Bonjolea II gets taste of Lipton

Bonjolea II, a Sydney 36 piloted by Bonnie Tiffany and Chris Jordan, elevated the Nawiliwili Yacht Club and the island of Kauai by capturing second place at the 75th running of the Lipton Cup, a two-day regatta, on Oahu last week.

“Second place is the highest any boat from the Nawiliwili Yacht Club has placed to date in the Lipton Cup series,” said Doug Tiffany, who along with Bonnie, owns Bonjolea II. “Well done to the Tiffanys and the great crew representing four different boats from the Nawiliwili Yacht Club.”

In addition to Doug and Bonnie, the crew came together from OZone with Chris Jordan and Thor Teme, Jiah Yim from Fast Company, Ed Tschup from Papaau, and from Bonjolea II, Mike Armstrong and John Ross.

High Tension, the entry from the Waikiki Yacht Club and the defending Lipton Cup I champion, controlled the 2015 edition of the sailing race in Mamala Bay, off Waikiki, capturing three first finishes during the first day of racing.

The race for second, however, was very close with the three challenging boats — Bonjolea II from the Nawiliwili Yacht Club, Fire Fly from the Hawaii Yacht Club, Alize from the Kaneohe Yacht Club — within one point of each other.

Entering the fourth race, an over-early start by three boats determined the final outcome as Bonjolea II heeded the warning and re-started the race in accordance with the race rules. Fire Fly and Alize were disqualified giving Bonjolea II second place with 14 points, a point over Fire Fly and Alize. High Tension took its second consecutive title with nine points.

Doug said the Lipton Cup regatta was born in 1899 when Sir Thomas Lipton, the English tea merchant, started a 31-year campaign involving five successive bids for the America’s Cup aboard a series of yachts named Shamrock.

At that point, the New York Yacht Club possessed the cup after successfully taking it from the British and defending it for nearly 50 years.

Lipton, a stubborn competitor, met failure on each challenge.

During these challenges, Lipton developed a great respect for the United States sailing community, demonstrating this respect by donating a number of trophies, or as they were known, Lipton Cups, to American yachting organizations around the country.

Yachtsmen in the Territory of Hawaii received two of these cups in 1930, being raced for by Oahu’s Star boat fleet prior to World War II. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, yacht racing was suspended indefinitely and the two Lipton Cup trophies disappeared.

The yacht racing suspension was lifted following the end of WWII, and local sailors found their way back onto the water for the resumption of the Lipton Cup competition. But the two trophies were lost.

Finally, in 1987, one trophy resurfaced and the prize was contested for each May by one entry from each of the eight yacht clubs from around the state for boats 30 to 40 feet in length. This was the prize Bonjolea II, formerly known as FINS, a 2-time winner of the cup by its Oahu owners, was seeking.

In 1993, a year following Hurricane Iniki, the second Lipton Cup was returned to the yachting community. Now known as the Lipton Cup II, this is the cup being raced for in October for small boats less than 30 feet in length.

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