Newport Harbor Wins Lipton Cup
Published on October 30th, 2016
San Diego, CA (October 30, 2016) – With three races on the schedule for the final day of the 2016 Lipton Cup, it was last call for the top three teams sitting within seven points. Defending team from San Diego Yacht Club entered the day in the lead, but it was Newport Harbor Yacht Club which took control, rolling a 1-1-9 to take the title.
Led by skipper Jon Pinckney, the winning team included Bill Menninger, Michael Menninger, Greg Helias, JP Peschelt, and Peter Kinney. NHYC finished third in 2014 and second in 2015.
Racing ended dramatically today under ominous clouds and light rain. Despite challenging wind directions on San Diego Bay, Race Committee ran three races, completing all 12 scheduled races for the weekend, meaning every team competed in each of the J/105s.
The first race of the today was between Coronado Yacht Club (CorYC) and NHYC. CorYC was leading until the second weather mark when NHYC moved into first place, with a clean spinnaker.
Race two was a Southern California battle between San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) and NHYC who were all neck and neck at the beginning of the race. LBYC passed SDYC on a tack and maintained their lead around the second weather mark and downwind to the finish.
“We fought really hard and we had a really good team,” Pinckney said. “I think one of keys was whenever we were down in the race, we were able to come back. There were two races we didn’t, but there were also a lot of other races when we did. The first two races today we started well, but the last race we had to battle once again. When you’re battling you have to rely on your whole team and everyone was really good.”
The skies opened up and it started raining for the final race of the day at 3pm in about 9 knots of wind. Almost the whole fleet rounded the first weather on top of each other, but St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) managed to break in front of the fleet and keep the lead until the finish. StFYC’s win of the last race moved them up to a second place finish overall and just one point away from the overall win.
StFYC’s skipper, Chris Raab, knew where he needed to finish going into the last race. “I was thinking about how badly I screwed up in race eleven, so I knew we had to win the last race. It was an interesting race since SDYC and NHYC were so close. My strategy was to get ahead of NHYC, because once we get ahead, we stay strong and nobody catches us. So that’s what we did.”
Before the awards ceremony, Pinckney reflected on his overall win. “It feels really good. It’s been a long time coming.”
Racing for the twelve teams took place October 28 to 30 on San Diego Bay.
Source: Emily Willhoft, SDYC