New York wins the Hinman Masters >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
How does it feel to win a top-tier team racing regatta like the New York Yacht Club Invitational Team Racing Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy? According to Steve Kirkpatrick, who captained the New York Yacht Club team from August 19-21 for its first win in 8 years at the Hinman Masters, it’s a payback. But not in the traditional sense of the word.
“It’s a reward for all the regattas you don’t win,” says Kirkpatrick. “Even if you are a great sailor, you lose more than you win. So it’s nice to have those moments where you’re like, ‘Ah, we released it. It was awesome.”
The New York Yacht Club team took the title with a victory over the Southern Yacht Club in the playoff final. Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club was third, with Larchmont Yacht Club rounding out the top four. Eastport Yacht Club finished fifth with St. Francis in sixth and defending champion Corinthian Yacht Club in seventh.
The Hinman Masters Trophy requires skippers to be at least 45 and crew to be over 40, with three-on-three teams racing on Sonar keelboats in Newport, RI.
Although the New York Yacht Club team was the top-performing team in the round robin portion of the regatta and went undefeated in the elimination round, victory was far from easy. The round robin results confirm this. After 63 races, the gap between first and last was only 5 points. New York Yacht Club came out of the triple round robin with the best record, 12-6, while Corinthian and St. Francis each went 7-11.
“Each team could have won the regatta if they had had the right kind of breaks at the right time,” says Kirkpatrick. “There are plenty of good sailors in all the teams. We got lucky on several occasions when we were late.
“Conditions were such that sometimes being late to Mark 1 wasn’t fatal, as long as you were close, because you could just pound the guys in front of you on their lee legs – they’re in a hole and you bring up It changed the dynamic a lot, no race was ever over.
This was especially true in the final, which pitted the New York Yacht Club against a team from the Southern Yacht Club led by 2004 Olympic silver medalist John Lovell and included five sailors from the SYC team that won the Hinman Masters in 2018.
“In the last two races, we were behind at Mark 1, and we got into a position where they had a 1-2 on us,” says Kirkpatrick, describing a situation that almost always results in a win for the opposing team. .
“Our team just stayed on their second boat to slow them down and then we were the boat that broke free and came back into the fleet. Then we were able to slow the race down to mark 3 and it converged on the ‘step 4.’
In each race, the New York team pulled off their second chance, relying on teamwork and boat speed to turn near-certain defeat into victory.
“We spoke very little as a team [throughout the regatta], we just tried to stay calm, to keep the boats fast,” says Kirkpatrick. “If we had to slow down at any point, we had to make sure they slowed down again. If we’re going to do a lot of edges, we’re going to be slow.
“Our thing [in the finals] do we have to get [someone on the Southern Yacht Club team] slower than us, so our teammates can navigate the outside. Fortunately [New York Yacht Club teammates] BD and Zack, on both occasions when we were trying to slow the lead boat, they were able to work around the outside, under pressure, and pull off unsteady wins. It was not the ideal scenario. »
But in team races, a wire-to-wire 1-2-3 victory counts as much as a tenuous 1-4-5 victory patched inches from the finish line. And New York was able to claim its first Hinman Masters championship in nearly a decade after winning 16 races against 6 losses in three days of sailing.
Adding a victory on the water to the opportunity to reconnect with many old friends makes the weekend almost perfect.
“It’s like Old Home Week for the people you grew up sailing with,” says Kirkpatrick. “A lot of us are from Long Island Sound, a lot of us sailed through college.
“Part of the fun of coming here, and the Grandmasters next weekend, is that you see all these people that you see them every year at this event or you haven’t seen them in 30 years and that they come back to the racing team.For many of us, the result matters, but that doesn’t matter as much as keeping in touch with friends.
The New York Yacht Club helped usher in a new era of adult team racing with the establishment of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy in 2000. This race requires skippers to have at least 45 years old. of age and crew of more than 40 years. The Hinman was soon followed by the New York Yacht Club Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Morgan Cup, an all-ages event, in 2003 and, in 2010, the New York Yacht Grandmasters Team Race Club. Regatta, which requires skippers to be at least 60 years old and crew to be at least 50 years old.