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The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy

The Lipton Trophy was presented to the Club in January 1968 by the Lipton Tea company and takes its name from Sir Thomas Lipton whose efforts to regain the America's Cup with his series of J Class boats in the late 1920s, whilst unsuccessful, earned him a wonderful reputation for sportsmanship. The Lipton Trophy is a majestic silver model of one of Sir Thomas Lipton's yachts carrying the well-known Shamrock name.

According to the late Frank Hydes (a Club member as well as being General Manager at one point) the story goes that two members, Bob Hawley and Richard Hownam-Meek were joint owners of the yacht Calypso. Bob's company were the agents for Lipton Tea and the Lipton's representative, who was himself a keen yachtsman, used to time his annual visits to Hong Kong to enable him to do some racing with Bob and Richard.

One year he joined them to race in one of the HKRNVRs and happened to mention that Lipton Tea had recently given a trophy to a club in the UK. Bob and Richard plied him with more beer until their hint penetrated and a few months later the magnificent silver model of a J Class yacht resulted.

The first winner of the Lipton Trophy back in 1968 was John Park in his Dragon, Phoenix of the Orient and here's an exceprt from the 1967-1968 Annual Report about the trophy and first event :-

"The season also saw the introduction of a new event for the Lipton Trophy - a handsome silver model of a 12-metre racing yacht kindly donated by Lipton's. After considerable discussion and various suggestions as to the best method of racing for this trophy, it was finally decided to award it to the winner of an open All Comers' handicap event which would take place in the Harbour over a course of substantial length. This event was run in fresh

easterly conditions in early March, 67 boats coming under starters orders, representatives of virtually all the classes in the Colony turning out. The 3-lap course enabled the Race committee to keep a close control over the craft and also to provide adequate rescue facilities."

The most recent winner in 2020 is our very own Commodore, Denis Martinet on his Etchells, Reprobate HKG1235.


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