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James Macdonald takes positives out of lowly finish in Rolex Invitational

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James Macdonald and crew in action at last week’s Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in Newport, Rhode Island
Team RBYC: Jon Corless, left, Alison Hill, Alexandra Macdonald, James Macdonald, Walter Smith, Tom Miller, Paul Watson, Jeff Roach

James Macdonald says it was a privilege to represent the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in Newport, Rhode Island.

The local team finished at the bottom of the 19-boat standings, with a best showing of thirteenth in the 12-race series contested in Narragansett Bay from September 14 to 18.

“The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup was very exciting and my team and I felt privileged to be a part of it,” helmsman Macdonald told The Royal Gazette.

Despite of their overall showing, Macdonald said there were still positives to take away from the experience.

“Obviously, our overall result was disappointing but we did move in the right direction during the five days of racing with improved results over the last three days,” he added. “We had some great starts and over the last two days of racing we were in the top ten at times.”

Macdonald’s crew included past RBYC commodores Jon Corless and Tom Miller, daughter Alexandra Macdonald, Alison Hill, Paul Watson, Jeff Roach and Walter Smith.

The local team had their work cut out sailing in the one-design Melges IC37 at the regatta.

“The boats used in the regatta are unlike anything any of us has sailed in the past,” Macdonald said. “At first glance it is another asymmetric spinnaker boat, but in practice it is very different than most asymmetric keelboats.

“These boats feed off their own speed and it is important to always keep the boat at speed. This involves a complex relationship between steering and sail trim.

“We gradually got better at that, but we were up against many teams with a lot more experience in these kinds of boats than we have.

“I am proud of what our team accomplished and grateful that they took the time to take part in an event sometimes described as the premier amateur sailing event in the world.”

Southern Yacht Club won the regatta with Royal Thames Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club placing second and third respectively.

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Published September 23, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated September 23, 2021 at 7:37 am)

James Macdonald takes positives out of lowly finish in Rolex Invitational

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