It’s not quite LeBron James rolling back into Cleveland wearing a Miami Heat uniform. But this weekend, there are likely to be a few New York Yacht Club members wishing Olympic contender Erika Reineke were again competing for the host club in the New York Yacht Club Women’s 2v2 Team Race, instead of one of the visiting teams.
A year ago, Reineke teamed with fellow skipper Emily Maxwell—and their respective crews—to lift the New York Yacht Club to a convincing victory in the inaugural edition of the women’s-only regatta, which is run out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court. This year, Reineke will race for her hometown Lauderdale Yacht Club.
“Sailing for the New York Yacht Club last year and having such a great time at the event, I thought it was really important to get my hometown club involved as well as younger female sailors,” says Reineke, who is a veteran of multiple Olympic campaigns and is currently campaigning a 49erFX for the 2024 Olympics. “This year, our team’s average age is 22 and the majority either attend or just graduated from Boston College. It’s really exciting to see women gaining more opportunities to team race. My hope is that more yacht clubs from the south will send their top female sailors to compete at the event and get exposure to such a unique side of the sport.”
The Women’s 2v2 Team Race will take place June 4 and 5 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court. In 2021, this event joined the Club’s fabled trio of coed keelboat team races—the Morgan Cup, the Hinman Masters and the New York Yacht Club Grandmasters. The response was overwhelming, with more teams applying than spots available. This coming weekend, 10 clubs from around the country will send their top team racers to Newport for a weekend of competition and camaraderie. The regatta will be sailed on Narragansett Bay utilizing the New York Yacht Club’s fleet of 23-foot Sonar sailboats.
“After the successful first year, the Women’s 2v2 Team Race was again oversubscribed this year, and we look forward to building it out as a marquee event on the Club’s racing calendar,” says Basia Karpinska, the event chair. “Sailors love coming to Harbour Court and Newport; this event attracts top talent and provides a unique opportunity to experience inter-generational women’s racing and camaraderie.”
While Reineke (at left) hasn’t focused on team racing since graduating from Boston College in 2017, the majority of the Lauderdale Yacht Club team raced for Boston College a few weeks ago when it finished second in the InterCollegiate Sailing Association’s Women’s Team Racing National Championship. This group includes Sophia Reineke, Erika’s younger sister.
“When Sophia and I decided to apply for the event, we were both so stoked to have the chance to sail with each other,” says Erika Reineke. “The only time before this that we team raced together was when she crewed for me at the Team Race Midwinters in 2017. With her and her teammates coming straight off the College Sailing Nationals, and Sophia being named the Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year, I feel like I will be the one in need of shaking off the dust.”
Should the Lauderdale team falter there will be plenty of other squads equipped to take advantage. The Larchmont Yacht Club crew will include sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles, who led Yale to the win in the ICSA Women’s Team Race Championship. Paris Henken, who sailed in the 49erFX class in the Rio 2016 Olympics, will skipper one boat for the College of Charleston’s team. And there are numerous other former collegiate All-America selections and national champions sprinkled throughout the competing teams.
LeBron’s return to Cleveland may have ended with a seemingly inevitable blow-out win for the visiting team, but there’s nothing guaranteed in Newport this coming weekend.
Racing for the New York Yacht Club Women’s 2v2 Team Race will start Saturday morning and run through Sunday afternoon on the waters between Rose and Goat islands.
Teams entered in the second annual New York Yacht Club Women’s 2v2 Team Race include: American Yacht Club, Rye, N.Y,; Bristol (R.I.) Yacht Club; College of Charleston (S.C.) Yacht Club; Corinthian Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass.; Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass.; Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Lauderdale Yacht Club, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; New York (N.Y.) Yacht Club; Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans; The San Francisco Yacht Club, Tiburon, Calif.
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