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San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup
The well-oiled machine of LBYC's skipper Shane Young's team, on their way to winning the 2016 San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup Rick Roberts ©

San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup

The best-three-out-of-five match race shootout in the 2016 San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup was won by Long Beach Yacht Club’s Shane Young Saturday against San Francisco Yacht Club’s Shawn Bennett.

With the win, LBYC once again has the privilege of holding on to the 121 year-old San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Trophy… the second oldest perpetual trophy in North America.

LBYC won the trophy in the Bay Area in 2014, and for the last three years has continued to proudly display it in their clubhouse in a prominent place of pride.

Raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s, the forecasted solid wind faltered after the first two races, and the race committee briefly postponed racing before continuing with a southerly 6-8 knots of breeze.

Young is a rising star in West Coast match racing finishing in second place for this year’s three-venue California Dreamin’ Series.

“It all starts with who is on your team,” Young said. “All I did was turn the wheel.”

Young’s teammates were, Dustin Durant, Mile Lowe, Ben Wheatley, Ian Paice and John Busch.

San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup

LBYC’s winning team of (L–R) Ian Paice, Dustin Durant, Mike Lowe, Ben Wheatley, John Busch, and skipper Shane Young with LBYC Vice Commodore David Westerfield and LBYC Port Captain, and this year’s regatta chair Charlie Legeman pose with the historic trophy at 2016 San Francisco Perpetual Challenge Cup © Rick Roberts

“You know,” Young said, “John [Busch] was instrumental in putting this team together. Shawn is a very accomplished sailor to go up against and I was kinda surprised that I was picked to skipper. I was pleased to do it.”

“For us, it was all about the pre-start,” Bennett said. “It’s too bad I couldn’t do the California Dreamin’ Series. It would have given me more time in these boats which would have made us more competitive.

“Shane sailed well and didn’t make very many mistakes. It’s tough to compete with that.

“The first start of the day, we wanted to lock them out at the race committee boat, but they got by us. With the light wind today, the boat that was ahead at the start was able to move even more ahead.

“It was good for our guys to experience the light air today. We don’t get that very often”

Created in 1895, the beautiful sterling silver San Francisco Perpetual Challenge 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.

Bennett talked about his team’s day.

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.

Final Results
1. Shane Young, Long Beach YC, three wins, one loss
2. Shawn Bennett, San Francisco YC, 1 – 3

by Rick Roberts

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