The Lipton Cup will make history this summer when the event will be run twice in the same season.
The 99th installment of the famous race will be sailed on December 5, 2020, with the 100th on March 21, 2021 to coincide with the final week of the America's Cup.
Only once in the almost 100 year-history of this iconic event was the Lipton Cup race not sailed - in 1947 due to the polio epidemic. Two Lipton Cups were sailed in 1946 but those were during different sailing seasons (January 1946 and December 1946).
“It’s fantastic that we have been able to schedule the 99th Lipton Cup for Saturday 5th December 2020 and that we don’t have to reschedule the 100th Lipton Cup," Ponsonby Cruising Club vice-commodore Janet Watkins said. "That’s great for our club and great for the sport.
"We are expecting to see more mullet boats of all sizes coming out of the woodwork between now and March 2021. It really could be anyone’s race.”
The Lipton Cup Interclub Challenge is New Zealand yachting's oldest trophy competed for by the same class and some of the race fleet are now over 100 years old. It's sailed in 22 foot L-Class yachts, commonly referred to as mullet boats, and some of the older boats are still very competitive.
The trophy, made by the same silversmith who made the America’s Cup, was donated by Sir Thomas Lipton who challenged for the America’s Cup five times, but never won.
“We’ve had tough times of late that have tested the club, which has been a part of the local community for 120 years," Watkins said. "We’re thrilled and very grateful that this iconic event is going ahead, sponsored by Westhaven Marine Brokers Ltd, and invite anyone interested in classic yachts and yacht racing to drop by the Club and watch the racing and enjoy the other events of the day.”
- Photo: Rachel von Zalinski / Live Sail Die