Southern California’s home teams showed true perseverance in day one of San Diego Yacht Club’s Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. Five Southern California yacht clubs dominated the top of the fleet today, despite some critical challenges on the course. With tight competition and teams finishing all over the score sheet, there’s no predicting the end of this regatta.
The conditions on the beautiful, city front course in San Diego Bay were favorable. Light, easterly winds started off the regatta but the breeze quickly increased between 8-10 knots for the rest of the day. Sunny skies and flat waters made for a smooth day of sailing.
The San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup dates all the way back to 1903. Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, donated a trophy in his name for West Coast yacht racing excellence. This exchange resulted in a new, prestigious yachting event – the San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. This weekend is the 104th Lipton Challenge. Twelve yacht clubs from the U.S. and Canada are competing in a series of 12 races, rotating in a fleet of equal J/105s.
Currently standing in first place is San Diego Yacht Club (15 points), followed by Long Beach Yacht Club in second (20 points) and Coronado Yacht Club (24 points) in third.
Skipper Tyler Sinks was once again representing the San Diego Yacht Club. The team proved their experience in the regatta with a bullet in race one and race five. In addition to their first place finishes, SDYC stayed consistent at the top of the fleet for the entire day. Team SDYC is the current defender of the Lipton Cup trophy, having won last year’s event.
Sinks explains his success in day one. “We had good speed and really good team work. In sticky situations, we were able to dig our way out. We’re happy to have a good start but we know we’re a long way away from the finish line. We’re going to continue to stay aggressive, keep pushing and get a little bit better tomorrow.”
Although SDYC showed an impressive skill set today, they had real competition against second place team, Long Beach Yacht Club. LBYC, skippered by Shane Young, had remarkable scores across the board starting the day with a bullet and a second, and finishing in third place in race four and five. The team would have finished first overall for day one if it wasn’t for a critical error in race three.
“We averaged under fifth place, which was a goal of ours. I just had one incident resulting in a foul at the top mark which made it pretty difficult. We had to do a couple spins to put us back. Other than that, we’re trying not to do anything too aggressive. We want to stay conservative and get off the line,” said Young.
After the races, the 12 teams made their way back to the San Diego Yacht Club for tacos and beverages hosted by Cutwater. Teams will meet again in the morning for day two of the regatta. The races will begin at 1125.
Day one of the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup proved that the regatta is anyone’s game. The equal level of competition between teams is sure to make for unpredictable and exciting racing on day’s two and three of the weekend.
The 12 teams competing this year are: Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club.