australia) and Royal Thames YC (UK).
Principal Race Officer, Gillian Smith, took the decision to run a round-robin format of racing to give all teams the maximum amount of time on the water. With races lasting around ten minutes, and with speedy crew changes, the momentum was maintained throughout the day.
The short, box-shaped course enabled teams to put their team-racing knowledge to good use producing exciting starts, tight mark roundings, neck and neck finishes and even a few man overboard situations.
Stu Saffer, team captain of the New York YC team, commented: “The race against Royal Perth YC was particularly exciting. The vigorous pre-start, resulting in one boat being OCS and a man overboard, meant the NYYC got lucky! We are looking forward to meeting a fully-manned RPYC boat next time around!”
With racers of international experience, the standard of team racing was understandably high as Mark Lees, helm of one of the RTYC boats, said, “We've had our first three races, which have all been very close as the standard of team-racing is exceptionally high. We're frustrated because we've only taken one win, but remain positive as we know where we've gone wrong, and we're looking forward to getting some wins under our belt.”
By the end of racing on Day One19 races, out of a round-robin of 28 races, had been completed with the following wins:
New York Yacht Club: 4 wins, 0 losses
Seawanhaka Corinithian YC: 3 wins, 1 loss
Royal Northern & Clyde YC: 3 wins, 2 losses
Eastern Yacht Club: 3 wins, 3 losses
Southern YC: 2 wins, 2 losses
Island Royals: 2 wins, 2 losses
Royal Thames YC: 2 wins, 3 losses
Royal Perth YC: 0 wins, 6 losses
Racing continues Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May.
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