Current SDYC Commodore Chuck Sinks noted, “The field for this historic regatta is truly representative of the finest yacht clubs and the finest sailors in the country. This regatta is a true test of each crew’s skill, coordination, communication and cooperation. It is going to be fantastic to watch. I wish I was sailing.”
This year marks the 100th challenge for the Lipton Cup, named after tea baron and decorated sailor Sir Thomas Lipton. In 1903, Lucien Blochman, the Commodore of what later became known as the San Diego Yacht Club wrote to Sir Thomas Lipton asking if he would lend his name to a West Coast yacht race. Lipton happily agreed and had a trophy sent to the club for the first ever Lipton Cup in 1904.
Since then, the race has served as a competition between the best of the best in West Coast sailing, although recently Yacht Clubs from across the country have been invited to participate. As the SDYC skipper responsible for winning the cup in 2013, Brad Rodi knows just what it takes to keep the trophy in San Diego. Rodi will need to leverage his experience with the regatta against the intense pressure coming from other clubs, each hoping to engrave their names next to the title of 2014 champions.
Also competing against the host club and defending champion San Diego Yacht Club are 7 past Lipton Cup champions with a rogue’s roost of top skippers and world-class tacticians ready to lift the big silver trophy off its pedestal from SDYC. Those teams include California YC (Alan Field), Coronado YC (Rick Harris), Newport Harbor YC (Jon Pinckney with Mike Menninger and father Bill Menninger), Southwestern YC (Ian Trotter), Long Beach YC (Dustin Durant & Erik Shampain & Keith Magnussen), St. Francis YC (Chris Raab with Russ Silvestri), and San Francisco YC (The Perkins Brothers, led by Chris with Phil and Jon aboard along with Paul Cayard and Craig Healy as trimmers/ tacticians!).
Additionally, four clubs are looking to add their name to the Cup for the first time: New York YC (Ken Colburn with Bill Lynn), Kaneohe YC (Eric Aakhus with Jesse Andrews tactician from Hawaii), Seattle YC (Jay Renehan and Brian Ledbetter) and Cortez Racing Association (Rick Goebel and Greg Tawastjerna, who as a team recently took 2nd at the 2014 J/105 North Americans!). To say the deck is stacked against the SDYC defending team would not even begin to describe the coming nuclear winter if the host team loses!
The race will be sailed on chartered J/105s, with each club stopping at a floating dock in San Diego Bay and switching boats between races to ensure that the only advantage on the water is having the best sailors competing. The race will be held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in front of the beautiful San Diego city front.
Spectators wishing to view the regatta’s final day of racing from the water can make reservations online to attend the Sunday Tea Party about the beautiful yacht America. Racing is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm each day. Otherwise, shore side viewing is available from the Embarcadero or Harbor Island. Furthermore, watch the event "live" on the Internet on RaceQs.com, the world's coolest tracking/ analysis app for iPhones and Android phones! From Friday to Sunday, watch "live" J/105s sailing San Diego Bay on RaceQs.com.
Thanks to supporting sponsors Sunroad Resort Maria, San Diego Boat Show, JK3 Yachts, Ballast Point Brewing, Jackson Design & Remodeling, Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers, Jones Lumber, North Sails One Design. And special thanks to the local J/105 owners lending their boats to make this regatta possible. For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information