America's Cup to Pittwater

The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has announced that the ‘Auld Mug’, the America’s Cup, is headed across the Tasman Sea for a special weekend of events, marking the first time it has been seen in Australia since the 30th anniversary of Australia winning the Cup back in September 1983.

The Cup will briefly leave its present home at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to go on display at the Pittwater-based club in Sydney over the weekend of the 28th and 29th of March. The RNZYS recently accepted the RPAYC as an entry for the Youth America’s Cup Challenge, and the two clubs have also joined forces to make the inaugural 2021 Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race a success.

“We are very excited that the Cup is coming to the club and that it has been accepted as the first ever challenger from Australia for the Youth America’s Cup Challenge. It will be a fabulous weekend for all concerned,” RPAYC commodore, Michael Lockley said.

“We will also be promoting the inaugural Moonen Sydney to Auckland Ocean Race over that weekend,” he said, adding: “The Alfreds is a great place to go sailing and continues to produce champions from grass roots level.”

RPAYC members and guests will be invited to a function on the Saturday evening, among them government officials, well known sailors; in particular those with a connection to the Cup, who will be invited to speak. Aaron Young, vice commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will be arriving with the Cup.
‘The Alfreds’ has strong ties to the America’s Cup. Members Colin Beashel, Phil Smidmore and Rob Brown were in the winning 1983 team. The club’s most famous Cup exponent though, is two-time winner, James Spithill. ‘Jimmy’ is lining up for his seventh tilt at the Cup, this time as skipper of the Italian Luna Rossa Challenge. Another member, Richard Slater, appointed Chief Umpire for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, has been invited back in the same role for the 36th edition in 2021.
 
Others who will benefit from seeing the Cup, and most for the first time in their young lives, are the up to 150 Optimist sailors expected to take part in the Optimist NSW Championship on that same weekend.
 
On Sunday the RPAYC will launch its Youth Americas Cup team at the presentation to the NSW Optimist Championship sailors.

“Sunday, the focus will be on the Optimist sailors and local sailors from our youth development programme and our youth squad. We will share with them the club’s history of taking part in the America’s Cup – and winning it,” Lockley remarked. “It will give them food for thought on where they can take their sailing in the future.”

For information on the Royal Port Alfred Yacht Club visit https://www.rpayc.com.au/

 
 
 
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