Team CPYC successfully defends 2008 Challenge Cup - Defense a Family Affair
Team Cedar Point successfully defended the other “Auld Mug” on a hazy, hot summer day battling light air, postponements and some tenacious competition. This event, an inter-club challenge, featuring Match Racing (in Ideal 18’s), Fleet Racing (in Lasers) and Team Racing (in V15’s) has always required depth. Many a competing club has shown up with one or two superstars only to be denied. The sub-story this year is that 8 of the 11 members sailing for CPYC were related. Lasers featured father and son Ched and Charlie Proctor, V15’s boasted brother and sister Ian and Madeline Gill in one boat, father and daughter Charles and Venetia Stanley in another boat w/ both Cleody and Storm Snaith crewing in Ideals and V15’s respectively – talk about chemistry. Demonstrating their versatility, Cleody and Ian become the first members to win this event as both a crew and as skippers. Rounding out the team were veterans of numerous Challenge Cups Marc Jacobi, Chris Johannessen and Jay Lurie.
From a Team Race standpoint, this is the year we finally broke through and defeated an experienced team from Larchmont Yacht Club. Utilizing blazing speed and a never-say-die attitude we steamrolled a very youthful team from Noroton and then toppled the LYC juggernaut. Our second race against LYC was a classic. After coming off the starting line poorly, CPYC was able to immediately initiate a fierce tacking duel which enabled us to slow down and compress the race until we were able to get close enough to convert a 1, 4, 6 at the last leeward mark into a 1, 2, 3 by the finish. I don’t believe we had a winning combination at any time in the race until about 100 feet from the finish. In fairness, some of Larchmont’s top team racers were in Boston but they were still able to send a very seasoned team featuring John Baxter, Ted Ferrarone and Langdon Mitchell. Storm and I worked hard to stay cool between races and focused during them. You know it’s really hot when jumping into Long Island Sound becomes a life saving measure instead of a life threatening one! Actually the water was delightful and the marinated mozzarella smuggled out by one of the r/c boats during a postponement may have been our secret weapon!
Finally, the Event couldn’t have taken place without our typically excellent race committee. Event Chair Serge Karpow, Dona Menton and PRO Harrison Gill made all the right calls in Westport and Jim Crane making the calls in Darien. Assisting them were Gordon Daily, Sharon Bernd, Dave Marseli, Ed Rickard, Linc Schoenberger and our excellent club staff.
Challenge Cup Match Race Component, June 28, Noroton YC by Chris Johannessen, skipper for CPYC team with Cleody Snaith crewing
The Match Race portion of the Cedar Point Challenge Cup was graciously hosted and well run by Noroton YC. Despite a three hour onshore postponement Saturday morning due to the existence of a virtual vacuum on the water, one round robin was completed before time ran out for more.
From the racers' perspective however, the highlight of the day was the resulting three hour Match Race clinic and very free ranging match race discussion led by Dave Perry. There aren't a lot of people out there that have spent more time, or more productive time, thinking and practicing match racing than Dave. Certainly not many who aren't currently involved in a pro or America's Cup campaign.
Armed with a few new tricks (not that our opponents weren't wise to the techniques either), off Cleody and I went to battle. With the wind still light and spotty and the current running hard down the course, which NYC PRO Jim Crane had set just off Pear Tree Point, staying in the pressure and out of the current by going left up the beat (heading northeast in towards the point on starboard in the easterly breeze) looked to be the trick. That suggested leading back towards the pin would be the call for the start.
First match: Lee Morrison of Noroton YC v Cedar Point's Chris Johannessen/Cleody Snaith. Our entry was from the boat end of the line and we were able to force Noroton to dial up at the first meet. Out with the boom brought us to a stop alongside Lee, perhaps a foot or two between us. In match racing, sharp sculls to the side with the helm to turn the boat and help prevent the boat sliding astern is permitted (the Match Racing Appendix to the RRS changes the definition of sculling from that for fleet racing). Early in the dialup Lee's bow came towards us and I had to pull away, we flagged them thinking they had fouled but the umpires (Pete Wilson chief umpire, Dave Perry wing umpire) green flagged in response.
Anticipating Lee's need to get going to position for the start, I let us slide back a little and opened out a bit. Too early for Lee to bear away for the pin as we were very close, so I wasn't worried about him escaping that way. Instead, he backed his jib to bear away onto port, with us doing the same. Off we went above the line with him a half length ahead and to weather, unable to bear off because of us to leeward. Lee, aiming toward the committee boat, was able to extend to clear ahead. At that point we chose to bear off to save the time of sailing around above the RC and instead gybed to lead back towards the pin, which we were able to time fairly well with Lee crossing the line well behind and on port as he did not lay the pin on starboard.
A couple covering tacks later things were going quite well until Morrison tacked away at an artfully chosen moment when we couldn't match him due to a huge powerboat wake from a passing stimulus check recipient. When we finally had enough wind and smooth enough water to hitch up, Lee had gained several lengths, passing us by being just a half dozen lengths closer in to the point and better air/lighter current.
