San Diego Yacht Club proudly sent a team of twelve members to the 2017 Morgan Cup to defend their 2016 title. Led by team captain Jake Reynolds, both Scott Sinks and Nevin Snow helped him on the helms. Rounding out the crew was Marly Isler, Carissa Crawford, Jake LaDow, Duncan Swain, Erik Shampain, AJ Reiter, Andy Reiter, Nick Martin, and Nick Kaschak. Day 1 of the defense started out poorly. Some of the rust was harder to shake than anticipated, and the team started out 0-3 and promptly moved to the bottom of the standings. However, in keeping it light on the first day of a three day regatta, their boathandling pushed them through to a 4-1 finish to the day. Due to some unusual upsets, a 5-4 record put Team SDYC in 3rd place. Team StFYC and Team NYYC both had solid days and were poised to be contenders on the weekend.
Saturday was a new day, but with similar breeze to Day 1. 9-13 knots from the SSW in Newport made for near perfect team racing conditions and Team SDYC capitalized, winning every race they sailed from 10am to 4pm in epic fashion. There were close races and the crews of all three boats pushed hard to always give the SDYC boats a speed edge out of every maneuver. In the penultimate race, at the end of the day, NYYC got the best of SDYC. However, it wasn’t before Team SDYC claimed the overall lead going into the final day. While that was gratifying, it was the improvement on the starting line that had everyone excited. The momentum was heading in the right direction for the final knockout rounds, and the first seed was secure.
On the final day of the Morgan Cup, Team SDYC had a small break in the morning due to their success on Saturday. As the number 1 seed in the knockout rounds, they had a first round bye and would face the winner of the Yale Corinthian YC/Eastern YC match. When Yale eventually won, Team SDYC worked hard to make sure their starts were clean against what was considered one of the strongest starting teams at the regatta. The discipline paid off and Team SDYC won the semifinal with a score of 3-1, all in relatively clean races.
The finals were to be against the home team of NYYC. While they were practiced Sonar sailors, Team SDYC had the momentum still. With upwind current the focus was shifted to the downwinds, while still having good starts. The three bowmen: Duncan Swain, Nick Kaschak and Erik Shampain, all showed why we were lucky to have them on our team. With clean gybes and strong downwind angles, NYYC couldn’t push around Team SDYC’s winning combinations in nearly all the races. Team NYYC did a good job of playing to their strengths and jostling Team SDYC into crazy races, resulting in a NYYC win. However, it was short lived when Team SDYC raced away in a 1-2-5 for the final race of the Morgan Cup.
It was the second consecutive year Team SDYC won the prestigious Morgan Cup! Undeniably the pinnacle of keelboat team racing in the world, to win the Morgan Cup was a great team success. Thank you to the SDYC Competition Syndicate Fund, as well as the SDYC Membership, for making events like this possible for Team SDYC. It is an honor to represent and win for our hometown yacht club, and it will not soon be forgotten.