45 Races Completed in Stepford-Like Weather and Light Air, Punctuated by Bocce Ball, Large Rubber Ducks and Two Dollar Chardonnays
by Chris Goddard with additional reporting by Elizabeth De Witt
Continuing the cheeky laughable traditions that make this respected regatta the envy of sailors around the globe, the Baldwin Cup Team Cup Race Presented by JPMorgan Chase did not disappoint on the first of three days of racing in front of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. After 45 races in fog, mist and winds ranging from zero to six knots, 96 competitors survived incredibly tough conditions with games of bocce ball, and for the spectators, two dollar chardonnays and 25 cent beers. Defending champion Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Team Thunder is leading, followed by Newport Harbor Yacht Club Team Lighting in second, followed by Larchmont Yacht Club in third. Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, there are 21 races remaining in the first Round Robin after day one. In total, there will be between 130 to 140 races.
“We’re fun and we’re sassy, but look what we accomplished today,” said event chairman and Newport Harbor Yacht Club Staff Commodore Bill Crispin. “Despite the weather delay, we entertained ourselves, while world championship sailors tested their mettle with glassy conditions, giving a new meaning to ‘having a good time’, still getting to race on the bay cleared of moorings.”
The Baldwin Cup consistently draws champion sailors, making the competition all the more intense. 2015 ISAF team racing World Championship teammates Justin Law and Michael Menninger are back again sailing for NHYC Team Thunder, while teaming up against former 2015 World Championship teammate Tyler Sinks, who is sailing for SDYC. Also on the water is past world champion, Andy Cornah (Team GBR: 2011, runner up 2015) sailing for Itchenor SC. Cornah competed in this regatta in the past for the Royal Thames YC.
“This is not the tropics,” a Larchmont sailor was over heard to say, as he took off his tank top and put on his fleece. “I didn’t sign up for this. Even the Duffy sightings today were sane; we didn’t see any crazy tourists.”
“That is a bone crushing hit,” noted Phil Stemler of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, as he was a calling mark trap in the last race of the day between Newport Team Thunder and Team Lighting. Continuing his colorful commentary, Stemler noted, “This is the darkest deepest NHYC Mai Tai I have seen in a long time.”
We’ll have video recap of the Day 1 up very soon, you can check all the photos HERE on our flickr page, and otherwise slap on your foulies can come on down, the breeze is up!