After a year at the St. Francis Yacht Club, the Lipton Cup trophy will return back to San Diego. The team from SDYC started the day with a 2 point lead over St. Francis Yacht Club and finished 2 points ahead of Newport Harbor Yacht Club for the victory.
Jake La Dow described the young team that SDYC put together as the 2015 Lipton Cup crew, saying "The cool thing about San Diego is there is such a wide range of talent among a lot of generations. There are a lot of guys who have had success in this regatta before, and luckily they were able to train with us and give us a lot of knowledge and a little more experience. It was very helpful."
Jake's father Andy La Dow, a recent SDYC Commodore and past winner of a San Diego Yacht Club Lipton Cup team described what it was like to watch Jake and his teammates during this event. "For me it really began from my Dad Jerry who raced in many Lipton Cups over the years with Nick Frazee, Gary Weisman, Dennis Conner and Lowell North along with many other SDYC members. It was a natural progression I guess for me having now raced in 4 Lipton Cups, twice as a skipper and winning in 2009, the year I was Commodore. Since we continue to have so many young talented sailors at SDYC it is healthy for the event, SDYC and sailing overall to get the 'next gens' involved. I know Jake is excited to be a part of this years team. I imagine the other clubs are taking note and I expect to see younger teams from other clubs showing up here next year!
A beautiful November day in San Diego greeted competitors on the race course on Sunday for the last stretch of the Lipton Cup regatta. After a brief postponement, wind was west southwest at steady 6 knots. Race 7 began with a crowded start at the signal boat end. Long Beach Yacht Club sailed clear ahead followed by California Yacht Club and Southwestern. Half of the fleet went to the right side of the course, hugging the Harbor Island shore. Long Beach was first to the windward mark with a great set, a good 3-4 boat lengths and Southwestern and Annapolis behind and close together. Annapolis made big strides on the second upwind leg and was able to finish first followed by Long Beach then Newport Harbor.
In Race 8 the signal boat end of the line was heavily favored, and Long Beach came out with an excellent start again followed by Southwestern then St. Francis. The majority of boats decided to head right toward the shore, Long Beach being the last boat to tack over that way. Newport Harbor moved ahead, first to round the windward mark, followed by Coronado and then SDYC. SDYC was flagged for a foul and completed a penalty turn, which put them back a few places to finish in seventh. Newport Harbor won the race followed by Southwestern and Annapolis who fell back to third.
California Yacht Club had a good start in race 9; the fleet stayed together toward the right side, Newport Harbor continued to improve by taking the lead around the top mark. Newport Harbor and California headed to the far left side of the course, St. Francis and Coronado decided to head right. Newport Harbor continued their streak to win and the wind velocity increased to about 7.5 knots after race 9.
At 3:00 PM, the Race Committee was able to start a 10th and final race, after a few boats were OCS, the fleet spread out and Chicago led the right side and California led the 3 boats heading left. Annapolis came back as first to round and hoisted a gybe set, Southwestern headed to the left side of the course. Long Beach celebrated their Line Honors and Newport Harbor, sitting in second place of the regatta was hoping to gain enough to knock SDYC out of first, they finished third. SDYC finished in the final race in tenth but knew the victory was secured for the 2015 Lipton Cup!
On the victory lap back to SDYC, skipper Tyler Sinks who is a recent winning skipper at the ISAF Team Race World Championships, weighed in on Sunday's racing. "Well it was one of the toughest days sailing I've ever had. We ended up doing 4 races today, and at first we were focusing on St. Francis since they were closest to us in the standings. I think we did a really good job executing that plan. But as we were putting points on St. Francis, Newport Harbor kind of snuck in the back door. Going in to the last race, they were 7 or 8 points behind us. We got off the line good, we had a good start, we were actually beating them down wind. We missed a shift and from there it felt like it was hard for us to find a lane. But the team stuck together and these guys got the win, and I'm happy to be a part of a team like this."
A big thank you goes to regatta chairman Jeff Brown and regatta coordinator Joanne O'Dea who made this special event happen. Additional thanks to the dock team, boat maintenance team, dockettes, race committee, and the jury for a well run regatta.
Commodore John Laun can breathe easy now that one of his final tasks is a success as his tenure as SDYC Commodore nears its conclusion. "It's been said that winning the Lipton Cup is only as important to the SDYC Commodore as air and water, and I'm pleased to see our team prevail. And I'd like to thank for the record all of the owners who so generously donated their boats so we could have wonderful racing with equal boats on San Diego Bay."
Thank you to regatta partner Tesla Motors who provided test drives of the Model S to competitors and club members all weekend at the club, and to supporting JK3 Yachts and McCarthy Holthus LLP.