U.S. Yacht Clubs Vie for Corinthian Championship

The journey of the San Diego Yacht Club to achieve excellence in Corinthian sailing commenced with a triumph at the 2018 Resolute Cup. Little did Tyler Sinks and his team realize at the time that it would take five years, numerous cross-country flights and a considerable amount of heartache before they could proudly bring the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup back home.


Yet, the most fulfilling ventures in life often unfold without a definitive roadmap or a predetermined timetable.


“The Invitational Cup demands a significant commitment, both financially and logistically,” reflects Sinks. “It required a collective effort to secure the necessary funds, arrange time off from work, reschedule prior commitments, and, quite frankly, prioritize the regatta.


“It’s the price of victory, and every sacrifice was justified in the end. After coming agonizingly close in 2019 and 2021, clinching victory in 2023 brought an unparalleled sense of satisfaction, knowing the immense dedication we had all invested. It’s a sentiment that’s challenging to put into words.”


Since its inception in 2010, the Resolute Cup has functioned as the premier Corinthian Championship for U.S. yacht clubs, serving as the exclusive avenue for an American club to secure a place in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the pinnacle of Corinthian sailing on the international stage.


The upcoming seventh edition of the Resolute Cup is slated to take place from Sept. 9-14 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. For the 2024 regatta, the club’s fleet of Sonars will be employed, equipped with provided sails, standardized rig tuning and on-the-water umpiring to ensure fair competition.


Throughout its history, the Resolute Cup has served as a rigorous test of skill and camaraderie. Among the six U.S. yacht clubs that have claimed victory, four have secured top placements in the subsequent year’s Invitational Cup. Yet this competition transcends mere preparation for future events; it offers sailors a unique opportunity to compete without the burdens of boat maintenance or equipment concerns during the offseason.


The stipulation that each sailor must hold the status of a World Sailing Group 1 competitor, signifying amateur status, and represent their club attracts a vibrant mix of like-minded athletes from various corners of the country. The post-race social gatherings are as enjoyable as the fiercely contested races.


“There’s nothing quite like the competition in a borrowed-boat regatta,” remarks Sinks. “The uniformity of the boats underscores the importance of teamwork and sailing skill. In today’s sailing scene, too much emphasis is placed on equipment; I prefer to determine who the top team is. Besides, the cost of entry is significantly lower compared to bringing one’s own boat.”


In five of the six previous Resolute Cup editions, the event featured two fleets, with two days allocated for qualifying rounds and two for gold- and silver-fleet competitions. This year, following the 2018 format, only the New York Yacht Club’s Sonar fleet will be utilized, accommodating an expanded field of 28 teams.


“We’ve always had more interest in the event than available space,” explains event chair A.J. Evans. “Expanding to 28 teams ensures broader representation nationwide. We can welcome grassroots sailing clubs with the talent and passion to excel at the regatta, even if they lack the prominence of larger clubs.”


Participation in the Resolute Cup is based on club resumes. Clubs must submit their Request for Invitation online by Feb. 23. Acceptance notifications will be issued in early March.


Then comes the real work. And few understand its demands better than Sinks, who triumphed in two prestigious borrowed-boat competitions in 2023: the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and the San Diego Yacht Club’s Lipton Cup.


“Surround yourself with the best teammates possible,” he advises. “The support of my crew has been invaluable countless times on the water. Our team remained united throughout the five-year Invitational Cup Campaign, learning and progressing together. Solid teammates make all the difference.”

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