Fall challenge classic for yacht clubs
Published on October 9th, 2023
The 108th Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, returns October 27-29, 2023. Named for the historic yachtsman and tea baron, Sir Thomas Lipton, the 2023 Lipton Cup has invited 12 yacht club teams to compete in a round robin series using J/105s.
The 41st running of the International Masters Regatta on October 20-22 provides the opening act for the Lipton Cup which is the most prestigious trophy contested in Southern California and one of the most coveted on the West Coast since 1903.
2023 Lipton Cup roster:
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club
American Yacht Club
Balboa Yacht Club
California Yacht Club
Coronado Yacht Club
Eastern Yacht Club
Long Beach Yacht Club
New York Yacht Club
Newport Harbor Yacht Club
San Diego Yacht Club
San Francisco Yacht Club
Southwestern Yacht Club
San Diego Yacht Club will be defending the Cup. Coming on the heels of winning the 2023 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in Newport, RI, the host team is led by skipper Tyler Sinks and some of his Invitational team members. Sailing with Sinks are Max Hutcheson, Nick Kaschak, Lucy Wallace, Jake La Dow, Adam Roberts, and Brad Rodi.
“It’s great to be back and our team is going for a third win in a row. That’s an exciting challenge and we’re motivated to try and three-peat,” said Sinks, with the racing to be held in South San Diego Bay.
All but one skipper has participated in past Lipton Cups, whether as skipper or crew. Balboa Yacht Club’s skipper Ryan Davidson comes to the start line for his first-ever Lipton Cup. Davidson is looking forward to good competition and close racing. “I don’t think there is a team that cannot produce a top result,” said Davidson.
Davidson’s team member Tyler Wolk has lined up a fantastic team consisting of himself, Frankie Dair, Daniel Pegg, Greg Newman, Sarah Roudebush, and Ken Sherb.
“Most of the team lives in Newport Beach so they are able to train together in their positions and work on team communication,” said Davidson. “I unfortunately live in Charleston, SC so will prepare by myself and local sailors here. But a wise man once told me that any monkey can drive and it’s all about the crew.”
A veteran to the Cup, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club skipper Chris Raab joins the 2023 Lipton Cup roster with a past win under his belt. Raab is bringing real competition to the course, having won 44 national championships in a variety of classes, and recently qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the ILCA 7.
Adding to the team’s experience is Raab’s crew which has ABYC Commodore Mike Van Dyke, Peter Fraser, Bob Little, Eric Lidecis, and Mark Ryan, with the team holding multiple offshore course records, past Lipton Cup wins, collegiate All-Americans, class, national, and world champions, and wins in the J/105, the Lipton Cup boat.
“The Lipton Cup is my favorite event,” noted Raab. “It is the premier regatta for yacht clubs in the U.S. and the fairest test of sailing team skills due to the rotation of boats. My plan is to get off the blocks and put the bow down.”
While the Lipton Cup is a highly competitive space, the sport of sailing is fostered through youth participation. This year, the Lipton Cup is welcoming two junior sailors to the course sailing with Southwestern Yacht Club skipper Chris Winnard. Taylor Ashton (15), is doing pit, and Jeff Ring (17) is on bow. “It will be a great experience for them,” said Winnard.