2006-08-10 / News

CYC sweeps Island Cup team race regatta with stunning 9-0 performance

The Island Cup, a team racing regatta hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club was sailed recently in the waters between Goat and Rose Islands with Sail Newport J/22's. Three-boat teams from Ida Lewis, New York Yacht Club, Lake Winnepesaukee Sailing Association, and Conanicut Yacht Club competed.

CYC skippers Cory Sertl, Mark Sertl, and Michael Marshall certainly didn't lack J/22 credentials, but with the exception of Marshall and his Bad News crew, brother David and Barrett Cavanaugh, they had virtually no team-racing experience. Added to this inexperience, in what is an arcane variant of the sport where tactics and teamwork trump boatspeed, was the distinctly "family picnic" look of the CYC effort. Cory Sertl was sailing with her daughter Katja, Ellen Noble and her daughter Adele, while Mark Sertl had his 1-year-old son Nick and Jeff Westcott on board.

As the fleet sailed out to the course on July 29, only two-time Rolex Yachtswoman-of-the-year Cory Sertl seemed to be of any concern to the other squads. A surprise win against New York Yacht Club in the first race still didn't attract too much attention since it was sailed in light air with the Marshalls putting on a rolltacking

clinic that was both the envy of the older crews and a concern to the judges. But by the time the first of three round robins was finished, a brisk sea breeze had filled and CYC had prevailed both on the water and in the "room" in a contentious race against Ida Lewis to go 3 and 0. Protests were heard on a Zodiac after each race. In round two, CYC, no longer an underdog, continued to eke out narrow wins with Opti racer Nick Sertl, ironically the team racing veteran of his family, calling when a winning combination had been gained. The wind built throughout the day, and the fact that at least two skippers (including Mark Sertl) fell overboard spoke to the intensity of the racing.

Going into the third and final round still undefeated, and with a regatta victory virtually assured, the issue had become whether CYC could pull off an improbable clean sweep. Cory Sertl, a marked woman all day long, kept taking hits (literally) for the team, while the Marshalls kept calling winning plays. In the final race, CYC was able to craft yet another nail-biting win over Ida Lewis as all six J/22's finished within a few boat lengths. No one would have guessed that any team could go undefeated in this format, let alone the "rookies" from CYC. As icing on the cake, CYC's triumph carried the additional title of the Gull Cup, contested simultaneously between only Ida Lewis and CYC.

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