NYYC Invitational Cup (IC) U.S. Qualifying Series
Practice Day 1
by Jay Kehoe
Greetings from Newport!
Today was “D” day for the team and we got to see who we will be competing against for the qualifying series. Well, we will definitely get better at sailing during the qualifying series than most teams. I look at the rosters and see that the top 5 teams in the regatta are in our group. Just so you all know, I count AYC as one of the top 5 teams! With Eastern YC, St Francis, Larchmont, Annapolis, and San Diego, it will be tough but great prep for the finals on Friday and Saturday.
I must have brought the big breeze from San Francisco because every day it has been pretty windy! Today we had 15-22 with a lot of teams checking to see if they had a keel by flipping over in the J-22’s and looking around. Fortunately, we had no major drama and continued to go really fast in every line up. It was really encouraging to see all the hard work the team put in during the summer pay off in the practice runs! We were generally faster, and a bit higher than most teams! This is a good thing for team AYC.
After the practice to check our speed this afternoon, we settled in the apartment over the Sailing Center which will be our home for the next few days. Let me say this: it is no Butler Building! Most teams have opted for the housing here so it is a really great opportunity to get to know your competitors. We, as a team, have bonded with the St. Francis Yacht Club's team as they have been our training partners. Russ and Pete sailed Finns together and they are fierce competitors on the water but have embraced the mantra of "first is third and third is first," meaning that if you finish third you go into the finals and if you win you get to go as well. We want to win, and have not let up during a single line up!
The opening ceremony was fantastic with all the food you can eat and what a view, overlooking the Newport Harbor and bridge. Commodore Elwell echoed that these are the best Yacht Clubs in the US and looking around you can feel the pride that all these sailors carry for their Clubs. It is amazing!
Well, an early night tonight and we are ready to sail hard for the next few days. I will have results tomorrow and we will know where we stand within our group.