Sir Thomas Lipton first came to San Francisco Bay in 1912 to compete in 12-meter racing at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. WWI interrupted plans but the Lipton Cup was raced in 1916, 1918, 1919, and 1920. At that time, the Cup was won by John Hanify. With the death of Hanify, the 12- meter class also collapsed and the Cup itself was “lost” for 40 years. PICYA regained control of the Cup in 1960 when it was found at the Olympic Club.
Tragedy hit when the Cup melted in the St. Francis YC fire of 1976. Then a new trophy was built in the image of one of the 12-meter yachts. The trophy is on display at the St. Francis YC.