For top team racers, Newport in August is a mandatory pilgrimage

Story by New York Yacht Club. Photos: Stuart Wemple (2), Stuart Streuli

There’s an element of equity in annually changing the location of a sport’s premiere event. Would the Super Bowl be as popular if it were held in the same stadium each year? But there’s also something to be said for the tradition and familiarity of a consistent venue. Would Wimbledon lose some of its charm if it were played somewhere other than the hallowed confines of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club?

For the moment, team racing, which features two teams of two to four boats each battling over a short racecourse, favors the latter solution. The most respected events are held annually in the same location: the Wilson Trophy on England’s West Kirby Marine Lake, the Baldwin Cup in California’s Newport Harbor and the trio of team races hosted out of the New York Yacht Club Harbor Court in Newport, RI, each August: the Morgan Cup (August 12 to 14), the Hinman Trophy (August 19 to 21) and the Grandmasters Team Race (August 26 to 28). While this arrangement provides the respective host clubs with a home-court advantage in each event, for the moment competitor satisfaction far outweighs any worry regarding a slight tilt to the playing field.

“I have indelible memories of winning the 2005 Team Racing Worlds hosted by the New York Yacht Club,” says Ery Largay of Corinthian Yacht Club, in Marblehead, Mass. “The New York Yacht Club boats are set up and maintained perfectly thanks to the bosun, Shaun Kilbride, and Racing Coordinator Beth Duggan is wonderful to work with. The wind and weather of Newport can’t be beat. It’s a special place because it keeps team racing going for us all at very high levels across multiple generations.”

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