After two days of light and fluky conditions for this year’s Baldwin Cup Team Racing Invitational, the weather on final day really delivered, and so did the sailors from Oyster Bay, NY, as the Seawanhaka Club team claimed victory.
Wind and sunshine all day Sunday upped the pace of the sailing to match the growing competition among the 11 teams. The NHYC Race Committee even chose to reef the fleet’s sails for the day’s racing in brisk 15 to 20 knot winds.
**For an umpire’s view of the Baldwin Cup, click here.**
The second round-robin ended early in the afternoon with the NHYC team solidly in first, trailed by Larchmont in second, and Seawanhaka and Royal Thames tied for third.
To break the tie and determine the Final Four pairings, Seawanhaka and Royal Thames sailed a single race. Seawanhaka prevailed, but not untouched. Heading into the finish a Royal Thames boat had been weaving between starboard tackers. In the tight quarters, the Royal Thames boat on port failed to make way, and struck a Seawanhaka boat near the bow. Much to everyone’s relief, the boats sustained little to no damage from their sudden meeting. Royal Thames’ loss in the sail-off meant they would race NHYC in the semi-finals, and Seawanhaka would face Larchmont. The first to two wins in each pair would advance.
After a long day of hard sailing in incredible conditions the remaining teams still had to put in everything they had to secure their final positions. The remaining races were going to be high-stress. Not just because of the steep competition and long day, but many sailors had scheduled flights that departed soon. Some competitors were asking their teammates and rival teams, “What would you do? Give your berth to a different team, or miss your flight?”
In the first semi-final, there was a bit of momentary confusion on the dock when all ashore thought NHYC had defeated Royal Thames. Sadly for the home team, that was wrong.
In fact, NHYC, who had only lost two races in all of the round robin, lost both their semi-final races to Royal Thames. Off to the finals for the Brits.
Meanwhile in the other semi-final, Larchmont was off to a great start beating Seawanhaka in the first race, but the sailors from Oyster Bay came back to win the next two races, securing their place in the finals.
The very last races of the day would finally determine the rank of the final four teams. The Petite Finals brought no redemption for NHYC; they lost to Larchomont in both races. Putting Larchmont in 3rd and NHYC in 4th overall.
Dialed in from dozens of races over the three days, Seawanhaka sailed on to win all three Finals races against Royal Thames.
With that, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Cup – represented by Tim Fallon, Karen Fallon, Tim Wadlow, Robbie Deane, Andy Herlihy, Liz Herlihy, Joel Hanneman and Lyndsey Gibbons-Neff – won the Baldwin Cup on their first try.
As the Trophy celebrations didn’t start until 6:30 p.m., so sailors exchanged quick congratulations and then had to dart off to catch their flights so they wouldn’t be late for work on Monday.
Lots of regatta details, including photos, videos and GPS tracking recaps of each race can be found at www.baldwincup.com.