SAN DIEGO (October 29, 2017) The final day of the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup began with a postponement while breeze filled in from the South. Race Committee was able to get the first race off at 1:45pm setting a shorter, 3 lap course across the bay which was key in achieving all 3 races needed today to complete the regatta.
The sun was just breaking through the clouds at the start of Race 10. Chicago YC was OCS, St. Francis YC won the boat end, and Larchmont YC had a great start at the pin; but was soon rolled by San Diego YC. Chicago YC recovered from their start moving into third at the first windward mark rounding. With lots of lead changes throughout the 6 leg course, it was anybody’s race. Cal YC found themselves in great pressure sailing deep on the second run. They were able to keep that momentum and secure the top seat in the first race of the last day. Larchmont had an impressive race as well, finishing second; their best race of the regatta. This morning, main trimmer, Chad Corning, talked about going into the final day, “It’s a hard regatta, the Lipton Cup, to stay consistent. So today we just want to get some good starts.”
Consistency came into play in Race 11 as there were not nearly as many lead changes throughout the race. The fleet stayed in the middle to right on the course and there was a change of course to the right for the 3rd leg. At the finish, the results were completely shaken up from Race 10 as Cal YC went from first to twelfth and Coronado came up to take the top spot. Balboa YC also made a big leap to second whereas they finished eleventh in the previous race. Meanwhile San Diego YC and Newport Harbor YC earned a fourth and a sixth respectively for both Race 10 and 11, fighting their point battle further back in the fleet.
At the start of Race 12, San Diego YC was sitting in first place overall with 47 points, Newport Harbor YC in second with 48 points, and San Francisco YC in third with 55 points. And in the event of a tiebreaker, Newport Harbor YC would have had the edge. It was very quiet as the Race Committee sent the boats on their way up the course. The fleet was even off the line and New York YC was in the lead at the first windward mark rounding. Newport Harbor YC made their way through the fleet on the first three legs and approaching the second windward mark rounding were in the lead, but were just under the layline. As they stalled and slowly managed to get around the mark, Chicago YC and San Diego YC were able to pass by. Chicago YC lead the pack for a little while until Coronado YC sailed in front on the last run of the regatta getting another first. San Diego YC came in at seventh and Newport Harbor YC in tenth resulting in a 4 point overall win for the San Diego team as they won the regatta and brought the Lipton Cup trophy back home to SDYC.
San Diego YC had a tough first day of the regatta but improved throughout, seeing their best scores Saturday which put them neck and neck with Newport Harbor YC, the defending 2016 Lipton Cup champs. After the victory, San Diego YC skipper, Tyler Sinks, said, “It feels like redemption. Having won and lost once before – it’s definitely more fun to win than to lose.” SDYC Commodore John Reiter talked about the win and regatta. “The future of the sport is in provided boats. We had visionaries back in 2010 that helped to make this event one of the best of the best. The 2017 Lipton Cup win was a great way to cap off a strong year.”