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Twelve 2021 Lipton Cup teams prepare for competition

by San Diego Yacht Club 18 Oct 2021 17:44 PDT October 28-30, 2021
Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup © Mark Albertazzi

The battle is back on for the coveted Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup trophy. Twelve yacht club teams from all around the country come to San Diego Yacht Club on October 28-30, 2021 to participate in a highly competitive series while rotating through a matched fleet of J/105s.

From New York to Chicago to California, each team always arrives ready to put up a fight in San Diego Bay.

The trophy, which remains housed at SDYC, was most recently won by Newport Harbor Yacht Club from the 2019 running of the event where skipper Justin Law earned the win. Law is skippering for Newport Harbor Yacht Club again this year. "The talent across all of the teams that participate in the Lipton Cup is off the charts. SDYC does a great job hosting this first-class event," he said.

This year, the participating skippers/clubs are:

  • Peter Duncan, American Yacht Club
  • David Wood, Balboa Yacht Club
  • Allie Blecher, California Yacht Club
  • Will Curtiss, Chicago Yacht Club
  • Scott Harris, Coronado Yacht Club
  • Shala Youngerman, Cortez Racing Association
  • Keith Ives, Long Beach Yacht Club
  • Jon Singsen, New York Yacht Club
  • Justin Law, Newport Harbor Yacht Club
  • Tyler Sinks, San Diego Yacht Club
  • Nico Landauer, Southwestern Yacht Club
  • Chris Perkins, St. Francis Yacht Club

The 2021 Lipton Cup is anybody's game - and that's what makes it unique. After each race, competitors make their way to the floating dock to rotate boats, allowing for each team to have balanced boat conditions throughout the regatta.

Coming to the regatta with prior Lipton Cup experience are Tyler Sinks, Allie Blecher, Chris Perkins, David Wood, Justin Law (2019 winner), Shala Youngerman, and Scott Harris. Joining us new this year are Peter Duncan, Keith Ives, Will Curtiss, Jon Singsen, and Nico Landauer.

Sinks has won the event three times, in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and will be racing this year with other familiar Lipton Cup sailors Jake LaDow, Max Hutcheson, Nevin Snow, and Nick Kaschak. Also joining them is newcomer Lucy Wallace, who will be sailing in her first Lipton Cup, and Erik Shampain, one the winningest Lipton Cup sailors of all time.

"We rarely sail J/105s and almost never sail in South Bay, so it's hard to say we have any significant edge over our competitors. Maybe that's why the Lipton Cup is so popular, because other teams know they're playing on a level playing field," explained Sinks.

Ryan Hunter, captain of the Southwestern Yacht Club team skippered by Nico Landauer, comes ready to race having prepared for the 2020 regatta which was ultimately canceled. "I have actually been planning for the Lipton Cup with this team for over five years. My plan was to enter my team in 2020 while I was Commodore of SWYC. Unfortunately, a global pandemic put an end to those plans. So here we are in 2021. Better late than never."

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.

The weekend will kick off on Thursday, October 28 where after the first day of races, the teams can enjoy a social and camaraderie off the water. After racing on Friday, teams gather on the docks for cocktails from Old Harbor Distilling and snacks from Chipz Happen. On Saturday, skippers, crews and their families can enjoy partaking in the Saturday night banquet which traditionally holds a team roast and this year will double as the Awards Ceremony.

Bring your vessels out to San Diego Bay for the three-day regatta or follow the results online from home.

Tim Fuller is co-chairing the event with JR Young. "San Diego Yacht Club is thrilled to be able to host this regatta this year, especially since we were unable to sail last year. The Lipton Cup is a cherished tradition here at SDYC that the whole Club looks forward to. Every team that joins us on the course has a tremendous skillset and makes the competition exciting to watch. A special thank you is in order to the owners of the J/105s, who so graciously lend us their vessels for the annual Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup and International Masters Regatta. Without them, these events would not be possible," expressed Fuller.

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