by Chris Goddard with additional reporting by Elizabeth De Witt

Capping off three days of nail biting racing culminating in an all Newport Harbor Yacht Club final between Team Thunder and Team Lighting, Team Thunder won the Baldwin Cup Team Race for the third consecutive year at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. Team Lighting was second with Balboa Yacht Club and Larchmont Yacht Club tying for third. Showcasing the greatest tactical maneuvers that team racing has to offer, the semi-finals saw neighboring Balboa Yacht Club reaching this stage for the first time in the history of the event. In total, 139 races were sailed on a course that had been cleared of 75 mornings and events throughout the weekend supported by over 150 volunteers.

Photo by Craig Davis

Photo by Craig Davis

“Congratulations to Team Thunder who battled consistently showing their championship skills during three solid days of ‘edge of your seat’ racing,” commented Newport Harbor Yacht Club Commodore Gary Hill. “Races, often not decided until the last 30 yards (sometimes the last two feet), provided best in class stadium style racing to over 400 spectators under finally sunny skies on day three. We are grateful to JP Morgan Chase for their unwavering support of this event. In addition, we thank the competitors that traveled from near and far to compete in this iconic regatta and perpetuate the distinct traditions that make this race the envy of many regattas. Lastly, we thank the Harbor 20 fleet that loaned us their boats and our entire membership that comes together to support this event, along with our dedicated staff. They make it happen. We look forward to seeing everyone next year.”

Photo by Craig Davis Team Thunder members: Skipper Justin Law, and crew Jeff Gordan

Photo by Craig Davis
Team Thunder members: Skipper Justin Law, and crew Jeff Gordan

In true Baldwin Cup Team race style, today’s events included a spontaneous marriage proposal from The Southern Yacht Club Team, soothing steel drum music for competitors that enjoyed themselves too much last night, and meandering Duffy rentals with perfectly displayed outboard fenders. Fender trim people, fender trim! For the finals, racers were serenaded by the Grateful Dead’s Wheel Tricks lyrics, “If the thunder won’t get you, the lighting will.”

“It has been a pleasure to support this event, which has provided a terrific platform for our friends and clients,” said Ethan Morgan, market manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “Seems like we brought the Newport Harbor Teams luck as they have won the regatta since we became a sponsor. The Newport Harbor Yacht Club is a beautiful setting. We thank the Newport Harbor Yacht Cub and the JPMorgan Chase teams that worked tirelessly on making this a great event year after year.”

While the regatta is over, the media team’s job is not. Watch is space for more fun videos and regatta recap coming your way this week!

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