Day 2 of the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup started out similarly to yesterday’s conditions. The marine layer burned off by 10:00 am and wind at 3-5 knots greeted the racers heading out to the course by 11:00 am. The race committee worked hard managing a very busy San Diego Bay and was able to get 5 races off, completing Race 9 around 5:00 pm.
With clear skies and a clear start, the first race of the day got underway and Long Beach YC was ahead right off the line. The team was able to maintain their lead the entire race and secured the top spot. Competitors learned early on that the left side of the course was paying as they followed the leader on the second beat. Long Beach skipper Shane Young said of their victory, “Our game plan was to keep it clean, minimize mistakes, get off the line and we did exactly what we planned.” Meanwhile, San Diego YC continued where they left off yesterday finishing second and Newport Harbor YC got into a consistent groove finishing third and decided that was as low as they were going to go the rest of the day!
Race 6 began with another clear start and Southwestern YC found themselves second row off the line and threw in a tack briefly before returning to join the rest of the fleet on the left side once again. San Francisco YC and San Diego YC had an excellent match race starting at the first weather mark rounding. At the leeward gate, both boats rounded simultaneously and tried to make gains on their second upwind leg. San Diego YC took the win and got their first taste of the top spot in the 2017 regatta.
Balboa YC, eager to improve their streak of ninth’s, had an aggressive start and was OCS for Race 7; but, was able to make it up and finish third. St. Francis YC also managed to improve their score for the third race of the day. During a flurry of protests at the second windward mark rounding, St. Francis YC was able to stay focused, with clean maneuvers and round the mark in second before setting off for their final run to the finish. They crossed the line in second to secure their best race of the regatta so far. Newport Harbor YC also capitalized at the second windward mark rounding while their fellow competitors were making penalty turns and they took first for race seven. Skipper Jon Pinckney said, “With everyone slowing down, it opened up the lead for us... we were the benefactor of a huge pile up at the weather mark. Sometimes the luck goes your way in the Lipton Cup.” Surely the Newport Harbor team hopes that luck continues into the final day tomorrow!
Racers had some external challenges in Race 8 with some major shipping traffic; thankfully all boats were able to maintain their course. SDYC jumped ahead and Coronado YC got in the game for a top three spot. After the first weather mark rounding, all teams stayed to the left side of the course and Coronado YC decided to go right. Three year veteran Lipton Cup skipper Patrick Powell later said, “I think this was the first race you had to go right a little bit and we played the shifts really well.”
Race 9 got off to a rocky start with a postponement followed by a general recall. Once the boats were off the line, they were ready to sail fast. Cal YC was first to the windward mark on the first beat and held the number one spot until the finish. Newport Harbor YC landed in second and Larchmont YC improved from placing fifth in Race 8 to third in the final race of the day.
Complete results after day two are available here. Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow at 11:55am followed by the awards ceremony that will take place on SDYC's front deck after racing.
Article by Liz Smith, SDYC Partnerships Director.