Japan pips Aussies at New York SailGP

In front of large crowds lining the waterfront in downtown Manhattan, the Japan SailGP Team – helmed by double Olympic medalist and RSYS Member Nathan Outteridge – beat off strong competition from Tom Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team to win its first event in the inaugural SailGP season.

An intense final match race took place between the two notorious rivals on the Hudson River racecourse, which saw drama before the start as the high-powered F50s, capable of intense speeds, made contact. A penalty to Australia saw Japan eventually get the better of the season’s leaders and take the victory in New York.

“Here we knew it would be a challenge and what I am really proud about is that our whole team focused every single step of the way,” said Outteridge. “I am relieved because we really needed a win, we deserved to win, and I am proud of everyone’s effort. The Aussies are, without a doubt, the team to beat, and I think now we are starting to even out the playing field and can’t wait until Cowes.”

New York’s urban landscape provided an extra challenge for the world-class athletes this week as they battled shifting breezes and varied wind speeds on a smaller, more challenging racecourse. Boat handling and maneuvering on the foils was significantly more of a factor than ever before as the boats flew around the Hudson at the fastest speeds yet seen on SailGP, with the Australia team hitting a top speed of 48.69 knots (nearly 60 mph). It was the superior adaptability of the Japanese team that won the event on the Hudson.

“It was tough conditions, but the Japan team was better. They’ve been better than us the last two days, and they deserve the win,” said Slingsby. “The way this sport has gone, and the way Nathan and my careers have gone has been amazing, and we’re so happy to be here racing each other; unfortunately, it’s on different teams, but it also makes it more fun.”

Team Japan celebrate

The United States SailGP Team, led by Rome Kirby, gave the estimated 30,000 people lining the shore a reason to cheer when they crossed the finish line first in race five. Scoring its first ever SailGP win on home turf was a special moment for the United States SailGP Team, and a move that placed the crew third overall at the event.

“The boys were pretty fired up to go racing today, and it showed,” said Kirby. “To win a race is awesome but we want to win events. But we’re happy to be on the podium, and it was awesome to see the crowd out there.”

Only one point separates Japan and Australia on the Season 1 leaderboard, but now four teams have proved they are capable of winning races, putting the pressure on for the next event in Cowes.

One team that will be looking forward to racing in Cowes is the Great Britain SailGP Team, which suffered a capsize on the Hudson that significantly damaged its wingsail. The British will be eager for redemption in front of their hometown crowd at the first European event of SailGP’s inaugural season.

“It’s been a disappointing weekend all in all for us – we learned a lot from our capsize yesterday, and I’m proud as a team of how we came back after that setback,” said helmsman Dylan Fletcher.

SailGP’s next stop is Cowes, UK, over the weekend of August 10-11, when the home of British sailing will be able to witness the intense racing and awe-inspiring speeds of the F50s.

>> final leaderboard can be found here

>> watch the highlights video here

SailGP in New York

The action is moving to the Hudson River, known for the changing wind shifts through the Manhattan skyscrapers, strong currents and tidal flow, which will test the world-class athletes to their limits. Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP Team has a target on its back heading into New York. Who will come out on top? 

Members and their guests are invited to watch the racing on the TV in the CCA at 7am on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June. 

>> catch up on the highlights from Sydney and San Francisco

RSYS Youth fly the flag for Club and Country

As a result of the inaugural National Sailing League Oceania event organised by directors Mark Turnbull and Howard Elliott and hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at the end of April, the RSYS Youth team of Jack Littlechild (skipper), Max Paul, Maddie O’Shea and Alex Rozenauers (pictured above) are heading to the Youth Sailing Champions League (SCL) Final 2019, June 22-24 during Kiel Week in Germany, the first time Australia will be part of the intense competition.

Jack Littlechild, our helmsman, said: “As the first Australian team to compete in a SAILING Champions League event we are extremely excited for the racing in Kiel and thankful for this amazing opportunity. We are also very proud to be representing our country and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. We hope that through this event we can help build the National Sailing League at home as it is a great opportunity for all the sailing clubs in Australia and New Zealand to compete against each other in a really fun format of racing.”

Our Youth team in action at the NSL Oceania event in April

Follow all the action via live Broadcasting & Results by SAP

View the media release here

Photos by Darcie Collington Photography.

Comanche to contest the Transpac

The 50th running of the classic Transpacific Race is gearing up with the first starts on 10 July. 

Boats will start to arrive off the Diamond Head finish line as early as July 17th, with the legendary Aloha welcome parties in Ala Wai Yacht Basin all that weekend and on into the next week.

RSYS Member Jim Cooney has shipped Comanche to San Diego for their start on 13 July.

Jim writes:

'Comanche will be representing the Squadron in the upcoming running of the milestone 50th Transpac Yacht Race from LA to Hawaii. The race started in 1906 and has been held every two years with few exceptions. 

'We will reassemble the boat in San Diego, fit the rig and conduct stability testing, prior to our start from LA on July 13. 

'This race has seen changes to the award of prizes, with the prestigious Barn Door trophy being made available to all Open class yachts (previously canting keels were precluded.) So we are hopeful of being in contention for this top honour against other super maxis. Secondly the Transpac YC has introduced a Teams division for a new perpetual trophy, and we are pleased to represent Team Australia in partnership with Kialoa II and Alive.'

Exciting news Jim, we look forward to an update! 



Message from the Club Captain

Dear Members and friends in Sailing,

It is with a very heavy heart that I want to let you know of the recent loss of three RSYS sailors.  

Jan Williams, long-time first mate on Genovefa, passed away after an incredibly brave struggle with cancer.  Ruth McCance, my Yngling crew for the last seven years and also a passionate mountain climber, has been lost to an avalanche in the Indian Himalayas. Sarah Goddard-Jones, of Wine-Dark Sea, and until recently Cruising Division Chair, suffered a fatal scuba diving accident over the weekend.  

All three were passionate Tuesday Twilight participants, Ruth and Sarah also raced on Saturdays. Each demonstrated exemplary attributes of seamanship, camaraderie and generosity of spirit towards others. Their loss will be keenly felt by our Ladies’ sailing community, our Cruising Division and our Ynglings fleet in particular, by their numerous friends throughout our Club and also our staff.

On behalf of us all, I offer my heartfelt condolences to their partners and families.  

Captain Karyn Gojnich