GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Bay Waveland Yacht Club has claimed first place in the 99th Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup Regatta this weekend.
The competition wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with two races.
The Gulfport Yacht Club hosted teams from across the south. The club celebrated nearly a century-long sailing tradition, bringing out racers from all over the Gulf Coast.
“We’re all members of what they call the Gulf Yachting Association, and that can be clubs from Houston, Texas all the way to St. Petersberg, Florida," said Sam Hopkins, former commodore of the Gulfport Yacht Club.
Hopkins described the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup as a highly competitive regatta.
“This is like the best of the best. This is like the end of the year championship for all the clubs," Hopkins said.
“It’s nice to not have an engine runnin, and it’s a chess match on the water," said one Gulfport Yacht Club member.
Racers said that it takes years to master the skills needed to work around changing water conditions.
“The wind shifts, the weather, sails, the mass tuning, it’s just so many variables and its not as easy as it looks," Hopkins said.
Despite the challenges, the rush of being on the water keeps the racers going. Their number one tip to remember in the race for grand prize:
“Practice, get your boat speed. The boat out front usually stays out front," said a Gulfport Yacht Club member.