Outdoors

Southern Yacht Club wins ninth straight GYA Offshore Challenge Cup

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 
 The Southern Yacht Club is presented the trophy as overall winner of the 2016 Gulf Yachting Association Offshore Challenge Cup on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at the Gulfport Yacht Club. SYC captain Patrick Ryan accepts the trophy.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD The Southern Yacht Club is presented the trophy as overall winner of the 2016 Gulf Yachting Association Offshore Challenge Cup on Sunday, June 19, 2016, at the Gulfport Yacht Club. SYC captain Patrick Ryan accepts the trophy. SUN HERALD

GULFPORT -- Southern Yacht Club captured its ninth straight Gulf Yachting Association Offshore Challenge Cup Sunday afternoon.

The New Orleans-based sailing club earned the Spring Hill College Gulf Yachting Association Offshore Challenge Cup Trophy, given to the event's top team. New Orleans Yacht Club was second, followed by Mobile Yacht Club.

Awards were handed out Sunday at the Gulfport Yacht Club after the cancellation of the final day's race because of stormy conditions.

"We looked at the radar Sunday morning and the conditions weren't safe," GYC Race Organizer Christie Yoste said. "We had lighting and stormy wind. Rather than risk damage to boats, we decided not to race. We had fairly good conditions Saturday. We were fortunate to get three races in each Friday and Saturday."

SYC won first place in four different classes: Class A, Class B, Class C and Class D. Rougarou, with skipper Andy Lovell, took the Class A title. Dansoux, with skipper John Meade, was first in Class B. Demitasse, with skipper Patrick Ryan, at Class C. Bruja, with skipper Cardwell Potts, at Class D.

Ryan, SYC's captain, had a simple reason for SYC's dominance. SYC also captured six straight championships from 1993 to 1998. SYC's current run began in 2007.

"Preparation has everything to do with it," Ryan said. "I've been captain six months and I've worked a lot getting ready for this regatta. I'm glad to be here competing in this regatta. We have a lot of great competition in this race."

Gulfport's War Canoe, with skipper John Dane III, finished third in Class A.

New Orleans Yacht Club, which has won 10 titles in this series, hadn't won since 2003. Pontchartrain YC has three GYA offshore titles, the last in 1988.

Sailing continues Friday when the annual Gulfport to Pensacola race starts south of the Gulfport Yacht Club.

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