This venerable silver milk jug is reckoned to be the second oldest active trophy in International Sailing after the Americas Cup. First competed for in 1886 it has been fought for hard over the years, perhaps most famously by Uffa Fox and Roger deQuincey, who first prized it out of US hands in 1933. The format is a winner take all best of three team match race, currently comprising of two teams of three boats, with only the race winner scoring points. It is currently held after the World championships at the same venue. The holders race against the nation that has the best three canoes at the Championship. This time the holders, Australia, were unable to field a team, so sportingly allowed the trophy to be competed for by the two top teams at the Worlds.
This report comes from US team member Willy Clark
"The New York Cup is coming back to the United States for the first time in 18 years.
Chris Maas - USA 246 "Angel of Attack"
David Clark - USA 250 "Smoke"
Willy Clark - USA 249 "Wietzelschut" (Father Steve Clark's boat)
Alistair Warren - GBR 30 "Dragonfly"
Chris Hampe - GBR 308 "Monkey"
Phil Robin - GBR 275 "Mustang Sally" (Phil had a few problems with [his own boat] so Hugh De Longh graciously leant him his Nethercott so he could compete)
The US team strategy was to try and make sure Chris Maas had a clean start, get him a lead, and just keep the rest of the fleet away from him while he sailed around the course. However things did not go according to plan at the start of race 1. I was the only American to get a clean start while Alistair was parked right on my hip and Chris Hampe was ahead and to leeward of me. Chris Hampe had managed to muck Chris Maas around at the start and David hadn't managed to get away clean either. Thankfully I got a nice header and was able to sail out from underneath of Alistair, I crossed Chris Hampe when he tacked, and when I finally decided to tack I found myself furthest to the left as the breeze shifted that way.
I rounded the weather mark in first but Alistair and Chris H were right on my heels while David and Chris Maas were 4, 5, and a little ways back. "Oh crap, it's all on me." I managed to hold off Alistair on the reaches while Chris M and David were able to close in a bit on Monkey. I rounded the leeward mark just ahead of Alistair and covered him up wind. Meanwhile Chris Hampe had a spot of bother on a tack allowing Chris Maas and David to get by him. So at the second windward mark I was still just in front of Alistair while Chris M and David were now sitting 3-4. I went left with Alistair on my tail, Chris went right, and David went down the middle.
I realized that pinning our hopes for this race on me holding off Alistair downwind after I hadn't been able to do that all week probably wasn't a good idea. So I soaked the boat way low, waited for him to come up to windward of me, then headed him up fully intending to take him all the way to Sweden with me. Alistair eventually spun around neatly and got away from me but by that point Chris M was on the port lay line and David had moved ahead as well. For some reason David gybed before getting to leeward of Alistair. I shouted at him to gybe again so he did, got below Alistair, and then headed him up towards the former Eastern Bloc allowing me to get past. A double slingshot - awesome team racing in canoes! By the time I got to the leeward mark in second Chris Maas was already on his way to the starboard lay line well ahead. He took the gun and we had race one. One more.
Going into race 2 it seemed to clear to me that we needed to do a better job of getting clean starts. Chris M and David each did this. I didn't. Chris Hampe got below me and called leeward. I tried to go up, stalled the rudder, and I drifted down and hit him. By the time I had finished my circles my chances of being a factor in the race were pretty much gone. I was reduced to hoping that Chris Maas or David could get around the course fastest. However, much to my dismay, at the windward mark it was Alistair in the lead. Meanwhile I was in the back battling Phil and having multiple boat handling issues. Alistair maintained momentum through a hole on the second reach and was still ahead at the leeward mark.
Battling "I have never sailed this boat" issues was really wearing me out at this point, so I was really hoping David or Chris would be able to catch Alistair and we wouldn't have to do a rubber match. Thankfully Alistair's seat got jammed in the water on a tack, Chris was on the right side of a few shifts, and managed to get the lead by the second windward mark. What followed was what Chris did all week long, getting ahead and staying ahead. He held Alistair off on the run and flew upwind to the finish line to take race 2 and that was it. Thanks to some excellent boat speed from Chris Maas and some excellent teamwork by team USA against a tenacious British side we finally got the New York Cup back. Awesome. What a great regatta.
Thank you Travemunde,
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