October 28-30, 2016        San Diego, CA

Congratulations to Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s team, winners of the 2016 Lipton Cup! This year’s champions were Greg Helias, J.P. Peschelt, Peter Kinney, Bill Menninger, Michael Menninger, and skipper Jon Pinckney.

The 2016 Lipton Cup ended dramatically today under ominous clouds and light rain. Despite challenging wind directions on San Diego Bay, Race Committee ran three races, completing all 12 scheduled races for the weekend, meaning every team competed in each of the J/105s.

Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) won the first two races and even though they finished ninth in the third race, they were able to keep their overall lead and win the regatta by one point. NHYC finished third in 2014 and second in 2015, so it was game on to see if they could pull off the win this year.

The first race of the today was between Coronado Yacht Club (CorYC) and NHYC. CorYC was leading until the second weather mark when NHYC moved into first place, with a clean spinnaker. Race two was a Southern California battle between San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) and NHYC who were all neck and neck at the beginning of the race. LBYC passed SDYC on a tack and maintained their lead around the second weather mark and downwind to the finish.

Pinckney shared how he was successful both today and during the whole weekend. “We fought really hard and we had a really good team. I think one of keys was whenever we were down in the race, we were able to come back. There were two races we didn’t, but there were also a lot of other races when we did. The first two races today we started well, but the last race we had to battle once again. When you’re battling you have to rely on your whole team and everyone was really good.”


The skies opened up and it started raining for the final race of the day at 3pm in about 9 knots of wind. Almost the whole fleet rounded the first weather on top of each other, but St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) managed to break in front of the fleet and keep the lead until the finish. StFYC’s win of the last race moved them up to a second place finish overall and just one point away from the overall win.



StFYC’s skipper, Chris Raab, knew where he needed to finish going into the last race. “I was thinking about how badly I screwed up in race eleven, so I knew we had to win the last race. It was an interesting race since SDYC and NHYC were so close. My strategy was to get ahead of NHYC, because once we get ahead, we stay strong and nobody catches us. So that’s what we did.”

Before the awards ceremony, Pinckney reflected on his overall win. “It feels really good. It’s been a long time coming.”

Full results are available online here. Photos are available here.

The Lipton Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Ballast PointHelly HansenNorth SailsPacific Gate San Diego & Zeal Optics. And special thanks to the local J/105 owners for lending their boats to make this regatta possible.




2016 Dragon Flite 95 Inagural US National Champs

SoCal’s Mark Golison the 2016 DF 95 Champion

October 28-30, 2016          Garland, TX

Mark Golison with the little brother Dragon Force 65 at Mason Park, Irvine earlier this year.
Mark Golison with the little brother Dragon Force 65 at Mason Park, Irvine earlier this year.

Robert Piper filed this final day regatta report on Facebook:

Well the regatta is over, the location is cleared and vacated and everyone is on their way home or has already made it home. So how was this last day of sailing at the 2016 DF 95 Nationals?

Interesting… A rigs all day. Not even a hint of B. One thing we had going was there was very little chop to deal with. For the most part the course was set and only had a couple of minor tweaks all day. One tweak was to flip the windward and the offset to make the course more square to the wind. That was done just before an A heat race. The A fleet skippers found it was an upwind battle to make it to the offset. That was a big challenge to a lot of skippers who were not expecting that. So race committee moved the offset down course to make it easier.

There were times where the boats were moving through the water nicely only to have the wind drop as your making that tack over to the windward mark. Skippers who had been on port, and at a disadvantage, suddenly found new openings as the Starboard boats ended up drifting down and having to tack themselves to make the mark. Thats sailing though. Something you just have to deal with it as your out on the water. And speaking of having to deal with new things on the water, I spoke to a bunch of skippers that said it was worth it to have come to the regatta just to sail in competition with their B rigs. Many had never had it on to sail with before.

Lunch today was either a bacon chicken sandwich or a beef skewer. Lots of positive feed back there also. The Texas Land and Cattle was great for hosting the regatta. After lunch we had the final race of the day. C fleet, B fleet then A to wrap things up.

Well you know how it seems there is always a skipper that forgets to turn on their radio when they put their boat in the water at just about every regatta you have been to? Well that happened on this last race. I am not sure it had happened all weekend. But this last race we had the call for Boats in the Water – Clocks On. Then there is the call about 5 seconds in. Rescue Boat – Rescue Boat – skipper forgot to turn on his radio. There were 43 skippers sailing at this regatta. If you started at the bottom guess who had forgotten to turn their radio you would have had 42 skippers to guess before you finally made it to the first place skipper and winner of the regatta Mark Golison. Yup Mark was our radio man…

To wrap things up special thanks have to go out to the race PRO Freddy Rocha for flying in to run the regatta. He kept the races moving allowing us to get 16 races (48 heats) off in the three days of sailing. Chuck LeMahieu (Dragon Sailing for putting this regatta on, doing all of the leg work, Plus making sure a vast supply of parts was available all weekend, Bass Pro for the use of the grounds and the dock for the 3 day weekend. But most importantly to the two gals that did scoring. I apologize for not getting the name of the gal who spent 3 days out on a floating dock writing scores. She would work with Carrie LeMahieu who was running the computer to make sure the skippers knew who was to be on the water when. This was the first time for these two people to ever do a 3 heat scoring and they did a fantastic job!

RESULTS (Click on image to download):



From the Lipton Cup Website:

The 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, will be sailed on October 28-30, 2016. Named for the historic yachtsman and tea baron, Sir Thomas Lipton, the Lipton Cup allows yacht clubs’ teams to face off to determine who is the best of the best. It has been the most prestigious trophy contested in Southern California and one of the most coveted on the West Coast since 1903.

Racers will compete in San Diego Bay, allowing plenty of viewing opportunities for friends and family along the waterfront. To ensure fairness, the regatta will be held in a round robin format using equalized J/105s provided by owners of local Southern California boats. There will be a practice day on Thursday, October 27.

Twelve teams from around the country will compete in this year’s regatta: Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club, and St. Francis Yacht Club.

Host San Diego Yacht Club won last year’s Lipton Cup while St. Francis Yacht Club and California Yacht Club have also won within the past 5 years. Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.


Returning SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks is confident that the skills of the 2016 team will help them win the trophy again. Going into the Lipton Cup weekend, Team SDYC will concentrate on sailing well and keeping their heads in their own boat.

“Sailing well is only thing we can control and if we can do that, we’ll put ourselves in a position to win,” explains Sinks.

This year’s Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests after racing. The awards party will take place on Sunday after racing.

Event co-chair, Joanne O’Dea, explains the spirit of the weekend. “Lipton Cup is a fun event because its three days of intense competition on the water — matched with equal enthusiasm for the camaraderie off the water. San Diego Yacht Club is proud to host this event every year and is excited to welcome the visiting teams to our bay.”

Sinks is also looking forward to a weekend of fun. “The Club does such a great job with the regatta and so many club members come out to watch the sailing, hopefully the weather will cooperate and we’ll be able to give them some exciting racing.”

The Lipton Cup Regatta and San Diego Yacht Club would like to thank its sponsors: Ballast Point, Helly Hansen, North Sails, Pacific Gate San Diego & Zeal Optics.

J70 Worlds Report and Wrap Up From a Corinthian Competitor’s View

From SailCouture



Alcatel J/70 Worlds Delivers More Than Results

The husband and wife team of Tracy and Christy Usher bought their J/70 sailboat Christine Robin one year ago setting their sights on sailing in the 2016 Alcatel World Championships in San Francisco, just six months from their first major regatta. Here, Christy tells their story and explains why buying the J/70 was the best decision they ever made.


My first year sailing in the J/70 Class has been one of the most exhilarating and by far one of the best years of my life—culminating just recently with the Alcatel J/70 World Championship hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC). Almost exactly one year ago to the start of the Worlds, my husband Tracy and I bought our J/70 sailboat. Buying the J70 has proven to be the best decision we’ve made together.

My husband and I had been looking for the right sailboat for us as a family for over a decade. Tracy had been content competing on the Laser Master circuit, so for many years we sailed Lasers “together separately.” He sailed the Laser Standard Masters while I sailed in the Laser Radial Masters. As much as I enjoyed sailing in the Laser Class, I aspired for a sailboat we could race and sail together.