Lee held on to the lead until misjudging the very strong current at the weather mark caused him to first hit the mark, and then to hang up on the anchor line. The tension increased as his boat started to back up as they tried to clear the mark and we realized that in addition to rounding the mark we had to round him as well! Our approach was not going to clear the rapidly approaching stern of Lee's Ideal 18 and so we jammed in a tack, but too late as the corner of our transom kissed the quarter of their boat, prompting a quick umpire call against us. In the end, this just canceled the existing penalty against Morrison for hitting the mark, so now as we sailed on down the run they cleared the mark, but as they had thrown the mark off their port side still had not completed their rounding and so were left to round properly (it's the string thing...) and follow us around to finish behind.
Next up, Larchmont. This time our entry was from the pin end. Like Morrison, we were unable to cross on the first meet so ended up with the usual dialup. At around 2 minutes to go, Larchmont, on our right, backed their jib and fell off to port. We quickly matched them and sailed off on a broad reach about 5 feet astern. With the current setting down and the air very light, the pin and the left still favored we were happy to continue as long as they did...at the first sign of a break we rolled into a tack and led back, late, towards the favored pin. They spent a few seconds hardened up on port before tacking back on our hip four lengths behind and one up. Looked very good but were able to eke out a higher angle with equal speed and got to a position still a little more back than up but not a cross for us with the horrible light air and the equally horrid tacking performance of the underpowered Ideal in those conditions. As such, we ended up getting driven out past the layline until we finally tacked with them tacking on our lee bow.
Having seen how bad the current was and them not appreciating how much harder it was running at the top mark as compared to the start/finish line, we probably could have tacked sooner and suckered them into tacking underneath us as well, but I missed that opportunity because it didn't dawn on me until we closed on the mark that they underestimated the current...they gave up some of their height for speed and in the end came very close to not making the mark! We closed up to right on their transom at the rounding, but the leeward leg had been shortened from the previous race and we now decided to not match their gybe to starboard so that we could get to their left and have starboard tack advantage later in the leg. Unfortunately, with the shortening of the leg they in fact managed to lay and we overstood the bottom mark and gave back a couple lengths.
Rounding behind (marks to starboard in match racing), the only breeze was to the left and of course that was where the current relief was as well, so the good news was we were able to climb out of their dirty air, the bad news was we really had no choice but to follow them on the very short beat back to the weather mark. They tacked right on the layline and, fearing the lighter air to the right we chose to continue past their line. The wind held to the mark and it was all we could do to hold our position to the mark and down to the finish.
Larchmont v Noroton. Last race of the first round robin, control by larchmont from the start and much better speed kept them out in the lead around both laps of the racetrack. Decided advantage the whole way.
With only 18 minutes until the cut-off time for starting a race, the decision was made not to start the second round robin, and so the final score: Larchmont 2-0, CPYC 1-1, Noroton 0-1, all competitors, rc, judges and umpires: a huge win. Fun racing, great committee and umpire work and absolutely fantastic opportunity to spend three hours with Dave and talking about one of his favorite subjects. If we are fortunate enough in the future to have Dave participate, everyone at Cedar Point would be well advised to figure out a way to get involved.
CPYC 2007 Challenge Cup team retains the Cup
On a damp, breezy day well suited to sailing and little else, CPYC’s Team Race team settled for half a loaf and finished second behind a dominant team from Larchmont YC. Unlike fleet racing, but similar to match racing, the objective is to push the other team’s boats back by working with one’s teammates to block passing lanes and set various traps for opposing boats at the numerous turning marks and on free legs of the course. With 6 boats in each heat (3 per team), any combination of 10 points or less wins. For instance, 1,4,5 (10 points), is a winning combination while 2,3,6 (11 points) loses. Successful team racing requires good boat speed, a solid grasp of the rules and an ability to keep track of whether your team has a stable (winning) combination or an unstable combination. CPYC’s Team Race team was among the best we’ve fielded in recent years combining our current Sunday Fleet champion, Charles Stanley sailing with his daughter Venetia, current Thursday Fleet Champion, Chris Johannessen sailing with longtime crew Dona Menton, and me, Jay Lurie, more than ably assisted by Storm Snaith.
With 5 clubs represented, a double round robin was called for with the team in 5th place after the first round robin heading in for the day. After the first round robin, Larchmont had already asserted themselves, posting a record of 4 - 0. Larchmont has a number of excellent team racers who are also very experienced V15 sailors. Gleaned from the top ranks of recent college sailing graduates, Larchmont typically sends 2 or 3 teams to the US Sailing Team Race Championship each year. To say that our goal was to finish second was mostly based on realism and only slightly based on self-defeatism! That said, we pushed them hard in the first race, managing to compress the race several times, but each time they were able to successfully preempt any attack on our part while keeping a strong grip on the proceedings. All in all, very humbling but also very educational. Team CPYC finished the first round robin 3-1 with Pequot and Noroton in 3rd and 4th and Nyack Boat Club, hampered by their lack of familiarity in Vanguards, heading back to the basin. The second round robin held few surprises. We beat Pequot and Noroton each a second time and again succumbed to the relentless and methodical Larchmont Team. Team Larchmont were gracious winners and extended an open invitation for us to join them when they regularly (and often) practice team racing. Who knows, with some more practice, maybe next year we can break through!
