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Knickerbocker Cup at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club August 26-30

The 27th Annual Knickerbocker Cup, hosted by the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, will take place on Aug. 26-30. The Knickerbocker Cup is a qualifier for the World Match Racing Tour, with the winner gaining an automatic entry to compete in the King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda, one of the most prestigious match racing events on the tour. Twelve teams from around the world have been invited to compete in the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup.

This year the Knickerbocker Cup has joined with two other match racing events to form a series. The Chicago Match Race, Chicago Match Race Center, Chicago, Illinois, will take place on Aug. 21-23, and the Detroit Cup, a qualifier for the Brazil Cup on the World Match Racing Tour, hosted by the Bayview YC, Detroit, Michigan, is on Sept. 2-6. Skippers participating in all three events include Reuben Corbett (NZ), Juan Ignacio Grimaldi (ARG), Laurie Jury (NZ), Dave Perry (USA), Phil Robertson (NZ), Keith Swinton (AUS) and Chris Van Tol (USA).

The teams for this year’s Knickerbocker Cup are an international group of talented match racers. Dave Perry, a collegiate All-American and two-time Congressional Cup champion, also known for his books on racing rules, will represent the United States, along with Chris Van Tol, the “zero to hero” team, from Bayview YC in Detroit, MI, who came out of nowhere to win the 2007 Knickerbocker Cup. He will be back this year to try again to recapture the cup. Rounding out the teams from the U.S. will be Anna Tunnicliffe and Sally Barkow. Anna was the 2008 winner of the Laser Radial Gold Medal at the Olympic Games and the 2008 US SAILING Yachtswoman of the Year. Sally Barkow made history by winning the 2009 Ficker Cup match race and becoming the first woman to sail into a spot in the Congressional Cup. International teams include: Taylor Canfield (USVI), Reuben Corbett (NZ), Richard Fornander (SWE), Juan Grimaldi (ARG), Laurie Jury (NZ), Jeremy Lucas (CAN), Phil Robertson (NZ), and Keith Swinton (AUS). Four of the teams are returning to try again to test their skills against the vagaries of wind and current on Manhasset Bay. Will past knowledge of local waters catapult the returnees to a podium finish? It is anyone’s guess, but if the past can be a reliable predictor, capturing the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup will be up for grabs, and no one in their right mind would want to bet on any one team. Manhasset Bay has brought many match racers to their knees, and one can only imagine what she has in store for the 12 teams invited to participate in the 2009 Cup.

The Knickerbocker Cup began in 1982 by the late Edward I. du Moulin and the late Arthur Knapp to bring high quality match racing to the east coast of the United States. Over the years, the Knickerbocker Cup has attracted racers from around the world, including Paul Cayard, Ed Baird, Russell Coutts, Terry Hutchinson, Peter Gilmour, Dave Perry, and Dave Dellenbaugh. Last year’s winner was Takumi Nakamura, Albatross Match Racing Team, from Japan. For more information about the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup, go to: www.manhassetbayyc.org and select Knickerbocker Cup.