Newport, RI — After a four-year hiatus, amateur sailors representing two dozen of the top racing yacht clubs in the United States will return to Newport for the sixth edition of the Resolute Cup, a Corinthian championship for US yacht clubs.
The 2022 Resolute Cup, hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbor Court September 12-17, is also the only guaranteed path for a US yacht club hoping to secure a spot for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup 2023 to secure first international regatta for Corinthian sailors.
“We were really disappointed to lose the 2020 event to COVID,” said Jack Cummiskey, the event’s chairman. “But the 20+ yacht clubs that signed up for 2020 and immediately committed to this edition was a powerful sign of nationwide support for this regatta. The event is something very special, both for the participants and for the host club.”
The Resolute Cup was first held in 2010 as a US qualifying series for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. The biannual regatta, which is sailed out of New York Yacht Club Harbor Court, has since developed an identity of its own as yacht clubs from across the United States send their best amateur sailors to Newport, RI to compete for national bragging rights In addition to a coveted place in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the first international sailing regatta in Corinth. The 2022 Resolute Cup, taking place September 12-17, will feature the New York Yacht Club’s 23-foot Sonar fleet and an RS21 fleet from regatta sponsor RS Sailing. Icarus Sports will be covering the final two days of the regatta live, which is also sponsored by Hammetts Hotel, Helly Hansen and Safe Harbor Marinas.
There is no better indication of the appreciation with which clubs celebrate this event than the quality of the sailors who line up for the competition. While all are certified amateur sailors – as determined by World Sailing, the sport’s international governing body – there is a strong gathering of sailing talent including regional and national champions, college All-Americans and former Olympic sailors.
More like that
“Our club has a growing talent pool, I was honored when the team fighting for the Resolute Cup asked me to join,” says Shelter Island Yacht Club skipper Amanda Clark (left), a two-time Olympic sailor in the women’s 470 class. “My husband and I now run a water filtration and water testing business, so I have less time for sailing or training. I had to wait until I knew what my summer and fall would be like before I could commit.”
The Shelter Island Yacht Club might look like the quintessential quaint, family-oriented club from the outside, but beneath the weathered clapboard facade is some serious competitive fire.
“Our team has solid sailing experience in sonars as our club uses some of them for match racing and team racing,” says Clark. “Although we have loaned the two RS21s to the club, we are trying to maximize our practice time. So far we have found the boat to be sporty and fun to sail. We worked on the downwind mode choice and the teamwork around the course.”
As with four of the five previous editions of the regatta, the 2022 Resolute Cup will field two fleets of boats, the New York Yacht Club’s fleet of 23-foot sonars with traditionally rigged spinnakers and a displacement hull, and a fleet of 21-foot RS21 ( right) which feature a planing hull and an asymmetric spinnaker flown by a retractable bowsprit. The 24 teams will be split into two fleets for two qualifying days, with each team competing in both boats. The top six boats from each fleet will transition to the Gold fleet, which will sail exclusively in the RS21s for the final two days of the regatta, while the Silver fleet will compete in the Sonars.
Although the boats are roughly the same size, they require different skill sets, which will reward teams of versatile sailors.
“Switching between the Sonar and the RS21 can be challenging as their handling characteristics are very different, as are downwind tactics and strategies with a power boat versus a spinnaker pole,” says Peter Vessella of the St Francis Yacht Club team. “The heavy sonar with a larger keel accelerates slowly but carries momentum, while the RS21, with smaller, raised wings, accelerates faster but carries no momentum. Launching techniques must be tailored to each boat. The teams that feel comfortable in both boats and can switch mentally will probably be at the top in the final standings.”
Vessella (left) is an experienced One Design competitor with decades of experience in boats such as the Star, Laser, Etchells and VX One. This is his second participation in the Resolute Cup and he is looking forward to the challenge.
“Participating in the prestigious Resolute Cup is an opportunity to compete and test your skills with other amateur sailors from around the country,” he says. “The organization by the New York Yacht Club ensures that it is fair and well run.
“It is an honor and a privilege to sail under our burgee and to represent the St Francis Yacht Club at this prestigious event. My team will do our best to make our members proud.”
Resolute Cup Teams 2022*
American Yacht Club, Rye, NY; Austin (Texas) Yacht Club; Carolina Yacht Club, Charleston, SC; Chicago Yacht Club; Corinthian Yacht Club, Marblehead, Massachusetts; Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead, Massachusetts; Fort Worth (Texas) Boat Club; Houston Yacht Club, La Porte, Texas; Lakewood Yacht Club, Seabrook, Texas; Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club; Muskegon (Michigan) Yacht Club; New York Yacht Club; Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Newport Beach, California; Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, Connecticut; Pensacola (Fla.) Yacht Club; San Diego Yacht Club; Seattle Yacht Club; Shelter Island Yacht Club, Shelter Island Heights, NY; Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, La.; Stamford (Conn.) Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, California; Storm Trysail Club, Larchmont, NY; The San Francisco Yacht Club, Belvedere, California.
*One team to be announced
Photos: Paul Todd / OutsideImages.com, courtesy of Amanda Clark, courtesy of RS Sailing, courtesy of Peter Vessella