Winning the Challenge Cup requires depth and although we finished second, we were secure that we had kept CPYC in the game. It was heartening to watch our Laser team dominate and upon reaching the basin, we learned that our Match Race team had finished second thus earning us another overall victory by three points.
Fleet and Match Race
While Larchmont was schooling the Team-racers, the Cedar Point Laser sailors made an opening statement by sweeping the first of seven Fleet races. Marc Jacobi led Craig Beardsley and Steve Fisk to a commanding 55-point margin over Noroton. Rob Crane of Noroton and Clay Bischoff of Larchmont held tough, finishing second and third respectively for the day, but no team could challenge the hosts.
Meanwhile, further out on the Match-racing circle, Pequot’s Dave Perry opened with a win over Larchmont’s Peter Strothman, while CPYC’s Steve Girling handled Noroton’s Steve Shepstone. PYC finished the first round-robin undefeated, with CPYC losing only to them. Nyack’s Joan Hurban did her best, but was eliminated.
The second round-robin was similar, although Larchmont tested Pequot in the best match of the day, including a luffing match at the first mark. However, Pequot ran the table, going 7-0, followed by CPYC at 5-2. Noroton edged Larchmont in the last boatlength to win the tiebreaker for third.
The Challenge Cup format, requiring simultaneous competition in three disciplines for 11 sailors per Club, is a real test of a Club’s depth. Domination in one area is not enough to capture the trophy. With a convincing triumph in Fleet, added to second in both Team and Match, Cedar Point easily defended the Challenge Cup with a total of 5 points. Larchmont, with a win in Team, totaled 8 points for second. Pequot defeated Noroton in Team and Match to take third on a tiebreaker, but Nyack wins the enthusiasm prize.
CPYC eagerly awaits the next challenge for our 96-year-old Cup.
Challenge Cup 2007 defended by Cedar Point YC
CPYC took 1st in Fleet, 2nd in Team, and 2nd in Match to decisively defend and retain the Challenge Cup. Details in the library below.
Challenges have been defeated from: Larchmont Yacht Club (First Challenger), Noroton Yacht Club, Nyack Boat Club, and Pequot Yacht Club.
The 2007 CPYC defending team is:
Ideal 18 (1 boat per club, match racing):
Steve Girling/Spencer Ogden
Vanguard 15 (3 boats per club, team racing):
Jay Lurie/Storm Snaith
Chris Johannessen/Dona Menton
Charles Stanley/Venetia Stanley
Laser (3 boats per club, fleet racing):
Contact Event Chair Dona Menton or Event Liaison Ched Proctor for more information.
CPYC Wins 2005 Cedar Point Challenge Cup
June 5 - Team CPYC overcame strong challenges by second place Larchmont YC, third place Pequot YC and Noroton YC to win the Cedar Point Challenge Cup. With first place finishes in Match and Fleet Racing and second place finish in the Team Racing discipline, Team CPYC won the overall by a healthy margin. Results Photos
Left to right: Chris Johannessen, Dona Menton, Craig Beardsley, Jay Lurie (with Eve and Dana), Robin Schultz, Charles Stanley, Beth Lurie (holding Aaron), Marc Jacobi, Tim Maier, Steve Girling (holding Elizabeth) and Event Chair Eric Robbins (holding Ye Olde Mug). Missing is Harry Weyher.
Ideal 18 (1 boat per club, match racing):
Steve Girling/Tim Maier
Vanguard 15 (3 boats per club, team racing):
Jay Lurie/Beth Lurie
Chris Johannessen/Dona Menton
Craig Beardsley/Robin Schultz
Laser (3 boats per club, fleet racing):
Complete Roster of CPYC, Challenging Clubs, Race Officials and Volunteers
2005 Cedar Point Challenge Cup Update
The Cedar Point Challenge Cup Regatta will be held at Cedar Point YC on June 4, 2005.
The Challenging teams are:
- Larchmont Yacht Club
- Noroton Yacht Club
- Pequot Yacht Club
Team CPYC won last year's event and brought the Cup home again. Results page.
The Cedar Point Challenge Cup will be hosted this year by Cedar Point by virtue of their win in the event in the summer of 2004. The event is a true club v. club Challenge, with up to six clubs competing. Scores are a composite of the scores of three events: Fleet Racing (3 boats per club in Lasers), Team Racing (one 3 boat team per club in Vanguard 15s) and Match Racing (one boat per club, raced in Ideal 18s).
The 2004 Cedar Point Team was:
Fleet Racing: Mark Foster, Marc Jacobi, Eric Robbins
Team Racing: Craig Beardsley/Madeline Gill, Cleody Snaith/Sara Sherter, Chris Johannessen/Dona Menton
Match Racing: Steve Girling & Ian Gill.
Coach/Training Partner: Ched Proctor