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Lipton Cup Serves Up Chills and Spills

RYC on port
Nine J/22s started the Admiral’s Cup on starboard. The lone port-tacker, Richmond Yacht Club, helmed by Sarah Deeds, won the start and the first mark.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Ten yacht clubs raced 10 matched J/22s in a three-day challenge to win some heavy silver Friday through Saturday. Friday’s windy race on heavy ebb chop took the four-person teams, with women at the helm, from St. Francis Yacht Club, which provided the boats, to event co-host Richmond Yacht Club.

Inverness YC spinnaker torn
Defending champions Inverness YC lost their spinnaker before Point Blunt. It shredded down the tapes.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

At least three spinnakers blew up during the first run from Blackaller past Point Blunt, off Angel Island’s windswept southern point, where the washing machine was on spin cycle. RYC’s was the first kite to go, parting at the foot, only about five minutes after the team hoisted it.

Coming into the last rounding mark, St. Francis YC had a commanding lead. At that mark, those who still had spinnakers left were allowed to fly them, and three caught up to StFYC. But they won this photo finish with SFYC.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

The course this year included an extra windward leg, from YRA 8 (aka R4) to Little Harding. The race finished off RYC’s race committee boat, Pelican, on Southampton Shoal. The soaking-wet sailors lined up in RYC’s turning basin and went ashore to share their sea stories and receive the Admiral’s Cup awards.

EYC team
Encinal YC won the Admiral’s Cup on Friday. Left to right: Sir Thomas Lipton (not aboard), Ben Rohr, skipper Rebecca Hinden, John Hansen and Daniel Erisman. “We had a blast doing the race,” said Rebecca. “Such fun conditions and course for those boats.”
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
RYC presented StFYC’s Russ Silvestri with this beautiful new trophy for winning last year’s Liar’s Dice Tournament.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
BYC table
Berkeley YC showed their team spirit at RYC on Friday evening.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Saturday’s buoy races were held in nearby Keller Cove. Although conditions were mellower than on Friday, the Sequoia boat took a knockdown, the mast dipped into the Bay, the companionway shipped water, and the boat sank. Russ Silvestri swam a line to the sunken boat. Parker Diving Service put float bags under her and towed her to RYC. They got her to the hoist and were able to lift her just a bit so the gunwales were above water level. Then they got out a large pump that RYC had recently purchased, pumped her out, and refloated her.  After a night spent with a dehumidifier running, the boat was out racing again the next day.

Sequoia boat sunk
Sequoia YC won RYC’s Certificate of Mudworthiness.
© 2019 Bruce Powell

On Sunday, the teams raced back across the Bay to StFYC for the Larry Knight Trophy. This time, the skippers had to be age 60+, and they were mercifully given the shorter, more direct course homeward. StFYC hosted the awards ceremony afterward.

StFYC commodore Paul Heineken, his kids Johnny and Erika (pregnant with her second child), and Russ Silvestri won the Larry Knight Trophy.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

StFYC was launched at the start and never looked back. They covered the whole fleet from RYC up Raccoon Strait to the windward mark, Blackaller Buoy, to cruise down to the finish. But RYC had won Saturday’s Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Trophy in six races, and they took the overall prize, the Lipton Pacific Coast Perpetual Challenge Trophy.

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