New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup 1999
Nynashämn SwedenThe UK mounted a spirited defence of the New York CC Cup on Saturday 3rd July. This trophy is for International team racing and dates back to 1875. In the past it has been won for Britain by such luminaries as Uffa Fox and it is unique in at least two respects. All the team members for each challenge and defence are recorded on the trophy and it is won by the country winning the best of three races. Only first place counts in any race.
The series was contested on a windward/leeward course south of Nynashämn where the rocky coastline not only provided a spectacular natural grandstand for the spectators, but also a significant effect on the force four to five wind.
The defenders for the UK were Lester Noble, Mark Goodchild and John Ellis, against the US challengers of Erich Chase, Ted Van Dusen and Bill Beaver.
In Race 1 Beaver was first to the windward mark closely followed by Noble, who quickly established an overlap on the run. He then luffed Beaver off the course and when Beaver tried to gybe and cut behind Noble he capsized. By this time Van Dusen had caught up and Noble repeated the manoeuvre to take him out with identical results. On the second beat Noble capsized damaging his tiller and did not complete the race. Goodchild sailed calmly through the mayhem to score the vital first win for Britain.
Race two followed immediately and again the US led at the windward mark in the person of Chase. Goodchild was hard on his heels and he powered through to lead at the leeward mark. Chase capsized when tacking at the start of the next beat, and the entire fleet with the exception of Van Dusen sailed out on to the port side of the course. Van Dusen picked up a big shift to round first. Again he was caught downwind by Noble who let Goodchild through into the lead. On the final beat Beaver tacked off on starboard again and the UK team failed to cover him closely enough in the shifty conditions. Beaver found better wind and a lift to just beat Goodchild home.
With the score level and no lack of incident and drama so far the final race promised to be a real cliff hanger. Goodchild sailing very calmly in the testing conditions was first to the windward mark. Noble was second but Chase tried to sail over him as he tacked on the buoy. Noble responded by luffing him hard and letting Goodchild consolidate his lead. On the final beat Goodchild sailed out to the starboard side of the course. Beaver tacked to go to port but this time Noble was quick to cover him and to prevent any possibility of him picking up a big lift. On the way in to the finish on the layline Beaver was flattened by a gust so Goodchild took the gun to retain the trophy for the UK with Noble second and Ellis third, a result which rather belied the strength of the US challenge.
Editors notes .... .
Mark is now known as "God Child" in the USA and as for "Hannibal" Lester, l did hear him dubbed "Lester the Molestor"!