Coming inside the clubhouse for a breather after a tight race, NHYC Commodore Jeff Gordon watches the races from the dining room while analyzing some of the more heated moments from his last race.
We were able to grab him for just a second to get his perspective on Baldwin Cup and his involvement in making the regatta grow. As the Commodore states in his interview team racing is mostly popular among younger sailors but that doesn’t stop him from jumping in the race and applying his extensive sailing experiences to quickly pick up on the sport. As a competitor in the regatta it’s clear to many here that the Commodore’s involvement is definitely out of a passion for team racing and not just attending the event as Commodore.
As team racing is more predominant on the east coast, one might ask what inspired our Southern Californian yacht club to host this team race. The Commodore explains that some of his inspiration in designing Baldwin Cup came from the East Coast team racing scene as well as Southern Yacht Club. When the facilities of Southern Yacht Club was destroyed in Katrina, in an act of friendship Newport Harbor donated a trophy from our collection for Southern to start rebuilding their trophy room. Southern Yacht Club has rapidly re-built their trophy collection, and their strong team racing talent was an inspiration for Newport Harbor. The idea of hosting a team race event was planted, and since Southern Yacht Club has been a very active supporter of the Baldwin Cup as it’s grown. This year not only do we have SYC sailing, but its members have even expanded to other teams sailing in Baldwin Cup 2011. It’s thanks to these close ties that the Baldwin Cup has been able to grow and bring great team racing to the west coast.