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2019 Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup at San Diego Yacht Club - Overall

by Casey Allocco 27 Oct 2019 22:38 PDT 25-27 October 2019
2019 Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup © Mark Albertazzi

The coveted Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup trophy is leaving San Diego Yacht Club and heading north to the home of this year's winners: Newport Harbor Yacht Club! After three days of intense, close racing, skipper Justin Law and his seasoned crew earned their bragging rights by winning four of eleven races and staying in the top half of the fleet for almost every other race this weekend.

"It was super stressful. We just really played ball that last race. We had to stay five boats within Chicago and the team just did enough. Winning the first race made the tension go away and it was a great way to start the day. It set us up for a successful final two races," commented Law.

The overall results of the 2019 Lipton Cup show Newport Harbor Yacht Club finishing first overall with 40 points. Close behind is Chicago Yacht Club in second with 43 points and San Diego Yacht Club in third with 47 points.

During the entirety of the Lipton Cup and down to the last race, there were multiple competitors in the running for first place. Ending day two, three teams were tied for third place, making today's racing extra crucial. Newport Harbor went into the third and final day of the regatta only one point behind Chicago Yacht Club and made sure to battle their way past them to the top. Chicago, however, still held their own in the top of the fleet today, seeing good competition from teams like San Diego Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club (5th) and San Francisco Yacht Club (8th).

SFYC skipper Tim Russell commented on their great sailing today. "If you look at the scores we had gradually gotten better and we just started to really gel. I actually hate that it's over because I'm ready to go again!" he said.

Law has been sailing with this crew for quite some time... a factor that he credits toward their success. Recently, the team has been competing in yacht club keelboat circuit team racing and sailed in the Morgan Cup and the Baldwin Cup. "Whether it's team racing, club circuit, or offshore big boat, we've been doing this with the same team for a couple of years. This is the first time I'm driving... but it's kind of the OG squad," he said. Law has crewed at the Lipton Cup the past two years for their usual skipper Jon Pinckney, who came in fifth in 2018. Bill Menninger, a frequenter to SDYC's Lipton Cup and International Masters Regatta, was also on NHYC's crew.

After crossing through the finish line, team NHYC was presented with a winning bottle of champagne by Lipton Cup Chair Tim Fuller as they headed back to the San Diego Yacht Club. All teams joined together on the Main Deck for the awards ceremony officially concluding the 2019 Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. Justin and the rest of team NHYC might be best found celebrating down the street at the Bali Hai where they'll enjoy one of their traditional mai tais and thank the Buddha for sending them the good karma that they asked for.

SDYC Commodore Jerelyn Biehl, although saddened by not keeping the Cup on home turf, was happy to have another great regatta at the Club. "Newport Harbor sailed a great regatta and while, as Commodore, I wish it was staying at SDYC, it's always good to have other teams win to keep everyone coming back! SDYC ended on a high note by winning the last race and finishing in the top three."

"I know it's a big trophy and it's a huge deal for us to win the Lipton Cup. The biggest thing is how many people are reaching out and saying congratulations. It's really cool," finished Law.

Full results available here.

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