"Rougarou37" takes the lead on the penultimate day
Saturday, July 20, 2019 8:54 AM
NEWPORT, R.I. (July 19, 2019) — The penultimate day of the New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta has come to a close, but with narrow point margins throughout the scoreboard, the podium positions for the Melges IC37 fleet are far from decided. Three races were hotly contested in light air and flat water that evolved into planing conditions with swell, giving the Melges IC37 sailors an afternoon on the water to remember. Team Rougarou37 put the pedal to the metal on the race course and took the lead from Qubit who now trail by two points.
Melges IC37 teams left the dock this morning just as the clouds were beginning to lift and the seabreeze was beginning to roll in. The wind built each race and so did the sea state, working up into a southerly 10-15 knot seabreeze with three-foot swell.
Skipper Andy Lovell and the Rougarou37 crew put on an impressive display of flexibility and tenacity, finishing 3rd, 2nd, and 1st in each of today’s races.
Clerc Cooper of Rougarou37 attributed their success today to communication, teamwork, and focused training.
“The team has been working together for a number of days on the water now and we’ve been really focusing on boat handling. The more we get comfortable with our boat handling skills, the easier it is for us to adapt to changing conditions like we saw today. The goal is always to be able to smoothly and successfully execute our tactical or strategic plans so that is what we have been striving for.”
Rougarou37 is the reigning New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Champion and will return to Newport, RI in September to defend their title. “We’re trying to get as much time in the boat as possible before then,” said crew member Johnny Lovell. “Andrew Egan and I are returning members and so are Clerc Cooper and John Herman. This year we also have a couple of young guys — an 18 and 17-year-old and my son who is a 15-year-old. Steve Benjamin is onboard as well, and my brother Andy is skippering. It has been really fun sailing with my brother and my son.”
Blazer and Double Jointed currently sit in third and fourth overall, but a podium finish isn’t the only thing on the line for these two teams. Both crews represent the New York Yacht Club and have their eyes set on the Club’s berth at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in September of this year.
Tonight, the New York Yacht Club hosted a barbecue on the lawn that featured the Navy Band Northeast in honor of Sea Service Day and a visit from the American Magic team who brought the Mule to the New York Yacht Club dock for sailors to see first hand.
The battles continue tomorrow on the final day of the week-long New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta.