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Thrilling Lipton Cup

This year's Lipton Cup showcased a wide range of conditions. From the intense winds of 22-27 knots on Friday during the ladies' skipper day to the gentle and variable breezes experienced on Saturday at Encinal Yacht Club, and then the challenging heavy air conditions on Sunday back at St. Francis Yacht Club. The event was filled with excitement as the BYC Race Team made a lasting impression on the local sailing community.

The three day regatta required lady skippers to race on Friday night, an open skipper on Saturday, and an over-60 skipper on Sunday. Our ladies' skipper day was led by Sofie Mravcova, starting in front of St. Francis Yacht Club and sailing to Blackaller, then to Harding, and finally to Berkeley Pier where two additional buoy races were successfully completed. The day ended with dinner and drinks by the EYC pool.

Saturday was a thrilling day with points counting for double. It all started with a fantastic first place to the weather mark and ended with BYC making a bold move to port tack the fleet. This daring move became the talk of the town during the pre-brief on Sunday and remained a hot topic at the awards ceremony later that afternoon. Saturday ended with live music and dinner at EYC.

On Sunday, our BYC skipper over the age of 60 was Louis Benainous, who navigated two fantastic buoy races before embarking on the long journey back to StFYC in challenging winds of 25 knots or more.

As the party came to a close, the overall winners of the Lipton Cup were announced, with San Francisco Yacht Club narrowly beating out Richmond Yacht Club. However, during the second buoy race on Sunday, there were two incidents of contact, one of which involved BYC being hit by SFYC. The question on everyone's mind was whether the tack onto starboard had been completed, and drone footage revealed it was a very close call. So close, in fact, that it sparked days of discussion and numerous opinions. At the party, RYC was urging BYC to win the protest, believing it would have secured them the regatta win. On Tuesday, the protest committee and teams convened via Zoom to discuss the incident. The following day, the verdict was delivered: SFYC and BYC were disqualified from that race, while Sausalito was cleared of any wrongdoing. A tough outcome for those involved, but also allowed StFYC to swoop in for the overall win! OUCH!

All in all, it was a fantastic event filled with thrilling and competitive races, alongside enjoyable social interactions with sailors from other clubs. I look forward to seeing everyone's improvement over the upcoming months leading to the next season, aiming for another impressive performance next year from BYC.

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