Lipton Cup

The Hout Bay Youth Sailing Development Trust is taking part in the 3rd Lipton Challenge Cup in 2017, sailing for Hout Bay Yacht Club as team LTC Phoenix, sponsored by Literally Tax Consulting and Phoenix Business Consulting.

Skippered by Theo Yon, the team’s goal in the 3rd year of their campaign is to win the Lipton Challenge Cup and bring it home to the waters of Hout Bay.

The Lipton Cup is always hotly contended for. Not only is the trophy the most valuable of its kind in the whole of Africa, but the winning team takes the cup home – meaning, they are entitled to host the Lipton Challenge on their home waters (or nominate a coastal club to do so, if they are situated inland) the following year.

When Sir Thomas Lipton, well-known tea merchant in his day, donated a magnificent trophy to Table Bay Yacht Club (now Royal Cape Yacht Club) in 1909, he stipulated that the Lipton Cup Challenge was to encourage offshore yacht racing in Southern Africa. Every yacht club along the Southern African coast – from Walvis Bay (Namibia) to Beira (Mozambique) – is invited to participate and enter a team in this annual yacht race. This is but one of multiple precise instructions contained in Sir Thomas’s ‘deed of gift’, a document accompanying the trophy, the rules of which ensure fairness and equality in this competition and are adhered to until today.
This year, 11 teams from 11 yacht clubs, ranging from local Western Cape yacht clubs to inland clubs from Gauteng, have entered the challenge, which kicks off at the Royal Cape Yacht Club on Saturday 19 August with the festive Opening Ceremony



The History of the Lipton Challenge Cup


Sir Thomas Lipton, world famous tea merchant and avid yachtsman in his day, donated the Lipton Challenge Cup, a beautiful sterling silver trophy crafted in England in 1908, to the Table Bay Yacht Club in 1909 – today the Royal Cape Yacht Club – with the purpose of “encouraging Yachting in South Africa, and especially in the way of friendly contests in sailing and seamanship in deep sea Yacht Racing”, as stipulated by Lipton in his “Deed of Gift”. The document, kept safely at the Royal Cape Yacht Club, accompanies the trophy and stipulates exactly the conditions for the race and the rules of the competition, still known today as the Lipton Challenge Cup, which is South Africa’s most prestigious sailing competition.

Lipton Challenge Cups were donated to many Yacht Clubs around the globe where Sir Thomas had trade interests, where they are still raced for today.

Well-known for having campaigned for the America’s Cup five times between 1899 and 1930, on yachts all named Shamrock, Sir Thomas Lipton was never to win the world’s most famous yacht race. Nevertheless, he remained cheerful throughout his endeavours, setting a wonderful example to everyone around him by highlighting the beneficial side-effects of participating in sailing races, such as good health and true friendship. He was eventually presented with a solid gold trophy and a donor’s book by the mayor of New York, who described Lipton as being “possibly the world’s worst yacht builder but absolutely the world’s most cheerful loser” (The King’s Grocer: Life of Sir Thomas,Robert A.Crampsey, p.133).

Information gathered from Mitchell Library of Glasgow:

More at