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2019 Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup at San Diego Yacht Club - Day 1

by Casey Allocco 26 Oct 2019 07:02 BST 25-27 October 2019
2019 Lipton Cup © Mark Albertazzi

The 2019 Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup began today (Friday) at the San Diego Yacht Club, and it seems to be picking up right where it left off last year in 2018. All eleven participating yacht club teams are returning from last year, many of them being skippered by the same men and women at the helm. Shane Young and his Long Beach Yacht Club team were one team that really came back ready for a rematch.

Racing began around 1225 while the race committee waited for the breeze to fill in. This gave the teams time to get accustomed to the J/105s and the South San Diego Bay venue. In four races, competitors saw shifty breezes averaging 8 knots through the day. Temperatures hit the high 80's and as usual, the Bay was covered with bright, sunny skies.

Currently standing in first place is Shane Young (Long Beach Yacht Club) with 15 points, tied with Tyler Sinks (San Diego Yacht Club) in second, also with 15 points. In third place stands Will Holz (Chicago Yacht Club) with 20 points.

Young (LBYC) ended the 2018 Lipton Cup in second place behind Sinks (SDYC) and came back this year ready to battle. The team dominated today finishing the first two races of the regatta with a bullet, and finished the fourth race in second. Similar to last year, their biggest competition was the San Diego Yacht Club, who finished first in 2018.

Sinks talked about how he was feeling after the first day of races. “We ended the day on a high note and we feel good about it. We had a couple of tough races. We’re going to be disciplined tomorrow. If we can continue what we started today than we’ll be in good shape," he said.

Currently standing in fourth place is the youngest skipper in the regatta. At 18 years old, Wood (Balboa Yacht Club) had four good races and kept themselves at the top of the fleet. “We had a bunch of really good starts, we had some good upwind legs, but we stayed pretty conservative. In the last race, we made a good call at the top weather mark and were able to gain four boats back. We were the only boat that gybed out and everyone else stayed in a straight line. It ended up paying out really big for us. Tomorrow, we hope to keep it simple, get off the start line, keep our air clean and keep staying in the top five,” Wood explained.

Race three saw an interesting change up on the score sheet. Both LBYC and SDYC found themselves stuck at the back of the fleet while Shawn Bennet (St. Francis Yacht Club) showed everyone his stern from afar. Bennet finished the race with a solid, two-minute lead on the rest of his competitors, putting him in his current sixth place position.

After the races, the competitors were invited to a casual reception at the San Diego Yacht Club where they enjoyed cold beverages, light food and good camaraderie. Tomorrow, the teams will return to South Bay for the second day of racing, where they'll continue their rematch for the top of the fleet.

Full results available here.

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