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Team AYC at Baldwin Cup
This past weekend, a team from Annapolis Yacht Club attended The Baldwin Cup, hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club in California, for the second time in two years.

Racing News

Team AYC at Baldwin Cup

Cole Allsopp, Team Captain

      


This past weekend, a team from Annapolis Yacht Club attended The Baldwin Cup hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club in California. We have been invited to attend for the second time in two years, and are grateful to Newport Harbor Yacht Club for the opportunity.

The Baldwin Cup is a four versus four Team Race held in Harbor 20s immediately in front of their newly constructed clubhouse. The club goes so far as to drop the mooring buoys off their anchors and clear all of the moored boats out of the Harbor to host this event. Any club member will tell you this event is the club's pride and joy, much like our Eggnog.

Representing AYC, we sent Cole Allsopp sailing with Past Commodore Debbie Gosselin, John Howell sailing with Vice Commodore Jonathan Bartlett, Patrick Floyd sailing with Sarah Russell, and Charlie Lomax sailing with Ginny Mininger. Margaret Podlich and Rich Borne were kind enough to come out for a practice ahead of time to help us get tuned up.

In the past we have used this event as a case study in how to run a team race regatta. Of all the events our Interclub racing team attends, it is by far the most dynamic and well run. Their Commodore, Scott Mason, was the PRO, and every single flag officer was not only in attendance, but out on the water setting marks and running races. Over 100 volunteers participated in hosting this event, including club-provided housing with members for any teams that needed it. With the event being sailed immediately in front of the club, the spectating is spectacular. Competitors on the left side of the first beat use the floating docks in front of the club as an obstruction and ask the boats to weather of them for room to tack, often at the last second, which is exciting for the spectators standing right there. Several hundred club members and guests came out to watch the finals on Saturday and every floor of their club facing the water was packed.

As we look to host our own Interclub team race regatta, it was important for us to include our own flag officers in the experience. Debbie and Jonathan were hesitant to take spots on the team given their own busy schedules and consideration for other members of AYC's Interclub racing team. After much begging and pleading from me and other members of our Interclub racing committee, we were fortunate they relented and attended with us. We were also fortunate to have Jeff Borland in attendance as the chief umpire, he has also kindly volunteered to be the chief umpire for our 3-2-1 event in September.

As you can imagine, the weather in Southern California was perfect. Warm, sunny, and sail-able breeze all three days. The format was a single round robin, followed up by a silver and gold round robin, a top six knockout, and then a final four. The competition was nothing short of staggering, with multiple all Americans, team race world champions, and collegiate national champions on almost every team. We finished the event in eighth place, which is a result we were quite happy with given the competition. This has been our best showing so far. Last year we finished in 10th place, and the previous time we had attended we were not able to win a single race. We also came away with a renewed sense of how fun the 4 versus 4 format is, mostly because it seems to be significantly less stable than 3 vs 3, with most races being decided in the final inches of the finish line.

More information, results and photos can be found at baldwincup.com.

The Interclub racing circuit is growing steadily, we have more and more opportunity to attend events all around the country in club-owned boats. Our own membership interest in AYC's Interclub racing program has been growing as well. If you would like to join us for a practice to see what it’s all about, please contact Linda Ambrose or check the website for the practice schedule. 

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