Friday, April 05, 2013

The Harbor Report: Grab a front seat for Baldwin Cup

By Len Bose
April 4, 2013 | 9:19 a.m.

Starting today and through this weekend is the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's sixth annual Baldwin Cup Team Race sailed in Harbor 20s. This event was conceived by NHYC Staff Commodore Bill Palmer and has quickly turned into one of our harbor's most prestigious sailing events.
Attending the regatta this year are the Royal Thames Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Seattle Yacht Club, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Southern Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, Balboa Yacht Club, Yale Corinthian Yacht Club and two teams from Newport Harbor Yacht Club. With each team bringing four teams of two people, the docks will have 96 sailors from around the world, with the Royal Thames team coming in from London.

It's been very busy at NHYC for well over a month now getting ready for this event. The club has gathered over 100 volunteers working on boat preparation, media and race management. At my last count, there are 22 Harbor 20s in front of NHYC at this time. Each boat has been gone through by the club's "pit crew" in preparation for the race. Mike Nash, the chairman of the media and marketing subcommittee, said, "We give the boats a full dressing-up." This includes a complete detail from bow to stern, buff and wax to gel coat repair, running rigging, mast tuning and, in some cases, replacement of the standing rigging, which are the wires that hold the mast in place. Most of us Harbor 20 owners get in line and hope the club asks if they can use our boat. In fact, the club places a photo of the owner in their boat so that the competitors understand that they are borrowing boats.
"The club is in a very unique location, being in the middle of the harbor, and has the ability to offer a type of stadium observation of the regatta from its docks," Mike explained to me. "There will be over 150 races with announcers providing play by play on the front dock, we will also be posting interviews of the competitors on our Facebook page. You will be able to watch the event from home or work on the club's HD cameras, along with following a GPS tracking of the races provided by Kattack via the club's website at Although, "the best place to watch from will be the main dock with other sailors around you," Mike explained with great enthusiasm.

While watching from the main dock, keep in mind that team racing is a challenging form of sailboat racing. In each match, two teams of four boats are pitted against each other on an "N" shaped course. Oddly, the team with the least amount of points wins unless there is a tie, in which case the team that crosses the finish line first loses. The resulting tactics in this format are complex. It requires instantaneous decisions and superb boat-handling. Teams will have the same color jib, and all the excitement is normally around the turning marks, which are quite often within shouting distance from the main dock.
The big change this year, on the race course, is that the mooring balls will be removed. Over the last five years, there has always been an East Coast team that has won the regatta, and out of those five years, the New York Yacht Club has won three times. The winning team gets its yacht club name placed on the Baldwin Cup. When I asked Mike what second place receives for their efforts, he replied, "Ah, Len, there is no second."
I will be riding my bicycle down to the club and watching each day. The competition, the spectators, the warm Southern California weather, the 25-cent beer make you feel like opening day at a baseball game. Time to go raid my change jar and head down to the harbor to watch some world-class sailing and cheer for a West Coast team. For a list of all the sailors and updates from the event, go to my blog at
Sea ya.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

Team Rosters

Balboa YCAlex Steele
Balboa YCCarson Reynolds
Balboa YCChuck Simmons
Balboa YCGreg Newman
Balboa YCKatie McDowell
Balboa YCKelly Buchan
Balboa YCKelsey Gram
Balboa YCPeter Fallon
Larchmont YCClay Bischoff
Larchmont YCDanny Pletsch
Larchmont YCDavid Dowd
Larchmont YCEwell C Potts
Larchmont YCJason Carroll
Larchmont YCJohn Baxter
Larchmont YCMegan Magill
Larchmont YCMolly Baxter
New York YCBrian Doyle
New York YCChrissy Coolidge
New York YCDerby Anderson
New York YCErik Storck
New York YCGarrett Woodworth
New York YCJoy MacDougall
New York YCKaity Storck
New York YCScott Hogan
NHYC LightningAdam Deermount
NHYC LightningBill Menninger
NHYC LightningCasey Hogan
NHYC LightningGreg Helias
NHYC LightningJeff Gordon
NHYC LightningJustin Law
NHYC LightningPeter Stemler
NHYC LightningTommy Leach
NHYC ThunderBrian Bissell
NHYC ThunderCaleb Silsby
NHYC ThunderGale Pinckney
NHYC ThunderJohn Whitney
NHYC ThunderJon Pinckney
NHYC ThunderMichael "Mighty" Menninger
NHYC ThunderPerry Emsiek
NHYC ThunderReid Vitarelli
Royal Thames YCGuy Brearey
Royal Thames YCIan Dobson
Royal Thames YCJames Bouyce
Royal Thames YCJohn Dallimore
Royal Thames YCMurray Chapples
Royal Thames YCThomas Brennan
Royal Thames YCTom Heywood
Royal Thames YCWilf Vavill
San Diego YCBrad Rodi
San Diego YCBrian Haines
San Diego YCChuck Sinks
San Diego YCJulie Servais
San Diego YCMikee Anderson
San Diego YCRex Cameron
San Diego YCTyler Sinks
San Diego YCWhit Batchelor
Seattle YCAnthony Boscolo
Seattle YCDalton Bergan
Seattle YCJen Morgan Glass
Seattle YCLindsay Bergan
Seattle YCMallory Fontenot
Seattle YCMike Karas
Seattle YCW. Andrew Loe III
Seattle YC
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCAl Constants
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCAndy Herlihy
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCJoel Hanneman
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCKyle Shattuck
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCLiz Herlihy
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCRobbie Dean
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCTim Fallon
Seawanhaka Corinthian YCTim Wadlow
Southern YCDwight Leblanc
Southern YCGerard Sonnier
Southern YCJackson Benvenutti
Southern YCJennifer Watkins
Southern YCJohn Alden Meade
Southern YCJohn Loe
Southern YCSarah Fanberg
Southern YCZak Fanberg
St. Francis YCChris Raab
St. Francis YCChris Trezzo
St. Francis YCCraig Healy
St. Francis YCGeoff McDonald
St. Francis YCHarrison Turner
St. Francis YCMario Yovkov
St. Francis YCRuss Silvestri
St. Francis YCScott Sellers
Yale Corinthian YCAvery Patton
Yale Corinthian YCEd Stewart
Yale Corinthian YCJaime Ewing
Yale Corinthian YCJoe Morris
Yale Corinthian YCMolly Carapiet
Yale Corinthian YCNicole Breault
Yale Corinthian YCPhil Stemler
Yale Corinthian YCThomas Barrows

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