Saga wins Royal Hobart Regatta’s historic Lipton Cup

Bellerive Yacht Club member Chris Sheehan today sailed his Young 88 Saga to victory in the Royal Hobart Regatta’s historic sailing trophy, the Lipton Cup.

The Cup is decided on the best corrected time under PHS scoring by yachts in all four divisions of the Combined Clubs summer pennant series.

Multiple, but unsuccessful America’s Cup challenger Sir Thomas Lipton presented the cup for competition between yachts on the River Derwent in 1912. Initially it was given to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania who late dedicated it to the Royal Hobart Yacht Club.

The support of the Combined Clubs in recent years has brought yachting back into the Royal Hobart Regatta, now 180 years old, with the fleet today sailing past the regatta grounds to round a mark just south of the Tasman Bridge.

To decide the Lipton Cup, all divisions today sailed the same course around river marks on a day when the wind fluctuated from 0 to 18 knots in strength and from WNW to SW (and in between) during the afternoon.

Saga won line and handicap honours in Group 3 with a PHS corrected time of one hour 14 minutes and 42 seconds, just 16 seconds lower than Group 4 winner Innovator (Ian Smith and Dean Aberley).

In Combined Club pennant results, Saga won Group 3 PHS from Silicon Ship (Gordon Clark and David Wyatt), third place going to Madman’s Woodyard (Andrew Wise).

Saga also won the AMS category of Group 3, beating Steve Chau’s Young Lion and Rumbeat (Justin Barr).

Fastest boat in the entire fleet was Toby Richardson’s X&Y which also took first place in Group 1 PHS from the Farr 40 Wired (Sam Boyes) and War Games (Wayne Banks-Smith).

Under AMS scoring, Jeff Cordell’s B&G Advantage, took first place in Group 1 from Philosopher (Shaun Tiedeman) and Tas Paints (Ian Stewart).

Fronting up on the race course again after competing in the Bruny Island circumnavigation race on Saturday, Philosopher won the Group 1 IRC category, as the Sydney 36cr did in the Bruny race. B&G Advantage placed second, War Games third.

The flukey winds caught out several Group 1 boats with Filepro finishing 11th in fleet, Wild West 12th and Madness 13th across the line in the 13 boat fleet.

The syndicate-owned Twitch had an outright PHS win in Group 2, taking the honours by just 50 seconds on corrected time from Illusion (David Brett), the two crossing the line 55 seconds apart. Illusion won Group 3 AMS from 42 South (Mark Ballard).

Group 4 saw another outright win for Innovator (Ian Smith and Dean Aberley), second place on PHS scoring going to Spinner (Peter Limb) and Wayatih (Allan Morgan).

– Peter Campbell

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