The Lipton Cup

Lipton Cup

The Lipton Cup is New Zealand’s oldest yachting trophy competed for by the same class. This race is sailed in 22ft L-Class yachts which are commonly referred to as Mullet Boats. Some of the race fleet are now over 100 years old and are still very competitive.

The trophy, made by the same silversmith who made the America’s Cup, was donated by Sir Thomas Lipton who raced the America’s Cup 5 times, but never won. 

The 100th race for the Lipton Cup was sailed on the 1st May 2021 - see the full report and selection of photos here.

The 101st race for the Lipton Cup Sponsored by Victoria Park New World was raced on March 19, 2022 and the report follows.

Lipton Cup 2024 Sponsored By:

The Lipton Cup

22 ft Mullet Boat - L8 - Valeria

​​​​​​​22 ft Mullet Boat - L53 - Orion II

Lipton Cup Interclub Challenge Rules:

Organising Authority: Ponsonby Cruising Club Inc.

  1. The Cup shall be known as the LIPTON INTERCLUB CHALLENGE CUP. In all matters the Ponsonby Cruising Club, Inc. (PCC) shall be the controlling body.

  2. The race for the Cup shall be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing and the PCC’s General Sailing Instructions, the Mullet Boat Safety Requirements and Notice of Race as published in the PCC Yearbook. Any amendments to the Notice of Race and Special Sailing Instructions shall apply.

  3. The Cup shall be competed for annually by bona fide boats of the 22 ft Mullet Boat Class, holding a current measurer’s certificate and nominated by a YNZ and/or AYBA affiliated boating club.

  4. The Cup shall be held at the Ponsonby Cruising Club for the club which will have nominated the winning boat, for the year from the day on which the cup was presented.

  5. The crew of yachts entered in the LIPTON INTERCLUB CHALLENGE race shall consist of 6 persons.

  6. L Class Mullet boats shall not be permitted individual sponsorship.

  7. A Safety Check of all boats will be made prior to leaving the Marina.

  8. The race will be started on the wind.

  9. The course length will be approximately 20 miles depending on the conditions on the day.

  10. The Target time is 4 hours, the time limit for the first boat to finish is 5 hours after the start time.

  11. The first Mullet boat to finish must report to the Club on completion of the race for inspection and the weighing of ballast.

Ponsonby Cruising Club Inc.

Mullet Boat Safety Requirements

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​NOTE: As Mullet Boats do not comply in all areas of Cat. 4 & 5 of the YNZ Safety Regulations they must at all times comply with these safety requirements as endorsed by Yachting New Zealand, July 2020.

All sailors shall observe the Racing Rules of Sailing, Part 1: FUNDAMENTAL RULES 1. Safety 1.1. Helping those in danger. Redress may be granted on application: RRS 62.1 (b).

Re Life Jacket and Buoyancy Aids:

Approved & certified PFDs shall be carried for each crew member at all times in accordance with the Safety Regulations of Sailing 2017-2020, Appendix SR 4.

a) A PFD shall be worn at all times by a crew member if the skipper so directs.
​​​​​​​b) Life Jackets or Buoyancy aids shall be worn by all crew members while Code flag “Y” is flown from the Tower, the Committee Boat or a patrol boat.


The following are to be carried at all times:

A. An approved PFD for each crew member (6) as above.
B. A Bilge Pump in accordance with the Safety Regs Part II, 13.13 & 13.14 (b)
C. At least 2 buckets complete with lanyards.
D. A Horseshoe lifebuoy with drogue as stated in the Safety Regs. Part II 17.13. It must be Orange or Yellow with reflective tape, display the name & have a whistle attached.
E. An anchor weighing not less than 10kg with a metal chain of minimum size and length of 8mm and 6.706m (22ft) plus 40m of warp of minimum size 10mm.
F. A First Aid Kit – waterproof. Refer SR APPENDIX 1: Minimum Inshore Kit
G. Knife.


In addition to the items required to be carried for Daytime Harbour Races the following items shall be carried at all times during cruising and night races in the harbour:

A. One Fire extinguisher that is tested & tagged.
B. Minimum of eight litres of water.
C. Navigation Lights – as required by the Collision Prevention Rules & in accordance with the Safety Regs. Part II, 19.07.
D. Compass
E. Torches – two.
F. Chart No 532 or equivalent for course destination.
G. Horseshoe lifebuoy as above with a self-igniting light.
H. Foghorn sound signal.
I. A VHF Radio shall be carried. A mobile phone, in a waterproof case, may be carried [AW1].
J. For Cruising races beyond the Harbour Limits i.e. East of a line between North Head and Bean Rock:a) Dinghy capable of supporting all the crew will be towed if specified in the Notice of Race.b) Flares: 2 Red Hand held, 2 orange smoke flares – will be carried.c) Grab Bag will be carried.  (Equipment in the grab bag may be counted as part of the general equipment under Safety Regulations Part II).

It should include: Flares, Waterproof hand held VHF, Sharp Knife in a sheath, Cell phone in a waterproof bag, First Aid kit, Whistle, Torch, Sunscreen, Thermal protective aids, water & spare batteries.

[AW1] Skippers are reminded that it is a legal requirement to hold a Marine Radio Operators Certificate if using a VHF radio.

Yachting New Zealand: Safety Regulations of Sailing 2021- 2024​​​​​​​​​​​​​​