Costa Smeralda take the lead in RTYC's 2014 edition of the Cumberland Cup


Royal Thames Yacht Club’s 2014 edition of the Cumberland Cup is finally underway. 8 teams from all around the world have gathered to compete in this prestigious 2 boat team racing event, held in J/80s, in the idyllic stadium setting of Queen Mary Reservoir.

Unfortunately, the wind gods weren’t playing ball on day 1, so competitors spent the day enjoying Queen Mary’s excellent catering service, before a reception at the RTYC clubhouse which was attended by RTYC’s Commodore, the Duke of York.
However, day 2 was a different story, and the teams who have travelled  from as far afield as Australia, America and all over Europe enjoyed a great day’s sailing. A consistent 10kts, with 15kt gusts, meant that the race committee were able to fit in 20 races.

The event is being ably headed up by PRO Gill Smith, who is no newcomer to Queen Mary’s conditions, and knows how best to squeeze in as many races as possible, she commented: ‘Much better day than yesterday, for a northerly breeze at QM ideal racing, got in just as it started to pipe up with some rain clouds racing, great boat handling, teams and  umpires played nicely as well.’

Visiting National Umpire and International Judge- Patty O’Donnell from Newport RI, commented: ‘Lovely conditions for racing, the officials did well to get 20 races in. Steady breeze, nice flat water (fresh, not salty!), makes for a nice change of pace compared to what I am used to. A lot of today’s races were close, so the umpires were kept busy, the sailing standard is great, the competitors have been great, they clearly know what they are doing.’

Yacht Club Costa Smeralda have demonstrated skill and talent from their first race of the day, finishing as overnight leaders with 100% race wins. Antonio Winspeare of YCCS commented: ‘We didn’t make any major mistakes, and those minor mistakes which we did make we were able to quickly recover from. This makes a nice change from yesterday’s conditions, the calls we were expecting to get from the umpires didn’t happen- we only had calls from the Canada geese! All of today’s sailing was very close, there seems to be some strong competitions from RTYC and New York Yacht Club. We have certainly been lucky today.’

Sitting in a close 2nd with 80% race wins is RTYC; skipper, Sam Maxfield, stated: ‘we’ve only lost to the Italians so far, it was a really close race which all came down to the finish where one boat snuck out of a lock. We’ve had a great day though in these champagne sailing conditions. Excellent socials too...’

Each team has now completed 5 races, and with rankings based on % of races won, the overnight results are as follows:

1st Yacht Club Costa Smeralda   100% wins
2nd Royal Thames Yacht Club      80% wins
3rd New York Yacht Club                60% wins
3rd Easter Yacht Club                      60%wins
5th Yale Corinthian                           40% wins
5th Cumberland                                 40% wins
7th Royal Perth Yacht Club             20% wins
8th Royal Southern Yacht Club      0% wins