San Diego Yacht Club Hosts the 2023 Yachting Cup

Pair experience with a well-adjusted crew and you have a recipe for success at this year’s Yachting Cup (May 5 – 7). After the first day of racing, it’s clear that the competitors set to their course intent on fighting for the title. Seven classes participated in this race, J/105, Beneteau 36.7, Classics, Navigator, ORRSub, PHRF-AA  and PHRF-B.

Lonnie Jarvis on Far 400M Chronic traveled down the California coast from Anacapa Yacht Club with a class win under his belt in 2022. In the class with Chronic this year are several TP52s. “They’re amazing, awesome boats, and they had their conditions today without a doubt…not ours. But, I think we hung in! There were a couple close ones. It was close sailing,” said Jarvis.

Similarly, Class Winner Chick Pyle on Kea is no stranger to a job well done at the Yachting Cup. The team won their class at the 2022 Yachting Cup and came back this weekend ready to defend their title.

“We tightened up the rig,” started Pyle. After sailing the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series in March, Pyle made it a point to make some changes to the boat before the Yachting Cup. “We studied it and had our sail maker come on board, and it was simple…it was too loose. So today we cranked it down and it paid off.”

On board John Laun’s Caper was tactician Alli Bell – a sailor familiar to the boat and Laun’s usual crew. The team currently sits in second place in the PHRF-B class. According to Bell, a huge part of success is sailing with a familiar face and knowing how your crew works together.

Bell said, “To know that everybody knows what their jobs are and that they have been in the position before, I can look at somebody on the boat and know what they’re thinking and how their going to approach the maneuver. From there, I can adjust what I’m going to do. When I call tactics, I can see a situation setting up on the water and I know how John and the rest of the crew are going to handle it. I have faith how it’s going to work out.”

Yachting Cup racing was blessed with champagne San Diego sailing conditions, presenting an average of 13 knots steadily through the day, blue skies and sunshine. Seven classes sailed on two ocean courses just south of Point Loma, with a special Classics/Navigator course that started in the “near ocean course” and concluded with a Bay tour on the city front.

The Classics/Navigator Classes are a more recent addition to the Yachting Cup. The Classics are an active group around San Diego, and commonly members of the Ancient Mariners Sailing Society (AMSS). Over the past two years, the Yachting Cup committee worked with the class to create a course that had a short, upwind component and then, mostly off wind, reaching and running into the bay with in-bay finish for convenience. The Navigator Class was conceived to attract boats that are more cruising-oriented looking for a more casual, fun racing experience.

CF Koehler’s 10-meter Sally is locally famous in the Classics, celebrating 96 years. “The tactics are to one: have fun. I think a lot of people forget that. If you’re not having fun you shouldn’t even be out there. And then try to make the boat go fast. Brushfire is probably our closest competition…we have to outsmart them a little bit,” said Koehler.

In high Cinco de Mayo spirits, the 2023 Yachting Cup weekend started off with fun on the water and fun on the land. Kicking off the racing festivities, several boats registered this weekend took to the random-leg course on the San Diego city front for the traditional Ton Cup on Friday.

And of course, what would Yachting Cup be without on-land festivities and camaraderie between friends. After the Ton Cup, skippers and their crew were invited to SDYC for a welcome party celebration, Cinco de Mayo style. All enjoyed Mount Gay libations and live music by Ristband, sponsored by Southcoast Yachts. On Saturday, all were invited back for an Italian-themed buffet and cocktails on the Front Deck.

Following the final day of racing, boats are invited to the Awards Ceremony with prizing provided by SD Boatworks and Helly Hansen. Follow SDYC on Instagram and Facebook for racing news, results and more.