The New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup 1998
Instituted in 1884, the New York Canoe Club International Cup must be the oldest for international competition in the world for small sailing craft. Its recent history has been that it was taken from the USA by a British challenge, sailed San Francisco Bay, in 1993, and successfully defended at the worlds in Australia in 1996. This year a challenge was made by Sweden for teams of three. The somewhat quirky rules provide for the best of three races, over a course of eight to ten miles. Only the winner scores for his country.
The event was held on the afternoon of July 31. Johan Elfstrom, Ola Barthelson and Anders Peterson represented Sweden. Lester Noble, Mark Goodchild and Chris Haworth represented Great Britain. Barthelson, having suffered equipment failure in the final Europa Cup race, was disadvantaged in that he was obliged to hoist his sails on a borrowed Canoe.
The first race started in a light and shifty wind. Noble got clean away and was not seriously challenged.
By the second race the wind steadied and picked up to Force 3-4. Noble was pressed hard by Peterson but sailed a faultless course to win, thus ensuring that the Cup remains in Britain.
This report first appeared in Yachts and Yachting Magazine