The 32nd Knickerbocker Cup Race at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) has “never had a field of competitors this strong; half the field [is made up of] the top 20 in the world; all [are in] the top 50,” said Port Washington’s Sue Miller, principal race officer of the event, which runs Aug. 28-Aug. 31.
Races begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue as needed until sundown. Of the 10 teams competing, seven come from countries outside the United States.
The Knickerbocker Cup Race will be the third of four Grand Slam match races for the skippers and their five-member crews of the 40-foot racing yachts. The four-week series began in Chicago, Aug. 15, and moved to the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Aug. 22.
After the Knickerbocker Cup Race, the series concludes that Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, Sept. 3. Aside from receiving prize money, the overall series winner will be invited to compete in the prestigious 51st Congressional Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club in California.
MBYC’s Commodore William Cornachio extended a warm welcome to the competitors. “This year,” he said, “we are especially pleased to host seven teams from abroad, from the continents of Europe, Asia, and Australia. We look forward to several days of fabulous sailboat racing.”
Aside from the United States, racing teams from Great Britain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore are participating.
“I am proud to be an ambassador of our great country and our beautiful yacht club—and Port Washington’s waterfront community,” said Bonnie Doran, co-chair of the event, including the Heart and Sail Gala, which follows Saturday’s races.
Match Racing is a series of races between two teams at a time. Each of the two teams races every other team once in a round-robin series. The top eight pair up for the quarterfinals then comes the semifinals, and the two surviving teams race for the Knickerbocker Cup in the finals.
The governing body for sport sailing is the International Sailing Association Federation, which means its rules—including penalties—establish the parameters for sport sailing competition.
“The team (that) crosses the finish line first is not necessarily winner of that race. If a penalty is assessed by the umpires, it overturns the ‘finish-across-the-line result,’” Miller said. “Each race lasts from 15 to 20 minutes and is definitely not a passive sport. Besides dealing with the wind, there is always a duel for the most favorable position. Sometimes races are won by bare inches.”
Proceeds from the 32nd Knickerbocker Cup Race will be shared jointly by the St. Francis Hospital Foundation and the Knickerbocker Cup Foundation. Major sponsors of the event are Investors Bank, Knickerbocker Bay Club, Americana Manhasset, Daniel Gale Sotheby International Realty and Manhasset Bay Sailing Foundation.
For further information, contact Bonnie Doran at email@example.com.
— From the Manhasset Bay