Southern’s Septuagenarian Secret to Success- Final day of the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s Cumberland Cup


Yet another fantastic day on the water for the nine teams from all over the world including Australia, Italy, America and Sweden. Royal Thames Yacht Club’s Cumberland Cup has become one of the highlights of the international team racing calendar.

The teams each sailed 16 races, completing 2 round robins which totals 72 races, following the round robins, the petite finals and then finals were raced, with best of 3 for the petite and best of 5 for the finals. PRO Jo Lucas stated: ‘another tricky morning with not much wind, but when it did fill in there was some fantastic sailing to watch, very close and really great that we could get in the whole series of races in.’

Yale Corinthian sailed RTYC in the petite finals, which made for some seriously close racing, each team giving the other a run for its money. The spirit of this Corinthian level event was captured perfectly by the two petite finalist teams joking with one another after the first race had been sailed. It was a closely fought battle, and in the end RTYC beat Yale with a 2-0 victory. Yale Corinthian YC have supported the last two editions of the Cumberland Cup, they are a highly competitive team, made up of 6 women and 2 men. Skipper Molly Carapiet of YCYC commented: ‘This is a great event, the sailing has been close and fun and the socials have been a great, as has the whole experience. On the water it’s been highly competitive and exciting , the best highlight on the water has been the fantastic weather!’ Molly added: ‘Our team is made up of strong women sailors and some token men who put up with us! We’re just as competitive as the all male teams, and physically just as capable.’ This energetic and enthusiastic team performed well throughout the event and earned themselves a well deserved 4th place overall.

RTYC came in in 3rd position, captained by Sam Littlejohn- a regular helm on the 2K Team Racing circuit. Sam and the team were pleased with their result, with bowman Tom Montgomery expressing that he hasn’t ever had to work this hard on the bow before.

The finals were an all American showdown, with Southern YC (New Orleans) taking on New York YC- previous Cumberland Cup winners for two editions in a row. It went to 4 races, with nail biting finishes for each of them, it was eventually Southern who made their way to 3 wins to NYYC’s 1 win. Both teams battled hard, and Southern showed that experience is more valuable than youthful strength: Cherrie Felder from Southern commented: ‘I’ve never worked so hard in all of my very long life, gotta have an appointment with my cardiologist when I get back! It’s been a great competition, thank you!’ Two generations of the Potts family made up the winning team, and Southern definitely represented the biggest age range from Jennifer Potts aged 28 through to Billy Marchal aged 74 (well beyond Grand Master qualifying age), who earlier in the week stated that ‘the noise on our boat must remain below 120 decibels,’ presumably to keep Billy’s hearing aids in tact. Huge congratulations to the team who proved that age is no barrier to success. The team was made up of skippers; Cardwell Potts and Zak Fanberg, who were expertly crewed by Corky and Jennifer Potts, Will Gammell, David Danby, Cherrie Felder and Billy Marchal.’

Event Manager Anthony Hinton: ‘Saturday has proved to be yet another exceptional day on the water, rounding off a superb week of fabulous weather competitive sailing from all teams and even more competitive socialising. Teams are now retiring to the calm of the bar to polish their skits and songs for Gala Dinner and prize giving this evening, where no doubt tall stories will be told. Thank you to all who have taken of part in what has been the largest turn out to the Cumberland Cup to date we look forward to welcoming you all again in 2018.’

A huge thank you to all of the competitors, and even more thanks to the fantastic Race Management team, who tirelessly lay courses, start races and record all of the on the water events, without this dedicated team, none of this would be possible.

Huge thanks as well to the Umpire team, headed up by Phil Mostyn and brought together by David Lees, who were called upon throughout the event to make accurate and race defining calls from the beginning right until the final leg of the final race.

Find all the results and information here: