The Irish team representing the Royal Cork Yacht Club at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex has finished eighth overall in the event where yacht club teams representing 16 nations from six different continents competed.
The 11-race series was held on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, familiar to sailing enthusiasts as the home of the America’s Cup from 1930-1983. The Irish team was helmed by Anthony O’Leary and assisted by tactician Nicholas O’Leary.
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The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex is returning to the shores of Newport, Rhode Island (USA) from the 10th to the 17th of September and will host 22 yacht club teams, representing 16 nations from six different continents in the ultimate sailing contest among amateur competitors proudly representing their homelands. Racing will be on NYYC Swan 42s on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay.
Representing Ireland will be Anthony O’Leary from the Royal Cork Yacht Club who will be helming Barleycorn.
Despite no previous experience with the Swan 42, Anthony O’Leary’s team got off to a blazing start at the 2009 Invitational Cup, scoring a third and two firsts in the opening three races. From there the team rode a bit of a roller coaster with three more top-five finishes, a 13th, and two 17ths. The end result was fifth, a bit disappointing given the quick start, but respectable, nonetheless. More importantly, it earned O’Leary and his team a return invitation.
“We will continue to sail (the Ker 39) Antix up to mid-season in handicap fleets, as our boat is similar in characteristics to the Swan 42,” says O’Leary of his preparations for the Invitational Cup. “Closer to September we will focus more on one-design sailing, which is really the ultimate challenge as shown in the Invitational Cup. Apart from our not finishing on the podium, there was not a single disappointing aspect of the 2009 regatta. The entire event was a great experience, superbly organized by a wonderful club.”
O’Leary is still assembling his crew, but it will surely include some family members. Son Peter O’Leary sailed in the 2008 Olympics in the Star class while Nicholas O’Leary, a three-time ISA All-Ireland Sailing Champion, served as the team’s tactician during the 2009 Invitational Cup.
By country, the roster of participating teams are:
Yacht Club Argentino (ARG)
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (AUS)
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (BER)
Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN)
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (HKG)
Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP)
Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN)
Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR)
Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER)
Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL)
Yacht Club Capri and Yacht Club Punta Ala (ITA)
Japan Sailing Federation (JPN)
Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (NOR)
Clube Naval de Cascais (POR)
Royal Cape Yacht Club (RSA)
Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, Mass.)
Annapolis Yacht Club (Annapolis, Md.)
Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, Calif.)
New York Yacht Club (Newport, R.I.)
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