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2024 SDYC Yachting Cup delivers thrilling finale amidst blustery conditions

by San Diego Yacht Club 5 May 20:42 PDT May 3-5, 2024
2024 SDYC Yachting Cup © Mark Albertazzi

As a blustery weather front cleared Sunday morning to reveal clear blue skies and white caps at sea, sailors on the final day of Yachting Cup were excited to get out on the water in some 'sporty' conditions.

Kite 35 skipper, David Nelson, highlighted early in the day that there was only one point between the top four boats and it would make for an intense competitive day for the EZ-2 class. Notably, this was biggest class of the regatta with 12 boats registered and ready to sail.

The fresh breeze from the passing front required boats to tune up from their usual "San Diego" trim. Competitive, but smaller class ORR-Ez 1 included Paul Dorsey's Adjudicator, Kjeld Hestehave's Velos, Clark Pellett's Maasai and John Brynjolfsson's Saga. Though Velos lead after day one, Adjudicator which performs better in the breeze, hit their stride today and came out on top of the fleet.

In the Ben 36.7 race there was a true come back story. Though Given-Ho had a rough day 1 due to some tactical difficulties on the course, they ultimately ended up finishing first ahead of Buenos Aires and the reigning 2023 Yachting Cup Winner Kea. They raced well in the fresh breeze for a solid first place for the regatta.

In the J/111 class, the rivalry between San Diegan Creative and Northern Californian Skeleton Key continued for the second day. Though Creative tried to get "creative" with their strategy, Skeleton Key prevailed with two firsts and a second to take home first place. This was another notch in their belt as they work towards the J/111 North American Championship in Los Angeles come June.

First in class wins include:

  • Ben 36.5- Given Ho - Eric Hanson
  • Classics- Brushfire - Peter La Dow
  • J/105- Juiced - Chuck/Stephen Driscoll
  • J/111- Skeleton Key - Peter Wagner
  • J/22- Robbie King
  • J/24- Take Five - Susan Taylor
  • Navigator- El Sueno - Brad Alberts
  • ORR- EZ 1- Adjudicator - Paul Dorsey
  • ORR- EZ 2- CC Rider - Chuck Nichols
  • PHRF B- Holy Toledo! West - Timothy Forderer

Juiced, skippered by Chuck and Stephen Driscoll, claimed the 2024 Yachting Cup Overall Winner. Stephen Driscoll commented that the breezy conditions and stiff competition made for a challenging but rewarding day. The team was thrilled to receive the award and was particularly pleased with the Helly Hansen gear that accompanied it.

After a fierce competition on the water, the teams all came back to celebrate their wins and comradery with a Cinco de Mayo trophy celebration.

Festive beverage sponsors Mount Gay Rum and Ballast Point brought the fiesta to life along with a surprise tasting from a new-to-the-Club tequila, Ricava.

The Yachting Cup would like to thank the over 40 volunteers on the organizing, race and protest committees that made this regatta possible. And a very special thank you to our neighbors Southwestern Yacht Club for utilizing your vessels for committee boats. We always appreciate everyone who comes out and we can't wait for an even bigger Yachting Cup in 2025!

Learn more about the regatta, check past results, and view photos at

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