Sixty is the new forty in San Diego

Published on October 5th, 2022

While San Diego Yacht Club prepares to host club teams in its 107th Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup on September 28-30, 11 teams of ‘older’ competitors will warm-up the provided boats at the 2022 International Masters Regatta on October 21-23 in San Diego, CA.

With 60+ year old skippers and 45+ year old crew, entrants from across Canada and the USA will compete in a round robin fleet race event using J/105s in South San Diego Bay east of Coronado Bridge.

Bill Abbott (CAN)
Thomas Carruthers (USA)
Nigel Cochrane (CAN)
Augie Diaz (USA)
Alan Field (USA)
Annie Gardner (USA)
Craig Healy (USA)
Don Jesberg (USA)
Tad Lacey (USA)
Philip Lotz (USA)
Terry McLaughlin (CAN)

“Each year we really work hard to bring the best Master skippers we can, and this year is no exception with an awesome slate of prior Olympians and World and National Champions,” notes event chair JR Young. “I think we’ll have some great racing in South Bay this year.”

Tad Lacey, Craig Healy, Don Jesberg, Alan Field, and Tom Carruthers all competed in the 2021 Masters and bring with them experience and knowledge of the regatta. However, each skipper invited comes with their own resume of impressive successes, making for intense competition…newbie or not.

“At the Masters, skipper and crew have an opportunity to race against other top national and international grand master sailors,” said Lacey. “The competition among the teams is very high. The races are relatively short with the competitors racing in close proximity.

“Come to the Masters to have fun and enjoy the camaraderie of friends you have sailed with and against for many years. San Diego Yacht Club hosts a very fine regatta with good winds and pleasant conditions. The race management on the water is excellent, as are the post-race and shore side activities.”

New to the competition, but certainly not to the water, is Nigel Cochrane, traveling from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Like many others, Cochrane brings with him an Olympic resume, an impressive crew, and plenty of anticipation to sail.

“I have represented Canada in two Olympic Games – Seoul and Barcelona – and coached three different countries: USA, Canada, and Spain in Beijing, London, and Rio respectively,” said Cochrane. In addition, some of his most cherished accomplishments include a 4th place finish at the1988 470 World Championships, a Gold medal at the 1991 Pan Am Games in Cuba, and a Gold medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle, WA.

“This event has given RVYC the opportunity to reach across our fleets and accept applications from multiple sailors,” shared Cochrane. “We had over 20 members apply to sail the event and a selection committee picked the team.

“It’s a great opportunity to increase the racing level in our fleet, entertain our members who follow the racing, and help to motivate our sailors to keep racing for future opportunities in Corinthian events.”

The only female skipper on the roster is Annie Gardner – SDYC local. Gardner has crewed in two Masters regattas before and is thrilled to be coming back as skipper. “We have a great team representing SDYC with a Staff Commodore, a current Women’s National Match Racing Champion, and some strong, smart talented people who race J/105s all year,” she said.

With a simple internet search for Gardner, you can find her Silver medal in the 1984 Olympics in Windsurfing, three world titles in Hobie 16s, an induction into the Windsurfing Hall of Fame 2022, and 20 National and International titles in Boards and Catamarans…just to name a few.

These are only three of the outstanding skippers contributing to the competition.

Philip Lotz, coming from New York, has sailed J/105s for many years. He has won the Grandmaster Team Race Champs in 2017, is owner of Arethusa, one of the first multihulls to compete in the Bermuda Race (2018), came in second in the Etchells Jaguar Series in 2016 and 2017, and came in 8th in the Etchells Worlds in 2014.

Terry McLaughlin recently won the 2022 Canada’s Cup match racing event in IC37s. He sailed three IC37 regattas in Newport, RI this summer, an IOD at Chester Race Week, Catalina 37s in the Butler Cup and Seawanhaka Cup regattas at LBYC and the J/105 when he was able to in Toronto. In addition to Terry’s Olympic past and impressive resume of sailing successes, he was the winning skipper of the J/105 North American Championships in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

Bill Abbott is a three-time Soling World Champion, three-time Olympian in Solings, and has earned several North American Soling titles.

Augie Diaz is a returning champion, having won the Masters in 2014. He earned 2003 US Sailor of the Year and was inducted in National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2021. Diaz is a two-time Snipe and four-time Snipe Masters World Champion, a 2016 Star World Champion, ten-time Snipe National Champion, and six-time North American Champion. Diaz won Silver at the Pan-Am Games in Snipes in 1971 and 2022, and won Bronze in 2015.

One part of the International Masters Regatta (and the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup that follows the weekend after) that makes it so unique is the rotation dock floating off to the side of the course. In order to make for an even, fair event, every team rotates boats after each race. To make a boat swap of 65+ sailors on one dock run smoothly takes an army of volunteers.


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