Winning its final four races in the Hinman Masters Team Race put the crew from Noroton Yacht Club (Darien, Connecticut) in a strong position for the overall title, but it didn’t quite seal the deal. With Noroton done for the day and resting on 14 wins from 21 races, the outcome of the regatta hung on a race featuring the squad representing the host New York Yacht Club and the defending champion Southern Yacht Club from New Orleans. The Southern team had led the regatta almost from the first race and would clinch the championship with one more win. But the New York Yacht Club team, after a slow start, had found its rhythm toward the second half of the regatta.
The New York Yacht
Club Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters
Trophy is one of the most coveted trophies in masters team racing. Skippers for
each team must be at least 45 years of age while each crew must be 40 or older.
The regatta is sailed out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport,
Rhode Island, using the Club’s fleet of identical Sonar sailboats.
The New York team couldn’t win the regatta in that deciding race, but it could secure third and prevent Southern from repeating as the champion. That was incentive enough for the New York team to record a solid win, leaving Southern and Noroton tied on points, and the tie breaker, based on who beat whom during that final round robin, falling the way of the Connecticut team. However, there was no celebrating on the water for the Noroton team.
“We had no idea [of the final outcome] until we got to the dock,” said Noroton team captain Michael Rudnick. “Actually we were just sailing every race, only racing one race at a time. You think about what you got for the race in front of you and just do your best and you really don’t think about anything beyond that.”
The Noroton team got off to a strong start in the regatta, winning 6 of 8 races on Friday, August 16. But the team, which was competing with the same crew for the fifth consecutive time in this event, came off the rails a bit on Day 2, winning just 4 of 8 races in lighter, shiftier breeze.
“We had a good first day, a terrible second day and a good day today,” said Rudnick. “The breeze comes up a little bit [Sunday, August 18] and you feel better. We just have good boat speed. It’s the fifth year that this entire team has done this. So we have 3 wins and 2 seconds [in this regatta], but we didn’t practice much this year because the wind was terrible back home. So it’s good we have been doing this for a long time.”
Representing Noroton Yacht Club were Karl Zeigler (skipper), Janet Grapengeter, Bill Crane, Christopher Daley, Scott MacLeod (skipper), Michael Rudnick (Team Captain), Basil Lyden, Peggy Hersham, Tom Kinney (skipper), Howard Seymour, Britt Hall and Kevin Sheehan.
1. Noroton Yacht Club (Darien, Conn.) 10-6 Round Robin 1 & 2, 4-1 Gold Round Robin, 14 points; 2. Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans) 11-5, 3-2, 14 points; 3. New York (N.Y.) Yacht Club Leonard, 9-7, 4-1, 13 points; 4. Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) 9-7, 3-2, 12 points; 5. 6. Eastport Yacht Club (Annapolis, Md.) 8-8, 1-4, 9 points; 6. St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) 9-7, 0-5, 9 points; 7. Texas Corinthian Yacht Club (Kemah, Texas) 6-10, 4-0 Silver Round Robin, 9 points; 8. New York (N.Y.) Yacht Club Singsen 6-10, 2-2, 8 points; 9. Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club 4-12, 0-4, 4 points
New York Yacht Club
Stuart Streuli, Director of Communications