Our first introduction to the J/70 was in Newport, RI, in Fall 2012. StFYC sent a team that included my husband and Peter Vessella to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) for a regatta, which was to be sailed in J/Boats’ latest speedster, the J/70. Peter Vessella was rightfully and quickly smitten with the boat and purchased one soon after.

READ MORE………………………………..


3 SoCal Sailors Named to 2016 Youth World Championship Team

October 20, 2016

Portsmouth, R.I. – US Sailing has named 13 athletes to its 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship Team. The premier youth event in international sailing, the Youth Worlds is expected to include competitors from over 70 nations. The event is set to be held in Auckland, New Zealand from December 14-20.

“A talented and competitive American team has been selected for the 2016 Youth Worlds,” said Leandro Spina, US Sailing’s Youth Development Director. “It takes hard work to develop the skills needed to reach this level, and US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) will assist with preparations as we get closer to the event. We are excited to name our team, and to help them deliver a peak performance in Auckland.”

US Sailing’s 2016 Youth World Championship Team:

  • Laser Radial (girl’s one person dinghy): Sophia Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
  • Laser Radial (boy’s one person dinghy): Carrson Pearce (Manahawkin, N.J.)
  • International 420 (girl’s two person dinghy): Kathryn Hall (Haverford, Penn.) and Ashton Borcherding (Greenwich, Conn.)
  • International 420 (boy’s two person dinghy): Wiley Rogers (Houston, Texas) and Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.)
  • 29er (girl’s high performance dinghy): Louisa Nordstrom (Osprey, Fla.) and Catherine Mollerus (Larchmont, N.Y.)
  • 29er (boy’s high performance dinghy): Ryan Ratliffe (San Diego, Calif.) and Sam Merson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
  • RS:X (girl’s windsurfer): No Selection
  • RS:X (boy’s windsurfer): Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.)
  • Nacra 15 (open multihull): Romaine Screve (Kentfield, Calif.) and Ian Brill (San Diego, Calif.)

*Note: No female US RS:X sailor qualified for the 2016 Youth Worlds Team

Several 2016 Youth Worlds Team sailors have worked with the ODP prior to their selection, and their campaign for Auckland represents a natural extension of their previous training. “US Sailing fully supports the Youth Worlds as an event, and we encourage all dedicated young sailors to try to qualify for, and medal at, this regatta,” said Spina. “The ODP staff have been in contact will all of our sailors, and we plan to have a dedicated Youth Worlds training camp in Miami in a few weeks. ODP staff will work closely with each athlete, as well as several of their individual coaches, to works towards our goals. This camp, and the Youth Worlds itself, will help us finish a strong second year of operation for the ODP.”

Spina will serve as Head Coach of the team in Auckland, and will be joined by Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team coach Willie McBride (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Two-time US Sailing National Development Coach of the Year Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.) rounds out the team’s world-class coaching staff.

For more information about selection process for US Sailing’s 2016 Youth Worlds Team, visit US Sailing.

More information about the 2016 Youth Worlds, visit the event website.

About US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program:

US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) was launched in January 2015 to lead the progression of the most promising youth sailing talent in the US. Guided by the US Olympic Sailing Committee’s Project Pipeline strategic initiative, the ODP fosters an integrated approach to training in the core development and Olympic classes, and is part of a system to provide the United States with a steady stream of well-prepared sailors. Some of these athletes will go on to represent Team USA at The Olympic Games, and provide the national team with consistent success. The fundamental premise of the ODP is to focus on the critical transition from youth sailing to high performance racing in Olympic classes. The ODP is funded through generous donations by individuals and organizations. The lead gift as well as a matching grant has been provided by the AmericaOne Foundation, and the US Olympic Sailing Program is actively seeking supporters to meet this generous match.  For more information on the ODP and the America One Match campaign, please visit

About US Sailing

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit

Pictured: Youth Worlds competitors celebrate the opening of the 2015 edition of the event. Photo: World Sailing
Pictured: Youth Worlds competitors celebrate the opening of the 2015 edition of the event. Photo: World Sailing