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Lahaina Yacht Club hosts America’s Cup trophy

By Staff | May 8, 2014

Gregory Dunn, past commodore of Waikiki Yacht Club, called the Maui visit a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get close to the silver America’s Cup trophy.

LAHAINA – Lahaina Yacht Club members and guests last week Thursday afternoon had the rare opportunity to see the prestigious America’s Cup trophy.

Attendees stood in line to have books signed by Julian Guthrie, author of “Billionaire and the Mechanic,” meet Golden Gate Yacht Club Commodore Norbert Bajurin and take pictures with the silver trophy.

“I am very proud to have the America’s Cup trophy here for the first time,” said Lahaina Yacht Club Commodore Lars Bertelson.

He added that the trophy, which was flanked by armed guards during the private viewing, is the most expensive in the world.

The trophy arrived in Lahaina through connections in the sailing world.

Gregory Dunn, past commodore of Waikiki Yacht Club, is now president and CEO of the Hawaii Better Business Bureau.

Dunn brought Bajurin of Golden Gate Yacht Club – the present holder of the cup won by its team, BMW Oracle Racing – to be the keynote speaker at the Hawaii BBB’s Torch Awards last week Wednesday.

Bajurin, whose story was captured in “The Billionaire and the Mechanic,” shared his journey of how an everyday radiator mechanic formed an unlikely partnership with Larry Ellison to win the America’s Cup.

After an event at King Kamehameha Golf Club, the trophy was brought to Lahaina Yacht Club before being transported to Lanai, which is owned by Ellison.

Dunn noted that the America’s Cup trophy is the oldest in our country’s major sporting events.

With the first race in 1851, the America’s Cup was running 40 years before the first organized international Olympic Games.

The award travels with security now. A man in March 1996 entered the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s clubroom and smashed the original America’s Cup with a sledgehammer.

Ellison’s Oracle Team USA defeated the Emirates Team New Zealand to win the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay on Sept. 25, 2013.

At the event, anyone purchasing Guthrie’s book received a signed copy. Part of the proceeds will go toward Lahaina Yacht Club’s Junior Sailing program.

For more information on the race, go to www.americascup.com. Lahaina Yacht Club information is posted at www.lyc.us.