The New York Yacht Club has finalized the list of yacht clubs it plans to invite to the second running of its biennial Invitational Cup, scheduled for September 10-17, 2011. In all, the club will include 19 teams from 14 nations in the event. In addition to the NYYC team, there will be three other U.S. teams. These three teams will be selected based on their performance at a qualifying regatta scheduled to take place in September.
“The essence of the regatta is to bring together Corinthian yacht club teams in a competition that not only is tough and demanding but also levels the playing field,” said David K. Elwell Jr., NYYC’s commodore. "The response to and the outcome of the 2009 event were greater than we could ever have expected.”
The five-day regatta, which is sponsored by Rolex, is sailed in identical, chartered NYYC Swan 42s. Sails are supplied and rigs are equally tuned, making the regatta a test of pure sailing skill.
The top finishers from the inaugural regatta in 2009 were all received automatic entry into the 2011 event. These include the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the Japan Sailing Federation, Finland’s Nylndska Jaktklubben, the Royal Cork Yacht Club of Ireland, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
In addition, Real Club Nautico Barcelona of Spain, and England’s Royal Yacht Squadron have been invited to return. Clubs that will be receiving invitations for the first time include Portugal’s Clube Naval de Cascais, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Brazil’s Clube do Rio de Janeiro, South Africa’s Royal Cape Yacht Club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, France’s Socit Nautique de Saint Tropez, the Yacht Club Argentino and Italy’s Yacht Club Punta Ala.
“The event promises to showcase the finest amateur sailors in the world,” said event chair John Mendez. “The opportunity to race at such a high level of competition has encouraged many clubs to seek an invitation, for where else can they take their best club racers and compete against national and international champions, even America’s Cup legends, on an equal basis? For many, the chance to race in Newport alone is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and to socialize in such an electric atmosphere after a day of hard racing is simply icing added to the cake.”
The 2011 Invitational Cup will take place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, and the winning yacht club's name will be engraved on the NYYC Invitational Cup that is permanently displayed at NYYC’s 44th Street Clubhouse in Manhattan.
In addition to Rolex, Sperry Top-Sider is also a sponsor of the 2011 event.
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