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Can you beat this team around a 20nm, minimum, race track?



Martin Robertson and his team off Orion II, winners of the 96th edition.


You'll have to to win the 97th running of the Lipton Cup, NZ's oldest yachting trophy and one of the oldest in all NZ sport. Orion is again a favourite for this years edition but certainly not a shoe in. Valeria is pushing hard and could easily take the win... and she is 105 years old.


Just out of the shed is Tamateta, a veteran of many Liptons and a winner of a fair few. She'll have a Mr Trubi on the helm so she'll certainly be one to watch. Plus there are a few others all with a chance of the gun.


History has shown loading a pile of rock stars aboard is certainly no guarantee of a win or even a podium. These are special boats that don't play like most others so to win first you have to master the mighty L Class, something some big names have tried many times yet failed.


The L Class has a 22ft long hull and a 22ft long boom, plus a bow sprit. They carry silly amounts of sail. They are centreboarders with 1000kg of lead strapped inside them for ballast, which the winning boat has to pull out and get weighed before they can pick up the trophy. The boats do rely a lot on crew skills and crew weight to keep them upright, if they get it wrong they do fall over and they can sink. L Class were originally fishing boats that plied the harbours and estuaries of NZ hence they become known as 'Mullet Boats' or 'Mulleties'. Most are very old and as mentioned above some are centurions and still racing hard. Orion II, last years winner is one of the newer young bucks (even if the crew are old crusties) at a gentle 45 years old.


The silverware up for grabs, if you think the AC is flash you've not seen this beast.



The name Lipton is from the gentleman who donated the trophy, a Sir Thomas Lipton, yes the same dude who had a crack at the AC a few times, back in 1920. Sir Thomas had a connection to the Ponsonby Cruising Club for a quite a few years prior to that. The story goes that way back in the day some likely lads from the PCC had a race they wanted a trophy for so being cheeky buggers they shot down to Devonport and took a photo in front of the Esplanade Hotel, a flash looking place of the time and still operating today. They sent the photo to Sir Thomas and said the club had spend all it's money on new clubrooms (at the time the clubroom was just a tin shack in a corner of what is now Westhaven) so couldn't afford a trophy for the big race, would he like to help?. Sir Thomas thought that was a bit ruff so donated the cup which became the Lipton Cup and it has been raced for every year since.


With the 100th Edition close a few are in the shed for rebuilds and tweaks. The class is starting to wind up to that so the interest level on who, what, when, how and all that fun stuff is accelerating. It;'s going to be big and great to watch.


The course has to be a minimum of 20nm. It is usually within the area bounded by the Harbour Bridge to Northern leading to up off Taka beach. There are W/L's at the start right off the Westhaven breakwater before they head out for a while then back for a couple of W/L off the breakwater again and the finish. In the 96th Edition the first 3 boats finished literally within spiting distance of each other, not too shabby considering the 50 plus year age gap.


97th Lipton Cup will be sailed Saturday 17 March 2018  -  L Class Mullet Boats


EVERYONE is WELCOME to join us at Westhaven to for the whole day or any part of it.


Breakfast:    Bookings essential and pre-orders essential to avoid disappointment   7.30 - 9am

Briefing:       All Skippers are required to attend.

Start:             1100hrs   Harbour area in front of the Westhaven club area 


Viewing:      Westhaven Carpark or PCC Clubrooms or out on the water

Clubrooms:  OPEN ALL DAY

The Galley:  Platters available – see attached flyer for ordering through office or Bar (ph:  376 0245  email: info@pcc.org.nz)

Prizegiving:  Approx 4.30pm


A taster from last years edition - The 2 boats you can see before you push the start button are Valeria (L8) to windward, she is 105 years old, and the one to leeward is Limited Edition (L57), the youngest one designed by Greg Elliot, it is only a kid at around 30 years old. Last time they meet Valeria came out on top.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Orion II, got a jump while rounding Rangi Buoy and they are a team that you have to keep pressure on, if they get a hint of room they will just extend....and they did.


The race was all about 2nd. The battle between Team Trubi with Matana, Team Cookie with LE, Bennys Boys on Valeria and with Matanza right there, was export grade quality epic. Swapping places every 10 mins and with 200mts to go (after 20nm) it could have gone any way.


Trubi, for a gentleman of 'some years' he was giving that boat arse as if he was 20. How he didn't sink her while gybing by Reso no one knows, including his crew :) They were that far over the centreboard was clear of the water, in 99.9% of cases that has happened the boat went down.......but no that sly bugger somehow managed to save it.


The build up to the 100th is all on now with some names, like Trubi and Ian Cook, getting campaigns together. There are a few other biggies as well. It going to be a great couple of years as people get sorted for the big one. The best bit is the 10th is stirring up a lot of older boat rebuilds so to see lots of the Harbour heritage coming back to life is damn good. At the 100th we will see a few boats even older then the Cup itself. Valeria is 105 and the oldest that sailed on Saturday, it came 3rd, only 2 or 3 boat lengths behind LE, the youngest boat, at 35 ish.

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