Three-peat on the line at Lipton Cup

Published on September 26th, 2019

One of the San Diego Yacht Club’s most coveted trophies – Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup – will be held October 25-27, 2019. Eleven yacht clubs that battled for the title in 2018 return to South Bay for a rematch in San Diego, CA. The Lipton Cup is sailed in a fleet of J/105s, loaned from local J/105 owners, with boats rotated between teams for each race.

In the running are: San Diego Yacht Club (2018 winners), Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, and Southwestern Yacht Club.

The San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup dates back to the early days of yachting on the Pacific Ocean, circa 1900. Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, requested that a trophy be created in his name for West Coast yacht racing excellence.

This exchange soon ushered in a new, prestigious yachting event – the San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. Read more about the history of the Lipton Cup.

San Diego Yacht Club has been the winning team for the past two years, keeping the trophy in their home court since 2017, thanks to Skipper Tyler Sinks and crew. “I’ve competed in the Lipton Cup four times. Our crew has been pretty consistent these past four years. We have the same team as last year except Erik Shampain is on board in place of Nevin Snow.”

Back for another shot at first is Allie Blecher of California Yacht Club. “One of the biggest lessons learned when you field a team of the best from one yacht club is to leave your ego at the door. So many teams clash because of grueling egos, but we’ve made it a point to leave those items on the dock and give it our best for the team.”

SDYC Commodore Jerelyn Biehl notes how the event stirs up the emotions among club members and participants. “The best part about the Lipton Cup weekend is the incredible competitiveness on the water. Many of these sailors have known each other and competed against each other for decades, and they’re back at it for one weekend.”

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