The 2013 Baldwin Cup Team Race at Newport Harbor Yacht Club brought many firsts. Baldwin Cup rookies, both sailors and whole teams alike. 12 teams competing. 142 races run. Our own inflatable zoo. 2.00 dollar chardonnays joining the 25¢ beers. A fully cleared mooring field—including the balls. And of course a Larchmont Yacht Club win.
When asked about who would be the biggest competition in the pre-regatta interviews, many sailors noted the deep field this year, or singled our the home team or last year’s champs Seawanhaka, or even the 25¢ beers or famous club mai tais. Larchmont sailor Molly Baxter lamented that next to no one had highlighted her team as contenders for the win. It seems her team from Westchester County had the last laugh. Larchmont sailed solidly, placing 2nd after the rounds robin with 17 wins and only 5 loses. Also they, Clay Bischoff, Danny Pletsch, David Dowd, Ewell C Potts, Jason Carroll, John Baxter, Megan Magill and Molly Baxter, were the only team who managed to defeat NHYC Team Thunder during the entire regatta. Even in victory though, team Larchmont was gracious:
Down the table, competition was tight throughout, with previous winners Seawanhaka Corinthian and Southern respectively placing 3rd and 4th coming out of rounds robin. NHYC Lightning and newcomers Yale Corinthian and San Diego all tied for 5th place, just one race back from Southern. With the finals always bringing surprises at Baldwin Cup, who knows how things would have turned out had the 132 races of the rounds robin gone even slightly differently. Looks like those sailors who had their eye on the entire field were wise. (To continue playing the ‘what-if’ game look to the full results.)
Off the water, the club welcomed record attendance and fantastic weather. NHYC’s Food & Beverage Director Patrick Le Bras reports that the crowd consumed 21 kegs of beer and 120 bottle of chardonnay. Chef Polly said that he fed more people on Saturday alone than the entire Easter weekend. Sounds like good sailing demands good food and that no one went thirsty during Baldwin Cup.
Once again, thanks to all the competitors for sailing, the army of volunteers for their time and devotion, the staff at NHYC who keep things running, and to all of you who came and supported Baldwin Cup this year—whether in person or watching online. What started as a slightly crazy idea on a conference call, the Baldwin Cup Team Race at Newport Harbor Yacht Club has developed into the premier team racing event in the country. Not too shabby for a ‘sleepy neighborhood yacht club’.
If you haven’t done so since the regatta, make sure to check out our Photo Gallery, which is now fully updated with all the shots from our Baldwin Cup photographers. Also watch your newsstands for Baldwin Cup coverage in the upcoming print edition of Sailing World. With that, I’ll hand it off to Amy Halvorsen for some last looks at Baldwin Cup 2013: