New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup 2017
Pwllheli, Wales, 23rd August 2017.
The New York Cup Challenge has been sailed in various formats over the decades, but the format for some years has been a competition between two teams, each racing three boats, with only the winning boat in each race scoring, so the first team to reach two race victories wins.
The challengers, Great Britain, were Robin Wood, Gareth Caldwell and Alistair Warren, and the defenders, USA, Chris Maas, Todd Twigg and Willy Clark.
There was a decent breeze running against the tide, so more than enough in the way of waves to make things very interesting. Race 1 was sailed in 11-15 knots.
Chris Maas took an early lead in Race 1, but was overtaken by Gareth Caldwell, also in a Maas boat. Robin Wood and Todd Twigg were well back with capsizes, and in the end Todd was RET with tiller extension problems. Gareth was ahead by the first reach, and sailed a very well controlled race to take first blood for the Brits. Alistair Warren was sailing shotgun and held up the leading Americans at the first leeward mark to give Gaz a clear run.
Race two followed quickly, in building waves if not wind.
Extended start line games worked out in the Brits favour with Gaz and Robin leading at the windward mark from Chris M. Chris managed to pull through Robin on the reach, but couldn't catch Gareth. At this point Gaz caught up to Todd, who finally had an operational boat. At this stage things got a little controversial. The rules prohibit a boat from "interfering" with a boat sailing on a different leg (and second beat is a different leg from first beat) unless that boat is sailing a proper course. Todd certainly sailed a reasonably proper course, but it also coincided with Gareth's! Opinions varied as to how hard Todd was pushing the letter of the law, but it made no difference to the result, and Gareth scored a second win and the trophy changed hands.
NYCCCC Match Features
The New York Canoe Club Challenge Cup, the second oldest competition in international sailing, is now resident in the UK after the GBR team of Gareth Caldwell, Robin Wood and Alistair Warren defeated the USA team, Chris Maas, Todd Twigg and Willy Clark 2-0 today, Wednesday 23rd.