Monday, June 10, 2013

St Francis YC Dominates Cornerstone Cup

J/80 Cornerstone Cup winners- St Francis YC (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The Cornerstone Cup is a new, prestigious team-race challenge sailed in matched, one-design J/80 class sailboats on the famous waters known as "the Solent". It's a four-way international team racing event, two-on-two style, between the New York Yacht Club, St Francis Yacht, the Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames Yacht Club.

Starting out strong the first day with a 3-0 record, the St Francis YC team never looked back, nearly sweeping the entire event from beginning to end. Here is the report from one of the St Francis YC team members, Nicole Breault:

Sailing classic English wet weather at Cowes, on Solent, England"I am loving the tradition and plucky English sailing culture of the Isle of Wight. Our team came off today with three wins and no losses, after a long delay and a single flight of light air, rainy races. Shawn Bennett is driving our boat with me, Rolf Kaiser, and Ralph Silverman as crew and our other boat is skippered by Craig Healy, with Harrison Turner, Tom Ducharme, and John Collins as crew. Mark Ivey is coaching us, and just in time for racing today, our commodore Jim Cascino and his lady Lilly arrived to cheer us on. Standing in second is New York YC followed by the Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames YC.

We are sailing in the Bay of Oscar, just east of the harbor. There has been strong current making for tricky lay-lines and pass-backs, especially in the light air. Tomorrow slightly stronger winds are forecasted and the RC is planning to sail us an extra hour into the evening. Racing is tough and with point values increasing each flight, there is still much regatta competition to come."

St Francis YC team racing sailing team enjoying sunny day at Cowes in front of Royal Yacht SquadronNicole continues here report for the second day of racing, "Today we were greeted by a 'brilliant' English morning. Brisk, blue sky with fluffy white clouds and birds chirping happily. We sailed out in a light easterly and then sat for several hours basking in the sun. Luckily, the westerly filled just as the ebb was establishing and we managed one flight of racing. StFYC finished 2-1 on the day, a long debrief afterwards on the call that cost us the race. The Royal Thames came on strong today with 2-1 and handed StFYC our first loss to win the day! Tomorrow wins are 1.5 points and the regatta is still up in the air. Forecast is for better wind, however, we fear the English rains will return with it. We are off to an evening of drinks on the Royal Yacht Squadron platform, then a carving station dinner in the pavilion out back. Having a great time, for sure!"

In the end, despite best efforts by the local sailors on the Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames teams to engage the American's in "extended evening entertainment" at local pubs, the St Francis YC team went on to win in "classic Solent spring conditions", rain, wind and cool weather.  For more Cornerstone Cup sailing information