To allow more U.S. clubs the chance to participate in 2011, the NYYC created a qualifying series, which is being sailed in J/22s and Sonars—we sailed four races in each today. Twenty-four American yacht clubs signed up. We’re divided into two groups for the first half of the regatta, after which the top six from each group will move on to the finals, the bottom six to a consolation event. The top three teams earn a spot in the 2011 IC in Swan 42s. But the interest in this event, in this yacht-club-vs.-yacht-club-in-supplied-boats style of sailing, is so strong, it’s really not fair to relegate this event to second-tier status. The fleet includes America’s Cup, Volvo, and Olympic veterans, world champions, and the reigning Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.