Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club to participate in the 2013 NYYC Invitational Cup
Published: Thursday, 29 August 2013
For the third time, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has been invited to put together a team consisting of some of the best sailors in Hong Kong to challenge the biennial NYYC Invitational Cup. A 20-club fleet from 13 countries and five continents will be sailing in one-design NYYC Swan 42s from 7 to 14 September. “The 2013 NYYC Invitational Cup certainly promises to test the ability and tactical expertise of those amateur teams that will gather from around the world. Each will display the patriotism and competitive skills of their best sailors while in pursuit of the championship crown.” said Paul M. Zabetakis, the Invitational Cup Event Chairman, adding “If the past two Invitational Cups are any measure, the level of competition from all of these teams will be intense and close.”Members of the Hong Kong crew have sailed in the previous two editions of the Invitational Cup as well as in innumerable Asian and international regattas, including three Commodores’ Cup events in Cowes. With Nick Burns on main, Mark Thornburrow on helm, and Laurence Mead on tactics, each brings with them more than 40 years of experience of sailing against each other in Etchells one-design and with each other on racing yachts in Asia. Mark and Laurence form one of the best helm and tactician combinations in Hong Kong.Nick has specialised in mainsheet for some 30 years, as well as helming an Etchells and his co-owned Mills 40,Mandrake. Mark and Laurence each feature regularly in the top ten in Etchells World Championships, and both have had notable successes helming in Commodores’ Cup events, match racing, and various Asian regattas. Mark recently won the Australasian Etchells Winter Championship against a strong fleet of 38 entries, confirming his place as one of the top Etchells sailors on today’s circuit.
The other crew members have similarly impressive credentials; Joachim Isler (Commodore of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club) and Drew Taylor, own and sail a Mills 41, Ambush, that competes ferociously against Mandrake. Joachim brings 30 years experience to the team and Drew has just completed his 21st Sydney-Hobart. Both are returning to the NYYC challenge in Newport for the third time.Anthony Day (Rear Commodore Sailing of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club) owns his own yacht, Explorer, an XC50, and has competed in three Commodores’ Cups, as well as winning the double-handed Sydney-Auckland race, as well as various Asian events.Peter Backe represented Sweden in the Athens pre-Olympics and then settled in Hong Kong where, amongst other successes, he is the reigning match racing champion. Tim Storey started sailing in Canada some 30 years ago and for the last 10 years has been successful with the team, and on a TP52 in Asia. Paul Rechten starting sailing big boats in Eland many years ago and since coming to Hong Kong some five years ago has specialised in foredeck on Ambush.The youngest crew member Lauren Mead started early, without much persuasion from her father. She already has 20 years’ experience in a variety of boats including two Commodores Cup events, and multiple series with Mandrake. The team have been using Mandrake, to train for this event while competing on the Asian circuit. Events include an offshore race from Hong Kong to Vietnam as well as in-shore Regattas in Hong Kong Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines all events in which she has enjoyed notable success in the past.This crew hopes to make it “third time lucky” and to be a credit to the RHKYC and Hong Kong while improving on their previous NYYC Invitational results. The Hong Kong team will be competing on the Swan 42 Impetous.