The Lipton Challenge Cup, which took place last week, is known in the sailing community to be the most prestigious sailing event on the South African calendar. The history of the challenge goes back to 1909, when Sir Thomas Lipton, a well-known tea merchant, donated the sterling silver trophy and the deed of cup to the Table Bay Yacht Club – now the Royal Cape Yacht Club. The first Lipton Challenge Cup was raced in South Africa in 1911.This year marks the 64th time that the regatta will be sailed. It is an interclub event, with yacht clubs across the country entering teams. Since 1984, the regatta has been sailed on 26-foot yachts called the L26, designed by naval architect Angelo Lavranos.In recent years, a heart-warming development has been the participation of juniors, women and sailors from previously disadvantaged communities. The Lipton Challenge Cup boasts many sailors of colour, as well as women sailors and an all-woman team.An example is the Hout Bay Yacht Club entry, LTC Phoenix, skippered by Theo Yon, finished second in the overall standings after winning the final three days of racing.Yon grew up in Hout Bay, and has been sailing at Hout Bay Yacht Club since the age of 12. Today, he is one of the directors of the Hout Bay Youth Sailing Development Trust, whose aim is to make sailing more accessible to previously disadvantaged communities, particularly in Hout Bay, and use sailing and the love for sport as a tool to transcend social barriers. Theo’s crew is Andrea Giovannini from Hout Bay, Marco Tobin and Sieraj Jacobs from Grassy Park, Ryan Pentolfe from Parkwood and manager Andre Julius from Elsies River.