New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

Local fans, preparation move FYC sailing team from dark horse to prominence –

At a Florida Yacht Club reception given for the team that competed in the U.S. Qualifying Series (USQS) for the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Invitational Cup last month, team skipper Greg Griffin said it was the strength of the local supporters and volunteers who got the team into the USQS — and they didn’t stop there.

FYC Sailing Team at the awards ceremony, including Will Newton, Andy Culver, Dave De Camp, Greg Griffin

“[Ortega resident] Tim Monahan was instrumental in making it happen; he had the vision; he completed the application in less than a week,” said Griffin. “I was amazed at the upwelling of support from the very beginning. Almost 100 showed up at our first fundraiser in February to support us financially as well as logistically.”
The FYC Sailing Team, composed of Griffin, David De Camp, Andy Culver and Will Newton, also had the largest support group five-fold at the event, which was held Sep. 4-8 at the NYYC’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, RI. Almost 50 FYC members and friends made the trip to cheer on the FYC team, astounding the other 23 teams with the huge show of support. Back home, “the kids were screaming” as they watched the replays, Griffin shared.
According to Newton, after the races that put the team into first place going into the Championship Series, the NYYC Commodore told him, “Your club must be so proud!”
The challenge began in early February when the FYC was among 24 clubs invited to participate in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup U.S. Qualifying Series (USQS). The Cup, held biennially, is the penultimate amateur team sailing contest.
The selection process was based on member representation, the club’s involvement in and outreach to the sport of sailing, as well as U.S. Sailing regional designations. The top three U.S. yacht-club teams from the USQS will join some of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world to compete for the 2013 NYYC Invitational Cup presented by Rolex next Sep. 7-14.
After winning the Blue Fleet in the Qualifying Series, the team made it to the Championship Fleet and was in 6th place before falling one place on the final day. Still, the team was only four places lower than the top three positions won for the NYYC Invitational Cup.
Culver noted “Coming from a dark horse position into one of prominence has everything to do with Greg’s leadership and preparation and planning. We probably far exceeded other yacht clubs’ expectations.” And, for a first-time participation in this prestigious event, the team’s showing “put us [FYC] on the radar” according to Newton.
Griffin indicated that their goals to have fun, raise awareness of sailing within the club, and raise awareness of FYC on the national scene were indeed well met.
“The USQS gave the club a stage for that exposure,” Griffin said. “We wanted to make the Championship Fleet and we did that. We wanted to finish in the top half and we did that.”
The Florida Yacht Club hopes to leverage this success by encouraging younger sailors and to get local support for the upcoming J/24 North American Championship, which will be hosted by FYC Nov. 14-18. With 40 clubs competing, there’s a need for housing, spectator boats, race day volunteers, etc. If you’re interested, contact event chairman
Tim Monahan at 904-703-7188 or
[email protected]

 

By Kate Hallock
Residnet Community News

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