|Pan Am Clipper Cup|
|Club||Waikiki Yacht Club|
Pan Am Clipper Cup
In 1978, the Waikiki Yacht Club organized the first Clipper Cup Yacht Series, a biennial event that grew into the Kenwood Cup, one of the most prestigious yacht races on the world ocean racing circuit. That series was discontinued in 2002, and was replaced by the annual Waikiki Off-Shore Series, which offers a variety of buoy and distance races.
The Clipper Cup was once contested on the waters of Hawaii. Now it's the prized trophy at Port Douglas Race Week in Far North Queensland. How did this valuable lump of silverware make such a journey?
The yacht race that would create the name Clipper Cup originally began in 1972 when members of the Waikiki Yacht Club created a 755-mile "fun race" to "race the winds of paradise". It was to be an annual summer race around the major islands of the island state of Hawaii. Local sailors and visiting yachts competing in the biennial Transpac or Vic-Maui races were invited to attend.
By the sixth "Around the State Race" in 1976, interest in it had noticeably faded and there was talk of disbanding it entirely. Yet a few WYC members were not ready to give up on what they knew was a good idea. Through their efforts, the race was transformed into a biennial series of races that attracted yachtsmen from around the world, and, with sponsorship assistance from Pan American Airlines, the Clipper Cup Yacht Series was born.
Pan Am was the principal US international air carrier from the late 1920s until its collapse in 1991. The airline was identified by its blue globe logo and the use of the word "Clipper" in aircraft names and call signs. For example on December 21, 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York blown up as it flew over Lockerbie in Scotland was named Clipper Maid of the Seas. The term Clipper was also used by Pan Am at this time for its business class called "Clipper Class" the "Clipper in-flight magazine" and its "Clipper lounge" at airports. The term was chosen by Pan Am as it is synonymous with global travel at great speed.
During the following four events, through 1984, the Clipper Cup series grew in popularity and international stature. The fleet expanded from 41 yachts to a record 78 entries representing Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
Australia won the trophy twice, in 1978 (Marshall Phillips Big Shot, Tom Stephenson Magic Pudding and Syd Fischer Ragamuffin) and 1980 (Syd Fisher Ragamuffin, Marshall Phillips Sweet Caroline and Lou Abrahams Challenge).
Then, once again, the future of international offshore racing in Hawaii was threatened. Pan Am dropped Hawaii from its overseas routes and ceased its promotional activities in the Islands. The race series was revived under new sponsorship as the Kenwood Cup and the name "Clipper Cup" passed into the pages of history.
After a transaction for which there are few details, Dick Gooch brought the original Clipper Cup to Australia and it sat in storage at the CYCA in Rushcutters Bay for some years before being donated to Cairns Yacht Club in 1994 or 1995. Legend has it that the event sponsor that year, Mirage Resorts, purchased the trophy for $1.00 (there are no details from whom it was bought) to make sure it remained in Port Douglas. They then donated it to the club.
Clipper Cup Honour Board
The name Clipper Cup came to be when Pan Am Airlines first sponsored the Waikiki Yacht Club "Around The State Race" in 1978. This biennial event was contested four times and attracted a record 78 entries representing Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S. The race was billed as a perpetual international team racing event .
|1978||Australia||Big Schott||Marshall Phillips|
|Magic Pudding||Tom Stephenson|
|Sweet Caroline||Marshall Phillips|
|1982||USA||Kialoa||John B. Kilroy|
|Bull Frog||T. David Fenix|
|Great Fun||Clay Bernard II|
|1984||USA||Camouflage||Ben Mitchell Jr|