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The Philadelphia Cup Regatta Returns! Spectator-Friendly sailboat racing on the Delaware River

by Carol Bareuther 20 May 16:41 PDT May 25, 2024
Liberty Sailing Club's fleet of J/27s racing on the Delaware River © Rachel Ortiga

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Race the return of the Philadelphia Cup Regatta this Saturday, May 25th. Back after a near-decade hiatus and hosted by the Liberty Sailing Club, entry is open to the following classes: J27, J22, Lightning, Flying Scot, Mariner, V15, Laser, Sunfish, and PHRF Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker Classes. The entry fee is $65 for dinghies and $75 for keelboats through May 24, with a last-minute entry fee of $85 on May 25. This fee includes a light breakfast for competitors, one skipper bag per boat, and launching service for One Design boats (Sunfish, Laser, Flying Scot, and Lightening) at the Independence Seaport Museum. Boat slips are available at Penn's Landing Marina, Pier 3 Marina, and Wiggins Park Marina. Competitor check-in will be at the Independence Seaport Museum. The regatta will be governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2022-2024 (RRS), including the prescriptions of U.S. Sailing except as modified by the Sailing Instructions.

"I am excited to see this regatta come back to life and to be part of the sailing club that is making that happen," says Caitlin Youngster, Liberty Sailing Club's immediate past commodore, who first raced in this event in 2016, the last year it was held, and will race again on Saturday in a J/27. "The Delaware River is such an important part of Philadelphia's native and modern history, and it's magical to experience the city from this perspective. If you're a sailor in the region, regardless of your experience, I recommend coming out to sail! This regatta is fun, approachable to sailors of all levels, and a way to connect with people who share a love of being on the water. Not to mention the views of the city, the bridges, and the evolving waterfront are spectacular."

Nearly two dozen boats are already ready to launch from the start line off Penn's Landing for round-the-buoy racing, navigating current, fellow competitors, and wind in the Delaware River. Five entries represent the Riverton Yacht Club in Riverton, NJ, with a nice mix of a C&C 30 and C&C 29-2, two J/24s, and a 22' Cape Dory Typhoon Senior.

"Riverton Yacht Club is excited to see Liberty Sailing Club revive the Philadelphia Cup this year. The Philly Cup is the only event that brings together our local Delaware River yacht clubs, benefiting racing and connecting the larger sailing community. We are also encouraged by Liberty Sailing Club taking a long-term perspective so that the Philadelphia Cup is re-established as an annual event," says Patrick Curran, commodore of the Riverton Yacht Club.

The first start is at 10:30 a.m., with the last race starting no later than 3:30 p.m. An Awards Ceremony follows at the Sea Philly River Cruising Tours Estuary at 5:30 p.m., where each class champion will have their name engraved onto The Philadelphia Cup. A reception will follow aboard the historic Tall Ship, Gazela Primeiro.

"The Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild and Philadelphia's Tall Ship Gazela Primeiro are proud to support the return of this exciting event. With its rich maritime history and stunning ambiance, Gazela offers an unparalleled location for this year's reception, the perfect venue to bring together traditional boating enthusiasts and racing aficionados after an exciting day at the regatta," says Gina Pickton, the organization's treasurer. "This is the first event of Gazela's season in which visitors can look forward to free deck tours, concerts, receptions, and even training classes for volunteer crew members."Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a near-decade hiatus, the Philadelphia Cup Regatta returns on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25, 2024. This highly anticipated event, hosted by the Liberty Sailing Club (LSC) out of Independence Seaport Museum will feature racing in the Delaware River. Sailors and spectators alike can compete and cheer against the breathtaking backdrop of the Philadelphia skyline at Penn's Landing. Entry is open to the following classes: J27, J22, Lightning, Flying Scot, Mariner, V15, Laser, Sunfish, and all other PHRF Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker Classes. The first start is at 10:30 a.m. with the last race starting no later than 3:30 p.m. An Awards Ceremony follows where each class champion will have their name engraved onto The Philadelphia Cup, on permanent display at the Independence Seaport Museum.

"Join us in celebrating the return of the Philadelphia Cup, the ultimate sailing regatta uniting clubs across the region! The racing events will feature everything from nimble dinghies to majestic keelboats with a diversity of sailors," invites Laura Ness, regatta director and LSC board of directors. "As the day's exhilarating races conclude, the after-party takes center stage at the Maritime Museum of Philadelphia, adding a touch of nautical history to the evening. This iconic venue at Penn's Landing is a long-time partner of past Cups and we're thrilled to continue the tradition again this year."

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