Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster
April 4, 2017
The flag officers are pleased to announce that based on our club’s outstanding performance at the 2016 Resolute Cup, Shelter Island Yacht Club has received and accepted an invitation to participate in perhaps the world’s most prestigious corinthian sailing event, the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup (September 9-16). Commodore Mills recently received word from Commodore Lotz of NYYC that SIYC has earned a place alongside many of the world’s most venerable yacht clubs on the starting line in Newport this fall.
First held in 2009, the Invitational Cup was created to revive a tradition of international competition between yacht clubs that guided early editions of the America’s Cup and similar events. The regatta will be held in the Club Swan 42 class, and is open to World Sailing Group 1 (amateur) sailors. 17 teams from 11 countries and five continents competed in the previous edition of the event in 2015. Among the teams were Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Japan Sailing Federation, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Real Club Náutico de Barcelona and the host team from the New York Yacht Club.
Over the coming days, a SIYC Racing Team Selection Committee will be formed to guide our campaign. Our club’s intention is not only to participate in the Invitational Cup, but to compete for the championship title. We are fortunate to have a deep bench of racing talent available to sail on behalf of SIYC, and the challenging tasks of selecting a team and gathering resources to support them will begin immediately.
Our club would not have this special opportunity if not for a few key individuals. Our Resolute Cup (2016 qualifier event) racing team of Jay Mills, Aubrey Mayer, Christian Langendal, Andrew Rowsom and Connor Needham, guided by Sailing Director Jeff Bresnahan and coached by Addison Caproni performed spectacularly against a deep field of 27 other clubs last September. To get our team to Newport, a steadfast group of generous donors stepped up and provided Team SIYC with the means to excel. Commodore Mills and Chris Constant have provided strategic vision and organizational acumen over two Invitational Cup qualifier series campaigns since 2014. Finally, the club would like the thank Brendan Brownyard, owner of the Club Swan 42 Barleycorn, for making his boat available for the coming Invitational Cup campaign.
Below you will find more information regarding how our club’s campaign will proceed in the coming weeks.
Sailor selection for the SIYC Racing Team, competing for the 2017 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup, will be conducted by a Selection Committee appointed by the flag officers of SIYC, in consultation with the Sailing Director. Prospective crew members for the Invitational Cup racing team will submit an application form to the Selection Committee no later than Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Send completed forms to: Jeff Bresnahan, SIYC Sailing Director (RC@SIYC.com)
The Selection Committee will be comprised of six experienced sailors. Three members of the committee will be members of SIYC, and will recuse themselves from consideration as racing crew members for the 2017 Invitational Cup. Other committee members will include the Team Captain, Sailing Director and a paid professional sailing consultant.
In order to field a competitive team for the Invitational Cup, the SIYC Racing Team intends to participate in a number of warm up events, which may include some of the regattas listed below:
- American YC Spring Series #1, April 29-30, Rye, NY
- American YC Spring Series #2, May 6-7, Rye, NY
- NYYC 163rd Annual Regatta, June 9-11, Newport, RI
- Swan 42 U.S. Nationals, July 13-16, Newport, RI
- Training days (dates TBD)
Main Event: Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup, September 9-16, Newport, RI
Spectating in Newport
The club highly encourages all members to mark their calendars for the Invitational Cup, and appear in Newport either on land or afloat to cheer on our team. With nearly two dozen club-branded Swan 42’s competing in one of the world’s iconic sailing venues, the regatta will truly be a sight to see. Furthermore, our racing team will sincerely appreciate a healthy SIYC spectator fleet present at the event.
Depending on weather conditions, racing will be held on Rhode Island Sound or in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. For those unable to come, live video coverage with expert commentary will be available online. In prior years, Gary Jobson has also produced a recap documentary broadcast on ESPN.
More About the Invitational Cup
The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial event hosted by the NYYC in Newport, Rhode Island in September at its Harbour Court Clubhouse. The Invitational Cup is a regatta for yacht clubs from around the world and their sailors. It has become an important Corinthian (amateur) sailing competition. The racing is in NYYC Swan 42s – the eighth one-design class created by the New York Yacht Club since 1900.
The host team won the inaugural running of the event in 2009, with NYYC Commodore Phil Lotz leading the team to victory. In 2011 and 2013 it was the Royal Canadian Yacht Club that won the event led by Olympic silver medalists (1984, Flying Dutchman) Terry McLaughlin. In 2015, the team from the Royal Thames Yacht Club topped the fleet.