Centennial race comes to San Diego Bay
Published on October 29th, 2014
The 100th Challenge for the Lipton Cup will bring 12 yacht clubs to compete on San Diego Bay for the esteemed trophy. Arguably one of the most iconic club regattas in the sailing community, this three-day regatta on October 31-November 2 is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs.
For the Commodores of the competing yacht clubs, winning the Lipton Cup for their club is often considered the highest accolade they can accomplish. “It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,” said San Diego Yacht Club Staff Commodore Chuck Nichols.
This year marks the event’s 100th challenge, 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. “The field for this historic regatta is truly representative of the finest yacht clubs and the finest sailors in the country,” current SDYC Commodore Chuck Sinks noted. “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.”
As the SDYC skipper responsible for winning the cup in 2013, Brad Rodi will again lead the host team. Also competing are seven past Lipton Cup champions: California YC, Coronado YC, Newport Harbor YC, Southwestern YC, Long Beach YC, St. Francis YC, and San Francisco YC. Additionally four clubs are looking to add their name to the Cup for the first time: New York YC, Kaneohe YC, Seattle YC and Cortez Racing Association.
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.
Report by event media. Photos courtesy of Mark Albertazzi.