For the 2019-20 sailing season, the RSYS Crew of the Year award has been awarded jointly to two teams who excelled on the world stage representing RSYS.
David Chapman (Helm), Finn Alexander, Charlotte Alexander and Zac Quinlan won the Sailing League World Championship final in August 2019 in St Moritz, Switzerland.
Guido Belgiorno-Nettis (Helm), Michelle Belgiorno-Nettis, Marlena Berzins, Nicholas Cleary, Michael Dunstan, David Edwards, Tom King (Tactician), Greg O’Shea and Ivan Wheen won the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in September 2019.
David Chapman and his crew were the only non-European team among 24 clubs representing 10 nations in the Sailing League World Championship final. The format was umpired short races in one-design boats (J70s), a standardised course and a competition between the most prestigious sailing clubs in the world. The final series comprised 51 races of eight-boat heats to select teams for the four-boat final. The RSYS team won the first race of the finals and then followed up with an even more dominant display in race two. That was game, set and match to RSYS and Australia.
Finn, Charlie, Zac (David is currently in Europe)
On winning the RSYS award, David Chapman commented, ‘It is very humbling to hear we have been made Crew of the Year jointly with the winning NYYC crew. 2019 was an amazing year for the Squadron. Looking back at St Moritz, it’s quite evident that we simply had the best team – Charlie and Zac came in well rested and ready to fire. Finn was on form, coming straight in from Laser campaigning at the highest level. I had been racing J70s against the top US and Italian fleets. Our crew adapted quickly thanks to the first class training received in the Squadron Keelboat Program. Then we made the final and did something that may never happen again: we had two perfect starts, perfect strategy and no mistakes…something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life thanks to Charlie, Zac and Finn!
The New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial international Corinthian championship between premier clubs from around the world. It was first run in 2009 and is sailed out of Newport, Rhode Island in the USA. The 2019 edition of the Cup was sailed in the NYYC’s purpose-built one design 37 ft IC37s. Our Squadron team finished 2nd in 2017 and was awarded the Resolute Trophy. They returned in 2019 to win the Invitational Cup.
On winning the event, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis said, ‘It’s unbelievable. You can’t describe the feeling of coming all the way from Australia, putting a team together (whom I love dearly, every one of them, starting with my wife,) to actually win a championship like this. The New York Yacht Club Invitational is one of great regattas in the world.’