Saturday, October 29, 2016

J/105 Lipton Cup Preview

J/105s sailing Lipton Cup (San Diego, CA)- The 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, will be sailed on October 28-30, 2016. Named for the historic yachtsman and tea baron, Sir Thomas Lipton, the Lipton Cup allows yacht clubs’ teams to face off to determine who is the best of the best. It has been the most prestigious trophy contested in Southern California and one of the most coveted on the West Coast since 1903.

Racers will compete in San Diego Bay, allowing plenty of viewing opportunities for friends and family along the waterfront. To ensure fairness, the regatta will be held in a round robin format using equalized J/105s provided by owners of local Southern California boats. There will be a practice day on Thursday, October 27.

Twelve teams from around the country will compete in this year’s regatta.  Representing the California contingent are Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club, and St. Francis Yacht Club.  Representing the East Coast are Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, and New York Yacht Club.

J/105 sailing Lipton CupHost San Diego Yacht Club won last year’s Lipton Cup while St. Francis Yacht Club and California Yacht Club have also won within the past 5 years. Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.

Returning SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks is confident that the skills of the 2016 team will help them win the trophy again. Going into the Lipton Cup weekend, Team SDYC will concentrate on sailing well and keeping their heads in their own boat.  "Sailing well is only thing we can control and if we can do that, we’ll put ourselves in a position to win," explains Sinks.

Despite the confidence exhibited by the “locals”, there is no question there are fairly strong teams taking aim at collecting the coveted silver trophy to toss onto their trophy shelves instead!  Leading that charge will be St Francis YC’s Chris Raab with Russ Silvestri as tactician, the winning combination two years ago.  Also in the hunt will be Newport Harbor YC’s Jon Pinckney with Bill (and son Mike) Menninger as co-tacticians (Mike won the J/105 Masters Regatta as skipper last weekend with Pinckney as tactician)- this NHYC duo are formidable talents and nearly won the regatta last year, save for a not highly recommended “left tack” into the channel!!  Two of the eastern sailing clubs also have very competitive teams:  Eastern YC has Bill Lynn skippering with Henry Brauer, Alden Reid and Bob Campbell as their afterguard- all top J/105 sailing talent from Marblehead, MA; and New York YC has Brian Keane as skipper with Stu Johnstone as tactician.

This year's Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests after racing. The awards party will take place on Sunday after racing.

Event co-chair, Joanne O’Dea, explains the spirit of the weekend. "Lipton Cup is a fun event because its three days of intense competition on the water — matched with equal enthusiasm for the camaraderie off the water. San Diego Yacht Club is proud to host this event every year and is excited to welcome the visiting teams to our bay."

The Lipton Cup Regatta and San Diego Yacht Club would like to thank its sponsors: Ballast Point, Helly Hansen, North Sails, Pacific Gate San Diego & Zeal Optics.  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information