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Newport Harbor takes control of Lipton Cup

Published on October 31st, 2014

San Diego, CA (October 31, 2014) – The first day of the 100th Lipton Cup felt every bit the phrase “calm before the storm.” The shifting winds were light, but proved to be a heavy challenge to the 12 J/105s racing on San Diego Bay. Jon Pinckney and his crew from Newport Harbor Yacht Club were up for the task, finishing the day with a total of 10 points in order to secure the day’s first place overall position.

As the five kts wind shifted in the first race of the day, so did the race leaders. Between rounding the gate mark and crossing the finish line, Kaneohe Yacht Club fell from 2nd place to 10th place and Coronado Yacht Club fell from 5th place to 8th place.

Skipper Rick Harris wouldn’t let Coronado stay there for long, and with a perfect start they worked their way upwind to gain a large lead on the rest of the regatta. Harris and his crew grew the gap even further on the downwind stretch to the gate mark, ultimately finishing the regatta minutes before the second place finisher. Practically racing in their own backyard, the Coronado team’s performance in race two demonstrated how well the local team can handle light, unpredictable breezes.

The Southern California home field advantage played out for more teams than just Coronado in race two, with four of the five top finishing clubs based in the region. San Francisco Yacht Club was the only club from outside of Southern California who finished in the top five, taking 2nd place. St. Francis Yacht Club, the other team based in San Francisco, struggled in the second race and ended up with a 9th place finish, but scores of 2nd and 3rd brought them into 3rd place overall at the end of the day.

The skies remained calm, but the competition began to ramp up. A flurry of over-eager boats prompted a general recall at the start of Race 3. With winds finally filling in, the competition began to pick up. Skipper Dustin Durant from the Long Beach Yacht Club led his crew to fourth place in race three and second place overall for day one’s racing. St. Francis Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club rounded out the remaining top five positions.

Today was the calm, but competitors hope that tonight brings the storm. Weather reports expect that tonight’s rainstorms will bring steady winds of about 12-15 kts during tomorrow’s racing. The racing is scheduled to resume at 12pm tomorrow and conclude Sunday. Shore side viewing is available from the Embarcadero or Harbor Island.

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Report by event media.

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