SAN DIEGO — The 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, will be sailed Oct. 28-30. 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 have a round robin format using equalized J/105s provided by owners of local Southern California boats. There will be a practice day Thursday, Oct. 27.
Twelve teams from around the country will compete in this year’s regatta: Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, California YC, Coronado YC, Eastern YC, Larchmont YC, Long Beach YC, New York YC, Newport Harbor YC, San Diego YC, San Francisco YC, Southwestern YC, and St. Francis YC.
Host 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,” Sinks explains.
This year’s Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests after racing. The awards party will take place Sunday after racing.
Event co-chair Joanne O’Dea explains the spirit of the weekend. “Lipton Cup is a fun event because it’s 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.”
Sinks is also looking forward to a weekend of fun. “ The club does such a great job with the regatta and so many club members come out to watch the sailing; hopefully the weather will cooperate and we’ll be able to give them some exciting racing.