San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup 2015 ~LBYC’s Dustin Durant wins regatta for historical trophy
Long Beach Yacht Club’s Dustin Durant won the San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup 2015 Saturday against San Francisco Yacht Club’s Shawn Bennett, allowing LBYC to retain the trophy they won from SFYC last year, the 120 year-old San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Trophy… the second oldest perpetual trophy in North America.
Hosted by LBYC and sailed on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s, the morning clouds cleared and breezes of 8-13 knots filled in giving both teams a shot at winning the regatta.
The format was set with the first skipper to win three points declared the winner. Durant didn’t need to go the maximum of five races, winning the first three in a row.
“I’m happy and proud to be a part of LBYC,” said Durant
Knowing that SFYC wasn’t coming down to Southern California for sunny skies and amusement parks, Durant said, “This year we knew there was going to be a little more pressure on us.”
Durant’s team of Ben Wheatley, Mike Lowe, Shane Young, Chris Macy and his father, Bill Durant, were made aware of the importance of winning this event when Durant took them out for practice on Friday.
“Compared to what we usually do for practice,” said Durant, “last night I put them through the hardest maneuvers we could do. It was hard, but they were up to it.”
Bennett is a great sailor and was a good choice for SFYC especially since he has had recent success this year on these boats winning the Long Beach stop of the California Dreamin’ Series match race series in March. Interestingly enough, Durant finished second.
“I think Dusty sailed great,” said Bennett. “The starts are critical and that’s my job. If you’re not winning starts then it’s really difficult.
“We could have been better, but this is such a great sport and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Final thoughts from Durant on the day, and the regatta
“It’s nice to win this cup twice. It would be a good thing if they come back and race for it again next year. Shawn is a great sailor.” Created in 1895, this beautiful sterling silver trophy is fought for on the water every year between San Francisco Bay area clubs and West Coast clubs outside of the area, alternating in even-numbered and odd-numbered years
The San Francisco Yacht Club and The Corinthian Yacht Club jointly maintain a deed of trust which, among other areas relating to the trophy, sets forth the terms of regattas to be raced. It states that professional sailors are not allowed and all crew members must have been a member in good standing of their yacht club for at least six months.
SFYC Commodore Suzie Moore said, “It’s sad to lose, but we couldn’t be more proud of the racing the last two years. It’s a Pacific Coast trophy and it is fun to give other clubs a chance to win.”
SFYC Vice Commodore Ed Lynch added, “The trophy is a gift, to whomever holds it. It’s fun to be here. Long Beach Yacht Club is an incredible host.”
1. Dustin Durant, Long Beach YC, 3 wins, 0 losses
2. Shawn Bennett, San Francisco YC, 0 – 3
by Rick Roberts